Fritz Bauer

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Fritz Bauer (16 July 1903 – 1 July 1968) was a Jewish and possibly homosexual judge, prosecutor, and Mossad agent in West Germany, who relayed information to Mossad about the whereabouts in Argentina of Adolf Eichmann and who later played an essential role in the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials. He was also associated with the argued mysterious death of Richard Baer.

"Additional information, though obscure, is related to the services Bauer provided to the Mossad after Eichmann’s capture. “He continued to give Israel many different services in vital subjects,” the deputy director of the Mossad, Shlomo Cohen Abarbanel, said after Bauer’s death. [...] As the Mossad archives are closed to the public, we will probably never know what Abarbanel was referring to."[1]


Bauer studied business and law in Heidelberg, Munich and Tübingen. After receiving his Doctorate of Laws degree (youngest Jur.Dr. ever in Germany, Bauer became an assessor judge in the Stuttgart local district court. By 1920, he had already joined the Social Democratic Party. Due to his membership in the SPD and his Jewish heritage, he was arrested by the Gestapo in May 1933, and a short time later he was dismissed from his civil service position.

In 1935, Bauer emigrated to Denmark and then to Sweden (1943) after the former was occupied by German troops during the Second World War. In Sweden, Bauer founded, along with the also Jewish Willy Brandt, the periodical Sozialistische Tribüne (Socialist Tribune). Bauer returned to Germany in 1949, as the postwar Federal Republic was being established, and once more entered civil service in the justice system. At first he became director of the district courts, and later the equivalent of District Attorney in Braunschweig. In 1956, he was appointed to office as the District Attorney in Hessen, based in Frankfurt a. M. Bauer held this position until his death in 1968.

Bauer was active in trials and compensation efforts involving the Holocaust. In 1958, he succeeded in getting a class action lawsuit certified, consolidating numerous individual claims in the Frankfurt Auschwitz trials, the proceedings of which opened in 1963. His role has been described as essential in starting the trials. Before the trial, Bauer was the person who ordered the cremation of Auschwitz commandant Richard Baer's corpse, who has been argued to have died under mysterious circumstances.

In 1957, Bauer relayed information about the whereabouts in Argentina of Adolf Eichmann to the Israeli Intelligence (the Mossad). With Gerhard Szczesny, Bauer founded the Humanistic Union, a so called human-rights organization, in 1961. After Bauer's death, the Union donated money to fund the Fritz Bauer Prize. In addition, the Fritz Bauer Institut, founded in 1995, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to civil rights that focuses on history and the effect of the Holocaust.

Within the postwar German justice system, Bauer was a controversial figure due to his sociopolitical engagement. He supposedly once said, "In the justice system, I live as in exile."


  • Das Verbrechen und Gesellschaft. Reinhardt 1957
  • Sexualität und Verbrechen. Fischer 1963
  • Die neue Gewalt. Verl. d. Zeitschrift Ruf u. Echo 1964
  • Widerstand gegen die Staatsgewalt. Fischer 1965
  • Die Humanität der Rechtsordnung. Ausgewählte Schriften. Hrsg. von Joachim Perels und Irmtrud Wojak, Campus Verlag, Frankfurt am Main, New York 1998, ISBN 3-593-35841-7


  • Ilona Ziok: Fritz Bauer - Death By Instalments, Germany, 2010, 110 min.


  • Wojak, Irmtrud: Fritz Bauer und die Aufarbeitung der NS-Verbrechen nach 1945. Blickpunkt Hessen, Hessische Landeszentrale für politische Bildung, Nr. 2/2003 online
  • Irmtrud Wojak: Fritz Bauer. Eine Biographie, 1903-1963, Munich: C.H. Beck, 2009, ISBN 3406581544
  • Tuviah Friedman: 1957 Fritz Bauer Information Eichmann ( Lothar Hermann Argentinien )alias Francisco Schmidt
  • 1958 CIA-Akte (März) alias Ricardo Clemens.
  • 1959 (Dezember) said Fritz Bauer Adolf Eichmann KUWAIT Pressarchiv. H.S.

External links


  1. Secret Life of the German Judge Who Brought the Mossad to Eichmann