Today in History
1.11.1957: Rosemarie Nitribitt Murdered
Found with a three-centimeter-long wound at the back of her head and her throat showing signs of choking, Nitribitt would go down in German history as a symbol of the seedier side of the German postwar economic miracle.

"What made the Nitribitt case so interesting was the fact that she was one of the first to go on the prowl for customers with a car, the criminal investigator in charge of the case, Albert Kalk, remarked years later.

The Nitribitt case would never have attracted so much attention had the girl not been so obsessed with expanding her clientele. Back then you could often hear people say: "I'm from Frankfurt am Main, but no one ever asks me about Goethe, they only want to hear about the Nitribitt case."

Nitribitt might have come from a poor family and could not even write properly, but the woman had a remarkably good head for business. Her black Mercedes 190 SL roadster with red leather seats, which she used to pick up customers from the streets, was a familiar sight in Frankfurt am Main. Her phone book entry stated she was a model and used her working name: Rebecca or Countess Maritza.

But it was not the brutal murder of a young woman which caused uproar in Germany. It was the fact that a lifestyle which so many regarded as immoral could make a woman so rich. Nitribitt had an estimated annual income of around 100,000 German marks (50,000 Euros), a fact which many Germans striving to rebuild their country after the war could not stomach.

The German population let their fantasies run wild. Were prominent business leaders and politicians among her regular customers? Had Chancellor Konrad Adenauer himself shared her bed? And did the powers that be have her killed because she knew too much? After all, on her bedside table was a photo of Harald von Bohlen and Halbach, a Krupp family heir.

Nitribitt’s story was even turned into a film. Rolf Thiele's adaption of Erich Kuby's novel "The Girl Rosemarie", a completely fictionalized account, critized West German leaders. When the Venice Film Festival proposed its screening, the German state department appealed to the film’s producers not to go, fearing it could tarnish the country's reputation.

East Germany, keen to use the incident to its own advantage, quickly held the case up as an example of the amorality of the capitalist West.

"The film is based on the fate of the venal prostitute Nitribitt, who jumped into bed with those in the highest circles of industry and the federal government, who knew too much and was therefore murdered,” the GDR paper Bauernecho wrote. “These facts are all true and therefore our good Christian Chancellor Adenauer is afraid of the film being screened in public."

Nitribitt’s killer was never brought to justice and the motive for the murder is still unclear. Yet, in 1999 a journalist was able to confirm that Nitribitt had contacts with prominent German industrialists. But many questions surrounding her case, including why the police made so many obvious mistakes during the investigation and why so much evidence was destroyed, still remain unanswered.

Zitat des Tages
Zitat des Tages
A scandal shook the German government on 1 November 1957. What happened?
  The economics minister was found guilty of insider trading
  The chancellor was seen with his secretary in a motel
  A call girl for men in high places was found murdered