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Maria Luise Roth-Höppner (1930) - Biography

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Mister, I don’t like you and I don’t like the communists!

She was born on June 24, 1930, in Sibiu, in the family of a politician by the name of Hans Otto Roth, representative of the Transylvanian Saxons in the Parliament of Romania in the inter-war period, after the unification of Transylvania with Romania on December 1,1918.  As a Member of Parliament, first in the Chamber of Deputies, and then in the Senate, in Bucharest, he focused his attention on the integration of the German minority in Romania.

Taking a stand against German National Socialism, he protested in 1933 to chancellor Adolf Hitler  against the persecution of Jews. From 1935 until 1948, he worked as a lawyer in Bucharest and as an editor for the Siebenbürgisch-Deutsches Tageblatt (German Newspaper of Transylvania), the most important German publication in South-East Europe.

After the Soviet occupation of Romania by the Red Army in 1944, along with Rudolf Brandsch, he tried to draw up a statute on the rights of the German minority.

In 1948, Hans Otto Roth was arrested, only to be released after 6 months. On April 15, 1952, he was arrested again, receiving an administrative sentence of 24 months. The grounds for his imprisonment were mentioned in his detention file: 'former deputy and senator'. He died on April 1, 1953 in Ghencea camp.

Maria Luise attended school in Sibiu, in German language. After the Second World War, after the nationalization of the educational system, she had to take the Baccalaureate exam in Romanian. She pursued a degree at the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics in Bucharest (between 1948 and 1952), and, in 1972, received her PhD in Physics in Hamburg.

During college, she was part of the national shooting team for women, but was excluded in 1952, following her father's arrest.

After graduating from university, Maria Luise Roth took a position as a teaching assistant at the Physics Department of the Forest Institute in Braşov.

In 1958, Herbert Roth, the brother of Maria Luise, received a letter from West Germany written by a former Romanian political detainee of German nationality, Fritz Theil. Maria Luise Roth thought the letter was of interest for those who had relatives living in West Germany, and decided to show it to the senior pastor of the Black Church in Braşov, Dr. Konrad Möckel, who made a copy of the letter. The copy of the letter was found by the Securitate upon Dr. Möckel's arrest, and, as a result, Herbert Roth was arrested on July 7, 1958, while his sister was taken into custody on July 14.

Following the trial from November 1958, Maria Luise Roth was sentenced to 6 years in a correctional prison, as was the case of her brother.

After having been held in custody for several months at the Securitate headquarters in Braşov, Maria Luise Roth was transferred to Codlea prison. She was also detained in Miercurea Ciuc, Gai (Arad) and Oradea prison, from where she was released on June 24, 1964.

After her release, despite all efforts, Maria Luise didn't manage to find any suitable employment.

In 1969, Maria Luise Roth emigrated to Germany, along with her brother and mother, where she received her PhD and became a researcher.

In 1947, she married Wolfgang Höppner.

After 1990, Maria Luise Roth Höppner moved to Sibiu, where she is still living.

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