18 July 2016

Clara Bauerle - How Speculation can quickly turn to Fact

So, we're back to Clara Bauerle again. The irrepressible German cabaret singer whose name will be forevermore linked with that of Josef Jakobs it seems.

Those of you who follow this blog know that I've been trying to track down more information on Clara. I've done a fair bit and the most solid lead points to her passing away in Berlin on December 16, 1942.

A few years ago... some enterprising journalist suggested that Clara Bauerle may have been the mysterious Bella in the Wych Elm. The identity of the unfortunate woman, stuffed into a Wych Elm in rural Britain in late 1941, has piqued the curiosity of many amateur sleuths, writers, journalists and conspiracy theorists.

That speculative piece of journalism is, however, taking on a life of its own. I was searching the internet for new leads on Clara and came across a reference to here on the Ancestry genealogy website.

Lo and behold... there's a Clara Bauerle listed... born 1906 in Germany and died 1941 in Worcestershire. The source was Find a Grave.
What do I discover on Find a Grave... our very dear Clara Bauerle. Except this memorial takes speculation and turns it into fact.
Rife with Errors - Find a Grave memorial for Clara Bauerle.
"German Cabaret artist/singer in Germany before becoming a spy and parachuting into England and being killed by a British officer who then hid her body inside a hazel wood tree in Hagleywoods in Worcestershire where the stories of who put Bella in the Wytch Elm originated. She was in love with Gestapo Agent Josef Jakobs who was the last spy put to death at the tower in 1941."

Burial: Non-cemetery Burial."
Specifically: Body was kept as evidence but later lost."
Speculation becomes fact... and the errors grow and compound. The memorial is a rather clumsy amalgamation of the various legends around Bella in the Wych Elm.

I did, naturally, suggest an edit/correction to the creators of this memorial. We'll see if anything comes of it... I must admit to a tiny tinge of irritation when I see such poorly researched material.

Here are some links to my blogs on Clara Bauerle
Update on the Elusive Clara Bauerle - July 2015
Another Clue in Tracing the Enigmatic Clara Bauerle - September 2015