A Social Democrat politician, Johanna Kirchner helped victims of political persecution in the Saar Basin after 1933. After World War II began, she was interned in France. Although she initially managed to escape from Gurs camp with the help of French friends, the Vichy regime later handed her over to Germany. The “People’s Court” gave her a ten-year penal sentence in May of 1943. The Reich Ministry of Justice considered this sentence too mild, so she was tried again and sentenced to death on April 21, 1944. Johanna Kirchner was beheaded in Plötzensee prison on June 9, 1944.