Marianne Bachmeier

It was around 10 am when Marianne Bachmeier entered the courtroom of the Lübeck District Court, Room 157. She wore a long, heavy coat and her head was held high.

At the front of the room, the man who was accused of murdering her daughter sat, his back turned to her. He was unaware that he was taking his last few breaths.

Marianne’s hand was in her coat pocket, holding on to something–a Beretta 70. But to Marianne, it wasn’t just a gun…it was revenge.

In 1981, in Germany, the view on violence had changed drastically since World War II. Some celebrated vigilante justice like the type Marianne carried out, while others were shocked by the mother’s behavior. Here, we will look deeper into Marianne’s revenge against her daughter’s killer.

Marianne Bachmeier court room photo.
Marianne Bachmeier court room photo.

The Early Life of Marianne Bachmeier

Born on July 3, 1950, Marianne had it tough from the get-go. Her parents had been forced to flee from East Prussia during World War II. As a child, she lived in Sarstedt, West Germany, and the tension in her home grew year after year.

Marianne’s father was previously a member of the Waffen-SS–the combat portion of the Nazi’s SS unit. After the war, he took up drinking and was often rough and angry with his wife and daughter.

Her mother soon divorced the ex-Nazi and remarried, but Marianne’s stepfather wasn’t much better for the young girl. A short time later her mother and stepfather kicked her out of the house, and Marianne was forced to support herself despite still being a teenager.

How Many Children Did Marianne Bachmeier Have?

Marianne Bachmeier would have three children in her lifetime–one at 16 whom she gave up for adoption, another at 18 whom she also gave up for adoption, and Anna Bachmeier at the age of 22.

Life after being kicked out of her mother’s house was turbulent for Marianne. By the age of 16, she was pregnant with her first child.

Two years later, at 18, she would have her second. Without the means to raise these children, Marianne gave them up for adoption, hoping that her children would have a better life.

Anna Bachmeier

When Marianne was 22, she found herself working at a pub called Tipasa. She quickly became romantically involved with the manager, and was pregnant once more.

On November 14, 1972, Marianne gave birth for the third time. She brought into the world little Anna Bachmeier, and unlike her first two children, Anna would stay with Marianne.

That isn’t to say that it was an easy decision. Reports from Marianne’s friends tell a sad story of a young mother torn between what was best for her daughter–putting her up for adoption like her first two children, or raising her all on her own.

Marianne went with the latter, but having a newborn didn’t fit into her life at all. She would resort to taking baby Anna to work with her, even letting the infant sleep at the pub while she partied after hours.

Despite all of this, Anna was said to be a bright girl with only a few bad habits. Anna was loved by her mother, and for a time, that was enough.

Marianne with a young Anna on her lap.
Marianne with a young Anna on her lap.

The Murder of Anna Bachmeier

Anna was only 7 the day she decided to skip school. That morning, she had gotten into an argument with Marianne and decided to rebel by going to see a neighbor instead of attending class.

This neighbor, Klaus Grabowski, had been visited by Anna before. She liked to play with his cats and was no doubt hoping to do the same that day–May 5, 1980.

Instead, something horrifying would unfold. Klaus Grabowski would abduct Anna, holding her hostage for hours while he sexually assaulted her before finally murdering the young girl via strangulation. He tied Anna up, placed her body in a box, and left it on the shore of the local canal.

Almost immediately, Klaus’s fiance turned him in to the police. He was quickly arrested, telling police a bizarre story. Klaus Grabowski claimed that Anna Bachmeier had tried to blackmail him for money, saying that she would tell her mother Marianne that Klaus had molested her if he didn’t pay.

This strange accusation enraged the grieving Marianne and set into motion the events that would make her Germany’s “Revenge Mother”.

Marianne Bachmeier’s Revenge

On the third day of Klaus Grabowski’s trial, over a year after the murder of Anna, Marianne walked into the courtroom. She raised the Beretta 70 she had hidden in her coat pocket, and fired the gun seven times.

Six of the bullets hit Grabowski in the back. He was likely dead before he hit the ground.

Marianne was furious with the horrible accusations Klaus had leveled against her daughter, and she wasn’t the only one. It came to light that Klaus had previously been charged with the crime of sexually assaulting two other girls in the past, and had requested to be chemically castrated.

Regretting his decision–the castration, not the assault–Klaus tried to reverse it with hormonal treatment. The behavior changes that come with hormonal imbalance were the reason the defense claimed for Klaus’s murder of Anna.

The public was angry that a man who had assaulted young girls before was able to reverse his castration in the first place.

After killing Klaus, Marianne surrendered to the police peacefully. Her job was finished.

Marianne Bachmeier’s Sentencing

Marianne Bachmeier had killed her daughter’s murderer, and her fate was in the hands of the court. The charge would be either murder or manslaughter.

At first, the public was vehemently on Marianne’s side, but when it was revealed that she had given up two other children for adoption and that her father was a former Nazi, opinions started to shift. Still, many people believed that Marianne’s actions were justified.

The prosecution eventually dropped the murder charge, and Marianne was convicted of manslaughter and unlawful possession of a firearm. Her sentence was initially six years, but she would only serve three before being released.

Marianna being escorted away from the press.
Marianna being escorted away from the press.

After Release

Once she was free, Marianne married and moved with her new husband to Nigeria, where he would teach. The marriage would last five years. Once they were divorced, Marianne moved once more–this time to Sicily.

In Sicily, she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She returned to her home country of Germany before succumbing to the disease at just 46 years of age.

Fittingly, Germany’s Revenge Mother would be buried next to her daughter Anna, whom she sought justice for all those years before.