Martha Plenzdorf, née Boestfleisch, was born in Berlin on 20 April 1906. In 1933 she was employed as an incandescent lamp worker at the Berlin lamp works in Friedrichshain (later OSRAM).
Because of their membership in the KPD she and her husband were arrested several times by the National Socialists after they took power. In 1933 Martha Plenzdorf was interned in the SA Prison in General-Pape-Strasse. Other places where she was detained include the police prison at Alexanderplatz and the women’s prison in Barnimstrasse. Martha Plenzdorf was also held in the Moringen women’s concentration camp until January 1937. After her release she worked in the Askania armaments works and was once again active in the resistance.
In 1950 Martha Plenzdorf moved to East Berlin. She is the mother of the dramaturge, author and screenplay writer Ulrich Plenzdorf.