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Trial Erwin Rösener

Discussions on all aspects of the SS and Polizei.
Long-time forum member and moderator Phil Nix (1938 - 2013) generously shared his knowledge and the results of his impressive research with the forum, and this section has therefore been renamed in his honour.
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Trial Erwin Rösener

Postby Andreas Schulz on 22 Jun 2003 10:42

When was the trial of SS-Ogruf. Erwin Rösener in Yugoslawia?

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Postby David Thompson on 22 Jun 2003 16:24

AnDie -- There's a disagreement on the dates (see below). I've found three different versions.

(1) Version 1 -- imprisoned in Ljubljana from Mar 1946; put on trial at Belgrade by a Yugoslav Army court; convicted and sentenced to death by hanging 21 Aug 1946; executed 4 Sept 1946 at Ljubljana, Slovenia, Yugoslavia (Axis Biographical Research, SS und Deutschen Polizei [SS and German Police], http://www.geocities.com/~orion47/SS-PO ... izei.html; History of the United Nations War Crimes Commission and the Development of the Laws of War p. 532, United Nations War Crimes Commission, London: HMSO, 1948);

(2) Version 2 -- sentenced to death for war crimes 30 Aug 1946; hanged 4 Sept 1946 (NYT 31 Aug 1946:3:1; NYT 9 Sept 1946:3:4). [The NYT issue on the executions was published Monday, 9 Sept 1946; according to my "perpetual calendar," the preceding Wednesday was 4 Sept 1946.]

(3) Version 3 (post by Octavianus) -- put on trial by the Military court of the 4th Yugoslav Army at Ljubljana (10th Process) with at least 13 other German and Slovene officials; convicted and sentenced to death 19 or 21 Jul 1946.

Here are scans of the NYT articles on the conviction and execution of Rösener:
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Rösener

Postby Andreas Schulz on 22 Jun 2003 18:48

Hi David,

thank you very much for the great info.
Sorry for my bad English.
I think that Rösener hanged on 08.09.1946 (NYT 09.09.1946, also info of Mark C. Yerger and Dr. Horst Henrich)
and:
Refusal of Röseners request for mercy by the Yugoslav national assembly in Belgrade on 05.09.1946.

Best
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Re: Trial Erwin Rösener

Postby trekker on 13 Feb 2013 10:25

Rösener was extradited to Yugoslavia in March 1946. He arrived to Ljubljana after a two-day journey by car.

13.8.1946 Rösener was delivered indictment which had been previously sent to Belgrade for verification and had been a bit modified before delivery.
23.8.1946 he appeared in court for hearing.
29.8. 1946 the court stated his guilt and gave the sentence of death by hanging.
30.8.1946 the sentence was made public.
30.8.1946 the sentence was sent to the Supreme court in Belgrade together with Rösener's appeal and his plea for clemency.
1.9.1946 Rösener's appeal was rejected and the sentence was confirmed by the Supreme court in Belgrade.

After the sentence was made public Rösener was allowed to write letters to his relatives but those were probably never delivered.
4.9.1946 he wrote in his last letter to his wife: »It's 3 p.m., the wind wails round the house, the sky is cloudy and one can feel well that it's got colder. Year 1946 is coming slowly to its end.«

5.9.1946 newspapers Slovenski poročevalec and Ljudska pravica brought the news that Rösener was executed by hanging 4.9.1946.

It was said that Rösener died at 3 p.m. in the yard of Ljubljana court prison.


Another author (Željeznov) wrote that Rösener was hung 4.9.1946 at 3 p.m. One hour before, judges, prosecutors and executory squad gathered in the yard of the court house in Tavčarjeva street.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It is probably less known that Rösener was put on »trial« during his stay in POW Camp 209 in Bellaria because he was denounced by colonel Walter von Seeler of leaving his units in order to save himself. The case was handled by senior general Heinrich von Scheel Vietinghoff. 18.12.1945 Vietinghoff wrote his judgement stating that the case couldn't have been completely clarified but the following facts had been proved:
8.5.1945 Rösener left his command post in a critical situation without informing his chief of staff of details of his travel with anticipated return and without authorizing him to lead troops during his absence. Rösener didn't return to Ljubljana and made no effort to resume command over his troops even though he could have.
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Re: Trial Erwin Rösener

Postby cynthia on 13 Sep 2013 22:40

Trekker,
Great information on Rösener. The letter to his wife, is there a complete version of this letter? And were did you find this information?
I read that Erwin Rösener had 3 marriages.......... did he have any children?
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Re: Trial Erwin Rösener

Postby trekker on 17 Sep 2013 06:43

cynthia wrote:The letter to his wife, is there a complete version of this letter? And were did you find this information?

Information was taken from the work by Slovene historian Tone Ferenc who had used documents from German and Slovene archives but not from Austrian as they had not been accessible. (Are they now?)
Rösener wrote his first letters on August 31, 1945: to Mrs Ingelotte Hommel and to his wife's family to which he addressed a letter for his wife Inge and their four children as he didn't know their actual residence. He wrote to his wife again on September 1, 3 and 4.
Letters are most likely available in the Slovene central archive - Arhiv Slovenije in Ljubljana.
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Re: Trial Erwin Rösener

Postby cynthia on 18 Sep 2013 03:42

Thank you for answering me, I really appreciated it.
Mrs. Ingelotte Hommel, could this have been his wife, Inge with her maiden name?
Being married to Erwin Rösener, would put her in danger like Karola Blaschek for being married to Karl Hermann Frank. And look what happened to her.

Is there any photos of Erwin Rosener with his wife and children? Did they photo the hangings or photo after dead?

Did Erwin Rosener have any remorse to what he was part of? Before they hanged him...... did he have any last words to say?

Do you know his religion? Roman Catholic - Protestant - Gottglaubig/Agnosticism?
In photos with Bishop Gregorij Rozman, Erwin Rösener looks very respectful to the Roman Catholic Bishop.

The only book that I found that has photos of him and some information concerning him is by Mark C. Yerger's Allgemeine-SS and the encyclopedia.
Is there any other books available with more information on him? Thanks!
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Re: Trial Erwin Rösener

Postby trekker on 18 Sep 2013 06:50

cynthia wrote:I read that Erwin Rösener had 3 marriages.......... did he have any children?

Erwin Rösener's first wife was Erna Pfaller. There's no evidence of their children.

His second wife was Gudrun Heidinger. They had a child in 1942.

Rösener's third wife was Ingeborg Beez born Schmieder who already had two children from her first marriage. Himmler approved their marriage 12.10.1943.

So he did have three marriages and three children.
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Re: Trial Erwin Rösener

Postby trekker on 18 Sep 2013 07:14

cynthia wrote:In photos with Bishop Gregorij Rozman, Erwin Rösener looks very respectful to the Roman Catholic Bishop.

I view those photos as a public event of political nature considering Bishop Rožman's relations to German authorities and Rupnik's domobrans.

Rösener was a high ranking SS officer and the general attitude of the Third Reich to the Church was expressed by expulsion of 217 priests from Slovene Styria to Zagreb (Croatia) 5.7.1941 and 169 priests from Slovene Carniola to Slavonski Brod (Croatia) 10.7.1941 three months after both regions had been occupied.
see viewtopic.php?f=38&t=15938
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Re: Trial Erwin Rösener

Postby cynthia on 18 Sep 2013 07:48

Thank you for the information.
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Re: Trial Erwin Rösener

Postby Hecht on 18 Sep 2013 08:20

One unknown picture of Rösener with the Bandenkampfabzeichen.
BTW, as far as I know, gottglaublig is not the same as agnostic; it means "believer" but not in relation to any particular religion.
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Re: Trial Erwin Rösener

Postby cynthia on 18 Sep 2013 09:03

Good photo...... I've never seen before. Thanks for posting.
Information that I have on "gottglaubig", comes from the book:
Leaders of the SS & German Police Volume 1 --- by Michael D. Miller........ with others

Page 502
gottglaubig
God-believing
Essentially a form of agnosticism, this designation was used in place of a religious denomination after one had left the church
("Kirchenaustritt"). This action was strongly encouraged and expected of SS members by Himmler, however it was not
mandatory.

Two examples:
Karl Hermann Frank -- page 364
Religion: Catholic until 03.11.1942 then declared himself "gottglaubig".

Hermann Fegelein -- page 315
Religion: Catholic until 19___. then left the church and declared himself "gottglaubig".
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Re: Trial Erwin Rösener

Postby trekker on 18 Sep 2013 12:57

cynthia wrote:gottglaubig
God-believing
Essentially a form of agnosticism, this designation was used in place of a religious denomination after one had left the church
("Kirchenaustritt"). This action was strongly encouraged and expected of SS members by Himmler, however it was not
mandatory.

I may be quite wrong about it but it seems to me that the point was in detaching SS men from the influence of the church as an institution. In order not to be declared atheist (and associated to communism) one who had left the church declared himself a god-believer. I don't think it was related to someone's belief/religion but was simply a formal act infuenced by an ambition as promotion depended (was perceived to depend) on it.
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Re: Trial Erwin Rösener

Postby Hecht on 18 Sep 2013 20:05

cynthia wrote:Good photo...... I've never seen before. Thanks for posting.
Information that I have on "gottglaubig", comes from the book:
Leaders of the SS & German Police Volume 1 --- by Michael D. Miller........ with others

Page 502
gottglaubig
God-believing
Essentially a form of agnosticism, this designation was used in place of a religious denomination after one had left the church
("Kirchenaustritt"). This action was strongly encouraged and expected of SS members by Himmler, however it was not
mandatory.

Two examples:
Karl Hermann Frank -- page 364
Religion: Catholic until 03.11.1942 then declared himself "gottglaubig".

Hermann Fegelein -- page 315
Religion: Catholic until 19___. then left the church and declared himself "gottglaubig".


With all my deep respect to Miller, IMHO that can't be a form of agnosticism, at least not the agnosticism as was intended at the time, more likely some sort of "heresy", I think they are called in english Irreligious or Non-Religious; agnostics don't care about the existence of God, the Gottglaeublig were instead believers in God but they didn't care about religions.
Same mistake is often made with the word "Deutschglaeublig", often referred to as "Believer in Germany", while, in my opinion is something like "A German-style believer", something in between Lutheranism, the Deutsch Christen and old traditional pagan rites.
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Re: Trial Erwin Rösener

Postby trekker on 19 Sep 2013 06:48

cynthia wrote:Did Erwin Rosener have any remorse to what he was part of? Before they hanged him...... did he have any last words to say?

In his letter to Mrs Ingelotte Hommel from Wiesbaden of August 31, Rösener accused dr Rainer and dr Uiberreither of being guilty of all the misfortune in the area. They pushed thousands and thousands of families to mischief. They should be in Rösener's place. They used Rösener's name in a most shameful way as they used their power in general.

In a letter to his wife of August 31, Rösener accused dr Rainer and dr Uiberreither of being responsible of everything that had happened. He wrote he didn't feel guilty himself and while he could be an accomplice it was only unintentionally and it did not justify the sentence.

In his letter to his wife of September 4, he accused nazi leadership of telling lies and if someone opened his mouth he was immediately announced to gestapo by some local nazi leader who demanded punishment.
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