This is an apolitical forum for discussions on the Axis nations, as well as the First and Second World Wars in general hosted by Marcus Wendel's Axis History Factbook in cooperation with Michael Miller's Axis Biographical Research and Christoph Awender's WW2 day by day.
From 1871 German law stated that all condemned criminals must be decapitated but allowed both the axe and the guillotine. The guillotine was also used in Greece, Switzerland and Sweden. Sweden used the guillotine once, in 1910, when Alfred Ander was executed for armed robbery. It was to be Sweden's last execution. During the Nazi period, 1933-1945, 20 guillotines were used in Germany and Austria (from 1938). Hitler considered it a demeaning form of punishment and used it for political executions. 20,000 had a date with Madame la Guillotine in 1942 and 1943.
It has been estimated that 16.000 persons, maybe as many as 20.000, were guillotined by the Nazis, more than were killed by the guillotine in France during the revolution. After the war, the guillotine was last used in the Bundesrepublik Deutschland (West Germany) on May 11, 1949, when the murderer Berthold Wehmeyer was beheaded.
East Germany continued to use the guillotine for a few more years afterwards.
…20 guillotines were used in Germany and Austria (from 1938). Hitler considered it a demeaning form of punishment and used it for political executions.
Moulded wrote:And its use at Plötzensee: On only one night, on 14 September 1943, 186 humans in Ploetzensee, Berlin, by the drop hatchet were executed. For the individual execution hardly more than 10 seconds time was stressed.
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