5 SS and Luftwaffe Captain executed by firing squad

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William Kramer
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5 SS and Luftwaffe Captain executed by firing squad

Post by William Kramer » 09 Jun 2010 05:54

Hello all,

I came across this grouping with some interesting photos. Can anyone provide any information on the firing squad photos?
http://wehrmacht-awards.com/forums/show ... p?t=441463
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Xavier
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Re: 5 SS and Luftwaffe Captain executed by firing squad

Post by Xavier » 09 Jun 2010 16:18

Image
This is a photograph of officers of the Ninth Army timing four minutes to ensure a spy shot by firing squad is dead. This was an SS spy in civilian clothes, one of six tried and excecuted on June 14, 1945 near Braunschweig, Germany. Note the coffins in the background.

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William Kramer
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Re: 5 SS and Luftwaffe Captain executed by firing squad

Post by William Kramer » 10 Jun 2010 23:29

Hello there,
Thank you for the link, that helps with some information. Is there any way to find out who the SS men were or what they had done before the trial?
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ansata1976
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Re: 5 SS and Luftwaffe Captain executed by firing squad

Post by ansata1976 » 12 Jun 2010 14:52

And additional not only the names but also the date of birth and place of birth.
This would be great

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Re: 5 SS and Luftwaffe Captain executed by firing squad

Post by Xavier » 12 Jun 2010 16:05

I have no idea..
I saved the picture and the small paragraph providing the info more than 3 years ago, in the hope of more info surfacing later
,..anyone, please?
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Heimatschuss
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Re: 5 SS and Luftwaffe Captain executed by firing squad

Post by Heimatschuss » 15 Aug 2010 12:26

Hello,
found more pictures of the Brunswick executions in http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl . Click on the 'Zoek' tab and enter 'Braunschweig' as search term to make work the URLs below.
The six persons shot on June 14th, 1945 were:

An unnamed captain of a Volks-Grenadier-Regiment, 30 years old. Convicted for the murder of two Jewish POWs during the Battle of the Bulge.
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... ecordidx=1

Lt. Günther Schulz, 23 years old. Caught in an American uniform near Liege/Lüttich in Belgium.
Convicted for espionage.
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... cordidx=9#
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... cordidx=14

Hans Becker, SS trooper, 19 years old. Caught at Daseburg on April 5th, 1945 wearing civilian clothes.
Convicted for espionage.
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... ecordidx=4
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... cordidx=12

Karl Zimmermann, SS trooper, 24 years old. Caught at Daseburg on April 5th, 1945 wearing civilian clothes.
Convicted for espionage.
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... ecordidx=6
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... cordidx=15

Otto Teuteberg, SS trooper, 20 years old. Caught at Daseburg on April 5th, 1945 wearing civilian clothes.
Convicted for espionage.
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... cordidx=20
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... cordidx=25

Heinrich Rohlfing, SS trooper, 28 years old. Caught at Daseburg on April 5th, 1945 wearing civilian clothes.
Convicted for espionage.
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... cordidx=21
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... cordidx=22
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... cordidx=27

At least the Daseburg cases look a bit fishy to me. A total of four men spying on the US forces in a forgettable village?
Sounds more like stragglers caught and beaten into some wild confessions by their US interogators.

The case of Teuteberg is mentioned in passing by Lucas (1985, p.220) with the wrong location Duisburg. I've found nothing on the others but in Germany Günther Schulz, Hans Becker and Karl Zimmermann are names like John Smith.

James Lucas
Kommando: German special forces of World War Two
Arms and Armour Press; London; 1985

There was another execution in the same sand pit on June 1st, 1945 involving two members of the Hitler Youth also convicted for espionage:

- Heinz Petry, 16 years old, from Alsdorf
- Josef Schöner, 17 years old, from Euskirchen

Execution of Petry:
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... ecordidx=5
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... ecordidx=7
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... ecordidx=8
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... cordidx=10
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... cordidx=11
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... cordidx=13
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... cordidx=16
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... cordidx=17

Execution of Schöner:
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... cordidx=18
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... cordidx=19
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... cordidx=23
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... cordidx=24
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... cordidx=26

More information on the case of Petry & Schöner is in:

Erich Kern, Karl Balzer
Alliierte Verbrechen an Deutschen. Die verschwiegenen Opfer.
Schütz Verlag; Preussisch Oldendorf; 1980

Hans Josef Horchem
Kinder im Krieg. Kindheit und Jugend im Dritten Reich
Mittler Verlag; Hamburg, Berlin , Bonn, 2000

Karlheinz Weissmann
Die Besiegten. Die Deutschen in der Stunde des Zusammenbruchs 1945
Edition Antaios; Schnellroda; 2005

Best regards
Torsten
Last edited by Heimatschuss on 15 Aug 2010 23:01, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 5 SS and Luftwaffe Captain executed by firing squad

Post by Rob - wssob2 » 15 Aug 2010 13:15

A total of four men spying on the US forces in a forgettable village?

Perhaps no less forgettable a village than Amagansett, New York - where 4 Nazi spies were inserted by U-boat.
In the last stages of the war and into the summer of 1945 there were cases of "werewolf" espionage/sabotage activity against Allied forces. Perry Biddiscombe's works on the subject are excellent and definitely worth a read.

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Re: 5 SS and Luftwaffe Captain executed by firing squad

Post by ansata1976 » 15 Aug 2010 13:42

And what happened with Siegfried H. Benz (death sentence)
Siegfried H. Benz.jpg

source:http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/result.jsp
17-year-old Nazi sentenced to death by U.S. Court.
Siegfried H. Benz, 17-year-old Nazi SS member, is shown at Bad Harzburg, Germany, May 29, 1945, after being sentenced to death by a Ninth U.S. Army Military Government Court for preying on civilians near the town of Schierke. A companion was killed during capture. The manner of excution will be decided by a higher authority.
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Last edited by ansata1976 on 15 Aug 2010 17:15, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 5 SS and Luftwaffe Captain executed by firing squad

Post by Ossian » 15 Aug 2010 16:49

Heimatschuss wrote:An unnamed captain of a Volks-Grenadier-Regiment, 30 years old. Convicted for the murder of two Jewish POWs during the Battle of the Bulge.
http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/detail.jsp?a ... ecordidx=1

Curt Bruns was an officer in the Volks-Grenadier-Regiment sentenced to death for the murder of two American prisoners by a First Army military commission on 7th April, 1945. The memorandum I have on his case claims that he was executed on June 9th, 1945 by order of the Commanding General of the 12th Army Group. Personnel of the Ninth Army are said to have carried out the execution by shooting.

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Re: 5 SS and Luftwaffe Captain executed by firing squad

Post by Ossian » 15 Aug 2010 16:57

ansata1976 wrote:And what happened with Siegfried H. Benz (death sentence)
Siegfried H. Benz.jpg

source:http://www.beeldbankwo2.nl/result.jsp

According to an article in the Stars and Stripes (European edition, 8th February, 1948), Benz was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1945 for unlawful possession of firearms. He was released from custody in February, 1948, supposedly pardoned by order of Military Government.

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Re: 5 SS and Luftwaffe Captain executed by firing squad

Post by michael mills » 16 Aug 2010 07:22

In the last stages of the war and into the summer of 1945 there were cases of "werewolf" espionage/sabotage activity against Allied forces.


What would have been the legal standing of such acts under the international law of the time, assuming they were carried out before the German Government had ordered the surrender of its armed forces.

I ask that question since certain members of the Forum always condemn as illegal the execution by German armed forces of persons who performed acts of espionage and sabotage against enemy forces which had invaded their country, eg in Poland.

If, as RobWSSOB seems to be implying, it was justifiable for Allied armed forces to execute German boys of 16 and 17, members of the Hitler Youth, for "espionage" against enemies who had invaded their country, why was it not equally justifiable for German armed forces to execute Polish teenagers, members of Harcerstwo, for acts committed against the enemies who had invaded their country?

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Re: 5 SS and Luftwaffe Captain executed by firing squad

Post by Panzermahn » 16 Aug 2010 08:57

- Heinz Petry, 16 years old, from Alsdorf
- Josef Schöner, 17 years old, from Euskirchen

Perry Biddiscombe's book The Last Nazis (2004) mentioned about this case which received quite a coverage among British socialist newspapers especially since both were teenagers and were executed by the Americans.

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Re: 5 SS and Luftwaffe Captain executed by firing squad

Post by Penn44 » 16 Aug 2010 12:02

michael mills wrote:
In the last stages of the war and into the summer of 1945 there were cases of "werewolf" espionage/sabotage activity against Allied forces.

What would have been the legal standing of such acts under the international law of the time, assuming they were carried out before the German Government had ordered the surrender of its armed forces.
I ask that question since certain members of the Forum always condemn as illegal the execution by German armed forces of persons who performed acts of espionage and sabotage against enemy forces which had invaded their country, eg in Poland.
If, as RobWSSOB seems to be implying, it was justifiable for Allied armed forces to execute German boys of 16 and 17, members of the Hitler Youth, for "espionage" against enemies who had invaded their country, why was it not equally justifiable for German armed forces to execute Polish teenagers, members of Harcerstwo, for acts committed against the enemies who had invaded their country?

If the executions were carried out in accordance with international law, they were not illegal. As Alexander Rossino points out in Hitler Strikes Poland, in thousands of instances during the Polish campaign the Germans executed Poles without trial which were illegal acts.

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Re: 5 SS and Luftaffe Captain executed by firing squad

Post by PFLB » 16 Aug 2010 15:41

It has always been legal to execute inhabitants of occupied territories for participating in hostilities as francs tireurs and espionage (aka 'war treason'). The crucial point is whether they were sentenced to death in a fair trial.

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Re: 5 SS and Luftwaffe Captain executed by firing squad

Post by Heimatschuss » 16 Aug 2010 16:25

Hello Ossian,
many thanks for your additional information. Very helpful. Googling for Curt Bruns I found his trial took place in Düren (Rhineland) (Ziemke, 1975, p.391). Previously I had been a bit sceptical about the captions' information on Schulz because there's such a distance between his places of arrest (Eastern Belgium) and execution. But obviously the US Army really dragged these men with them for hundreds of miles before shooting them.
A file card relating to Heinz Petry is reproduced on p. 48 of Weissmann (2005).
Date of birth: 31.12.1928
Place of death: Densdorf
There's a village Denstorf 9 km W of Brunswick. North of the village Google Maps shows a number of sand pits.

References:
Karlheinz Weissmann
Die Besiegten. Die Deutschen in der Stunde des Zusammenbruchs 1945
Edition Antaios; Schnellroda; 2005

Ziemke, Earl F.
The U.S. Army in the Occupation of Germany 1944-1946.
Center for Military History, United States Army; Washington, D.C.; 1975

Best regards
Torsten

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