Beheadings in the Third Reich

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Paul53
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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 21 Dec 2008 13:42

Piotr,Amazon.de claims that this page does not exist.Have I made some error?

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by David Thompson » 21 Dec 2008 15:16

For some reason the hyperlink doesn't work, but if you cut and paste the full address into your browser's address bar, it takes you to the book.

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Sorry

Post by Piotr1 » 21 Dec 2008 15:23

The error was mine. Look please in Amazon for the book

Zentrale Hinrichtungsstätten: Der Vollzug der Todesstrafe in Deutschland von 1937-1945. Scharfrichter im Dritten Reich
Thomas Waltenbacher (Autor)

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 25 Dec 2008 13:46

Thanks for the excellent tip Piotr!

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 02 Jan 2009 23:33

Piotrs tip pays out in full..the book Zentrale Hinrichtungsstaetten is a wealth of information,featuring pictures of Gottlob Bordt and butcherers apprentice,Karl Henschke.The book gives an overview in the first chapters of the German policy regarding appliyng capital punishment, and of the considerations made by those responsable.A valuable contribution.|I did only receive it today.}

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by gordon anderson » 05 Jan 2009 06:09

Hello Paul, No good fallbeil pictures inthe book?any good descriptions? best Gordon

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 05 Jan 2009 19:44

Yes Gordon,there are a few photos that are quite interesting,although you might have them already.Three of them about the Poznan execution room with the dark tiles.From the text, it turns out that they were Antrazit colored, a very dark grey.The floor had light brown tiles.On the right of the Fallbeil there was a stove,a curious detail(no central heating, the room was said to have been consrtucted at the same time as the execution site in Brandenburg Gorden,april/may 1940. The text says:the construction was planned for january 1940 but could only begin after the winterfrost.In Poznan alone,47 death sentences had to be executed.
The new executioner for Poznan,Gottlob Bordt, was sworn in may 3th,1940,and executed his first victim on july 2th 1940. Bordt,at the time of this execution 58 years of age, was a salesman and representative for a magazine.He came as an assistant to Friedrich Hehr in 1938,and lived like Hehr in Hannover,in the same houseblock.They were more or less neighbours.Hehr tipped Bordt about the vacancy for a new Scharfrichter and Bordt succesfully applied. Bordt was required to move to Poznan,which he did.Bordt found himself 4 assistants,Karl Henschke one of them,as First executioners assistant.In the summer of 1942,Henschke was promoted to Scharfrichter himself,because of the ever increasing number of death seny\tences in the Wartheland(Poland)
In may 1942, it was decided that death sentences for Poles could be executed using the (short)drop hanging.In various prisons in Poland,gallows were erected.In Poznan alone,1680 death sentences were carried out until the evacuation of the prison in january 1945.
This book contains qiute a lot of information that was unknown to me before.More on that later

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 06 Jan 2009 16:11

check for the link working

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by gordon anderson » 06 Jan 2009 16:25

Thanks for the information on the book Paul. best Gordon

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 06 Jan 2009 16:41

Did anybody know this ? I certainly did not : Summer 1944,a new execution site was taken in use, this time in Warsaw.
This was said to relieve the overworked police,busy as they were shooting alledged insurgents.
The location of the execution site is not given,but I guess it may have been Pawiak prison.Problem was, the Germans had no Scharfrichter available.They tracked down a Polisch executioner,but he had no experience with using the Guillotine,and what was to the Germans more important quote...a non German couldt possibly be allowed to execute Germans ...unq.Eventually, the three Scharfrichter working in the east,Bordt,Henschke and Koster, were willing and able to serve Warschau.

All of the Fallbeil pictures in this book are eithewr from Mannhardt or stout Tegels.Pictures from Pankraz, Plotzensee(dating from april 1945,a picture that I never saw before)Poznan,Breslau,Brandenburg/Gorden,Wolfenbuttel and Vienna.The author states that from 1938 till 1945,14 Fallbeile were delivered by Tegel.From the photos that we have seen sofar only two or three are from Tegelettes.The text suggests that as the war dragged on,especially hardwood was in very short supply which is a possible reason.
Waltenbacher based his study for I should say about 90 percent on research of Bundesarchiv/alt R 22/Informationsdienst des Reichsministers der Justiz.Piotr gave a great tip.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 06 Jan 2009 16:55

Trouble with this book is that it does not contain a name index,which makes things abit complicated looking things up.Anyway, somewhere in the book(I will come back to that) I read that in the summer of 1942,I believe in Stettin or Schwerin, some looters were beheaded with an hand ax,following Schnellrecht,or swift justice.Also ,I thought that soldiers of army ,Kriegsmarine or Luftwaffe, wre treated as civilians from the onset of the war.This proved not to be the case however,it is said somewhere in the book that the practice of civilian justice for army members(the SS had its own courts) was introduced from somewhere in 1942(I will come back on that too as soon as I located the page)

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 06 Jan 2009 17:55

Please somebody give me a tip on how to put pictures on this forum

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 06 Jan 2009 20:44

Paul53 wrote:Trouble with this book is that it does not contain a name index,which makes things abit complicated looking things up.Anyway, somewhere in the book(I will come back to that) I read that in the summer of 1942,I believe in Stettin or Schwerin, some looters were beheaded with an hand ax,following Schnellrecht,or swift justice.Also ,I thought that soldiers of army ,Kriegsmarine or Luftwaffe, wre treated as civilians from the onset of the war.This proved not to be the case however,it is said somewhere in the book that the practice of civilian justice for army members(the SS had its own courts) was introduced from somewhere in 1942(I will come back on that too as soon as I located the page)
Nor does it contain a topic index.No author has ever,sofar,dealt with the question of the various types of Fallbeile or their number,or their various locations .This has only been mentioned in passing by the authors we so far discussed.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 07 Jan 2009 00:53

You will not believe it but I dont know how to empty my incoming message box. Sorry for that,I am a computer nil.So I cant answer PM now.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 07 Jan 2009 16:28

Some more info about the design process of the Fallbeil.
From a study,made in 1937 by members of th Reichjustizministerium, it became clear that the existing guillotines were for the most part unsuited for further use.Mannhardt &co manufactured in the 1850 six guillotines that were still in good shape ,but the rest of the machines in Germany were worn out.It was therefore decided,that Tegel prison,on grounds of secrecy,would manufacture the desired equipment.It was felt however,that the design had to be modernized,and Tegel did not have the capacity for designing the new machinery.The RJM turned to the PHYSIKALISCH_TECHNISCHE REICHSANSTALT in Berlin/Charlottenburg with a request for a new design.All design drawings of the already existing guillotines were gathered,together with models and were handed over to the PTR institute.The director of the PTR, prof.Stark and dr. Mettgenberg of the RJM had a meeting on 27/7/1937 to discuss what was wanted. The aim was for a single design that was as up to date as possible.Executioner Ernst Reindel was asked for technical support.A full sized model was manufactured in Tegel,and suggestions for improvement were made.Three Fallbeile were urgently needed,for Hamburg and Konigsberg prisons.The first two were much like the old Mannhardt types.The third one however,was quite different,and built as we now know the stout legged Tegels.
There were teething troubles however.Especially the tempering of the blades,also made in Tegel, was regarded as insufficient.While the blades were quite hard on the corners,so to speak, the cutting edge in the middle was,after a few executions, already bent and it was found that it was too soft on that spot.Friedrich Hehr reported that after only two executions,the blade had to be resharpened.Chipping of the cutting edge was also reported.In Konigsberg in was found that,after strong resistance of the convict,a part of his lower jaw was cut off, leading to the chipping of the blade.A new blade was delivered,and it was decided that a lether belt was introduced,preventing the head of the convict from bending too far into the bucket.Waltenbacher,page 29/32

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