Beheadings in the Third Reich

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Paul53
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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 17 Feb 2009 10:39

A bit more of small talk,gathering strength for the next long chapter on Muenich/Stadelheim and Reichart. 8O Spanner let his students manufacture skeletons,after he processed the bodies.Usually, it was not possible anymore to establish,which skull belonged to which body.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by fredric » 17 Feb 2009 20:43

Paul53 wrote:A bit more of small talk,gathering strength for the next long chapter on Muenich/Stadelheim and Reichart. 8O Spanner let his students manufacture skeletons,after he processed the bodies.Usually, it was not possible anymore to establish,which skull belonged to which body.
Paul, is the information on Spanner from the book you are translating? I support you in posting the Spanner information and the shocking images. This subject often has been tainted with myths but the information you bring to light is important and factual.
The Stadelheim information, if you have time, should be completely translated. All information on the Mannhardt fallbeil at Stadelheim is important. Was it ever supplemented or replaced with a Tegel? I assume the book has information on its reported transfer to Straubing and subsequent its sinking (by the Germans or by U.S. troops?) in the Danube. The Sophie Scholl film shows her being executed on a Tegel (borrowed from Vienna for the film) and this is incorrect. I think the White Rose group all were beheaded on the old 1854 machine. I think you or someone asked about photos of the execution chamber. The only interior photo I have seen is the one you posted which is in the Dachs' book. An exterior photo of the small, white building where bodies were kept is also on the web (Der Speigel archives) This building may be beside the execution chamber. I'd post this photo but do not know how.
Reichhart apparently liked to be photographed. Are there any new photos of Johann in the book?
Keep up the translations which are very appreciated.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Pete26 » 18 Feb 2009 04:37

fredric wrote: The Sophie Scholl film shows her being executed on a Tegel (borrowed from Vienna for the film) and this is incorrect. I think the White Rose group all were beheaded on the old 1854 machine. I think you or someone asked about photos of the execution chamber. The only interior photo I have seen is the one you posted which is in the Dachs' book. An exterior photo of the small, white building where bodies were kept is also on the web (Der Speigel archives) This building may be beside the execution chamber. I'd post this photo but do not know how.
Reichhart apparently liked to be photographed. Are there any new photos of Johann in the book?
Keep up the translations which are very appreciated.
Piotr posted the clip from the previous Scholl movie showing the execution scene and even though the fallbeil is obviously a stage prop job, the execution room looks more credible that the one in the second movie.

We know that the bodies of the Scholl siblings and Ch. Probst were released to their families for burial without being dissected or autopsied. Therefore they had to be kept in some morgue at the prison until that time. You mentioned the white building where bodies were kept. I asked this question some time ago but got no answer: Did they have refrigerated compartments to keep the bodies decay free until released for burial? I also wonder what did they do with the severed heads before releasing the bodies to the families - did some prison doctor or mortician saw the heads back on, or was that done at some funeral home later on? I find it hard to believe that the families would allow the bodies to be buried with the heads between the legs, or not reattached to the neck. The fact that the Scholls and Probst were buried in the Perlach Forest Cemetery adjacent to the prison suggests that there may have been severe restrictions placed on disposal of their bodies. Nazis did not want martyrs and I am sure that they supervised the funeral to ensure that everything was done quickly and without knowledge of the public. Are these assumptions correct?

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by fredric » 18 Feb 2009 06:14

Pete26 wrote:
fredric wrote: The Sophie Scholl film shows her being executed on a Tegel (borrowed from Vienna for the film) and this is incorrect. I think the White Rose group all were beheaded on the old 1854 machine. I think you or someone asked about photos of the execution chamber. The only interior photo I have seen is the one you posted which is in the Dachs' book. An exterior photo of the small, white building where bodies were kept is also on the web (Der Speigel archives) This building may be beside the execution chamber. I'd post this photo but do not know how.
Reichhart apparently liked to be photographed. Are there any new photos of Johann in the book?
Keep up the translations which are very appreciated.
Piotr posted the clip from the previous Scholl movie showing the execution scene and even though the fallbeil is obviously a stage prop job, the execution room looks more credible that the one in the second movie.

We know that the bodies of the Scholl siblings and Ch. Probst were released to their families for burial without being dissected or autopsied. Therefore they had to be kept in some morgue at the prison until that time. You mentioned the white building where bodies were kept. I asked this question some time ago but got no answer: Did they have refrigerated compartments to keep the bodies decay free until released for burial? I also wonder what did they do with the severed heads before releasing the bodies to the families - did some prison doctor or mortician saw the heads back on, or was that done at some funeral home later on? I find it hard to believe that the families would allow the bodies to be buried with the heads between the legs, or not reattached to the neck. The fact that the Scholls and Probst were buried in the Perlach Forest Cemetery adjacent to the prison suggests that there may have been severe restrictions placed on disposal of their bodies. Nazis did not want martyrs and I am sure that they supervised the funeral to ensure that everything was done quickly and without knowledge of the public. Are these assumptions correct?
Good questions. I believe that Inge Scholl (sister) said that she and her mother visited the graves the day after the executions, travelling to Munich from Ulm. No details regarding the bodies was given or whether they viewed them to confirm the burials. I think we can assume Stadelheim officials had the bodies immediately buried and did not reattach the heads. A possible source for more information about the bodies/burial might be writings the prison chaplain, Father Alt, who died in 1950 but I do not know if he left any notes or diaries. The small building where bodies were kept could have been refrigerated. The room in the recent film to me seems wrong...too big...and the execution is stretched out for dramatic effect. I have posted the exact time the execution taken from the original execution report. The 1985 film execution setting is better but the rest is no better. I have not yet seen a film that accurately depicts a fallbeil execution.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 18 Feb 2009 11:15

Thanks for the support Fredrick.First of all, I can post all the pictures that I have on the Spanner activities,as well as the original text,if you will,and if it is allowed.The texy is based on a testimony by a Zofia Nalkowska,not an unknown name in this field.
Next,I have visited the graves of Hans and Sofie Scholl.The cemetary neighbours directly on the prison,to the left.Immediately left of the entrance the grave is ,rather prominently,located.

As far as I know, the Mannhardt was used till the end of the waras I never saw any story reporting otherwise.

I never saw any footage or report about a fridge for keeping executed bodies in.I guess(only a guess) that the coffins were not allowed to be opened by the families of the executed.

Yes,I will do my best to give a word-by-word translation of the Reichart/Munchen part,which is very long and will be subdivided.There are some unknown photos of Reicharts activities as a hangman for the allies included,among them, one of Reicharts assistants carrying away a coffin of one of the executed.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 18 Feb 2009 11:20

I forgot to say,that Spanners activities are frome a book about the Holocaust,by the Belgian Holocaust survivor Ludo van Eck.Called ""Het boek der Kampen""

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Peter » 18 Feb 2009 11:43

Have photos survived of Gropler, Reindel, Muehl, Kleine, Reichhart, Rottger, etc ?

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by gordon anderson » 18 Feb 2009 15:25

I agree with Frederick that the photos should be published, after all ----- they are published in serious books and are of historical importance. Any historical site should welcome them -----especially in this section which discusses this subject. Thanks agan Paul for all the interesting news. As an aside , the fallbeil of stadleheim was an 1854 model never was later swapped for a Tegel version as someone posted a while ago. There was only one fallbeil ever at Stadleheim according to Johann Reichhart's notes and an interview with him. He says it was "dumped in the Straubing river in the spring of 1945 " as american soldiers approached.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 18 Feb 2009 16:02

If everybody agrees,I will post the rest of the Spanner material that I have.Graphic,but not more so than the one already posted.Situation is at first sight, not unlike other dissecting institutions in that periode.And Spanner was a professor in anatomy at Danzig University after all.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by htk » 18 Feb 2009 16:42

regarding Scholl & Co is there a more profound question; why have they been buried ? normal practice was that executed convicts where given to the docters. So why have they been buried ??

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by David Thompson » 18 Feb 2009 16:55

A number of photographs of severed heads, mutilated corpses, etc. were removed by this moderator pursuant to the section rules on graphic images:
3. Atrocity photographs

Atrocity photographs are not specifically covered in the forum rules. The policy here is, if the photos are "graphic," the contributor should post a link to the photographs, rather than the photographs themselves, so that the other viewers have a choice as to whether or not to take a look.

That leaves us with the question of what is "graphic." This is apparently discretionary with the moderator/host. Here's my view on it:

I don't care who is supposed to have committed the atrocities in the photographs. Whether the subject matter is Nazi, communist, ethnic, regional, racial, religious or any other type of atrocity, links and descriptions should be posted for the following classes of photographs and illustrations:

(a) Mutilated persons, alive or dead;

(b) Severed body parts, insufficient in themselves to constitute a person; and

(c) Dead persons who are not only dead, but who clearly appear to be the worse for wear.


There are specialty sites which cater to necro-voyeurs, but this isn't one of them. In case of doubt, ask first via private message.

Noncomplying posts will be deleted without warning.
H&WC Section Rules
http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic.php?t=53962

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 18 Feb 2009 17:09

For some unknown reason,my pc fails to send the last two photos,showing two more heads and a piece of tattood skin. Do not contribute very much. I will give facts from the text as Spanner processed those guillotined in Danzig prison as well, and then continue with Stadelheim.

Apart from manufacturing the soap, Spanner prepared the skin of the processed,for unknown purposes,probably the same as in some of the concentration camps.
Spanner called his soap ""Koitek"" after the Tchech girl he had as concubine.At first, he had difficulties in obtaining enough bodies for his production. He collected them from a mental intitution in Danzig.It did not deliver enough.Then,the guillotine arrived in Danzig prison (april 23th 1944) As posted a long time ago, Spanner was invited at the opening ceremony,that ended with the beheading of three German soldiers.The guillotine did not produce enough bodies either.Spanner then turned to nearby Stutthof concentration canp from where he received bodies in abundance.Although the inmates were emaciated, each body still contained enough fat for Spanner to process.Spanner burned the flesh,which lead to complaints of the neighbouring residents.

Spanner worked with dr.Wohlmann.His preperator was a certain von Bergen.Certain ""Trustworthy""students assisted in the process.
The resulting soap product was said to have a foul smell.Spanner requested and was allowed perfumes and chemicals to let the soap harden out.Most of the ""human material"" that Spanner used, was Polish and/or Jewish.

Spanner is reported to have used his soap for personal hygiene,and for washing the dishes with,out of principle.

His soap factory had been visited by professors Klotz, Schmidt and Rossmann, also by the Reich minister of Public Health(Dr Leonardo Conti,suicide 1945)the Reich minister of National education, and notably, Gauleiter Albert Foster.

Among the German student population at Danzig University, Spanner was not popular, to say the least.With exceptions unfortunately.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 18 Feb 2009 17:13

Please give a clue then of how to make a link.Anyway,this was to be expected,although I fully agree with Fredric and Gordon about the historical value of the posted matter.
Last edited by Paul53 on 18 Feb 2009 17:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 18 Feb 2009 17:19

htk wrote:regarding Scholl & Co is there a more profound question; why have they been buried ? normal practice was that executed convicts where given to the docters. So why have they been buried ??
Speculation,but it may be that the authoreties feared the reaction of the student population, as the movement Die Weisse Rose was far from unknown in Muenich.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 18 Feb 2009 18:13

Execution Bezirk 8.
Muenchen/Stadelheim,Stuttgart,Bruchsal.
Part 1.As promised,a word by word translation so far is possible.

Johann Reichart,living in Muenchen, was one of the first contracted executioners working for the RJM.Untill the end of the war, his worksites were mainly in the south of Germany_Muenchen/Stadelheim, Stuttgart and Bruchsal.Before the amount of Scharfrichter in Gern\many was increased and the executions sites were newly established, he had also to execute in the central execution sites in Dresden, Weimar, Frankfurt am Main, Prague, Vienna and Graz,and as a replacement, in Berlin/Plotzensee,Brandenburg/Gorden, Koln and Breslau.

Reichart,born april 29th 1893 in Wichenbach near Worth on the Donau(Danube)came from a family that had delivered executioners for centuries.Reichart came to his profession by an uncle,the Bavarian executioner Franz Xaver Reichart, whose job he took over 1924.In 1934, Reichart arranged another term as serving executioner for the Reichsjustizverwaltung.In the course of time, he was active with the 35 years old Coach entepreneur Karl S, the storehouse employee,35 year old Josef E, the salesman Josef N,the 38 years old portier Franz Z,the 31 years old Salesman Alois Weiss, and with his older brother Georg Reichart as assistants.For travelling to the executin sites, the Reichart execution commando used either the train or the car.As far as the train was concerned ,only train tickets 3th class were allowed them,but they had the right to use the express trains when required.

In the often overcrowded trains, they frequently had to fight for free places ,or had to leave their places for guests with a reservation.That is why Reichart requested for the during availability of train tickets for him and his crew.The availability of places however, could not be guaranteed by the RJM.That is why, in sofar the necessary petrol was available, the execution commando Reichart used the car.In 1941, the executiontime in Koln prison had to be postponed, because Reicharts car had engine trouble.The time that the two condemned were informed of their sentence had therefore be delayed from 1900 hours till 20.50 resp.20.55,contrary to what was decided upon with the State Prosecuter.
""In relation to the delay, Reichart indicated,he could not use his car,as usual for the travel to Koln, because it had engine trouble,and so he was depending on using the Express train that was due to arrive according to sceme at Koln at 19.56 hours.The train was delayed for about 15 minutes.He informed the State Prosecutor in Koln of the delay that was caused by the use of the express train,and requested to inform us here about that.But we have received no message about that here ""


Reichart was driver of a Fiat-Ardita sportscar,and a Opel Super 6 as replacement.The Fiat-Ardita had a top speed of 140 km/h.In september 1942, he asked the RJM for an allowance to drive faster than the usual speed limit and for a exception to be made for the cars headlights cover at night drives.Both requests were denied.

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