Beheadings in the Third Reich

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Pete26
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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Pete26 » 20 Feb 2009 18:26

Peter wrote:Scharfrichter - according to Wikipedia (so maybe or maybe not)

? Siller 1888-1926 (Württemberg)
Friedrich Reindel 1889-189? (Prussia)
Wilhelm Reindel 189?-1901 (Prussia)
Franz Xaver Reichhart 1894-1924 (Bavaria)
Benjamin Burckhardt -1896 (Baden)
Karl Burckhardt 1896-1935 (Baden, Württemberg and Hesse)
Lorenz Schwietz 1900-1913 (Prussia)
Richard Schwietz 1913-1915 (Prussia)
Alwin Engelhardt 1900-1906 (Prussia)
Karl Gröpler (also Carl Groepler) 1906-1936 (Prussia)
w:de:Moritz Brand “working” in 1908 (Saxonia)
Karl Müller 1908- after 1922 (Baden, since 1921 also Hesse)
Paul Späthe (also Paul Spaethe) 1913-1924 (Prussia, in 1923 also Saxony)
Hans Kordess -1918 (According to the New York Times, 25 April 1918
Konrad Widder 1922-1923 (Baden)
Joseph Kurzer 1924-1927 (Prussia)
Johann Baptist Reichhart 1924-1948/50
Fritz Reichelt 1927-1933 (Prussia)
Alwin Engelhardt 1933-1936 (Prussia) (the same Alwin Engelhardt who was in office from 1900 to 1906)
Friedrich Hehr 1935-1949 (Baden, Württemberg and Hesse)
Ernst Reindel 1936-1943 (sources vary about his start)
Gottlob Bordt 1940–1945
Karl Henschke 1943–1945
August Köster 1943–1945
Alois Weiß 1943–1945
Willi Röttger 1943–1945
Johann Mühl 1943–1945
Fritz Witzka 1943–1945
Alfred Roselieb 1944–945
Clemens D. after 1945, “working” in 1947
Horst S. after 1945, “working” in 1949
Heinz M. 1946–
Gustav Völpel 1946–1948 (it is not sure his if allegations of having been an executioner are true)
? Kleine 1940s (executed in 1946)
? Köster 1940s
? Ulitzke 1940s
? Korzer (also Kurzer) ? (Berlin)
Hermann Lorenz 1968–1981 (former East Germany)
There must be a book or two in existence somewhere that deals exclusively with German scharfrichters and their biographies. Anybody knows of such a book? There are several such books on English executioners.

gordon anderson
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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by gordon anderson » 20 Feb 2009 18:36

Pete26 wrote:
Peter wrote:Scharfrichter - according to Wikipedia (so maybe or maybe not)

? Siller 1888-1926 (Württemberg)
Friedrich Reindel 1889-189? (Prussia)
Wilhelm Reindel 189?-1901 (Prussia)
Franz Xaver Reichhart 1894-1924 (Bavaria)
Benjamin Burckhardt -1896 (Baden)
Karl Burckhardt 1896-1935 (Baden, Württemberg and Hesse)
Lorenz Schwietz 1900-1913 (Prussia)
Richard Schwietz 1913-1915 (Prussia)
Alwin Engelhardt 1900-1906 (Prussia)
Karl Gröpler (also Carl Groepler) 1906-1936 (Prussia)
w:de:Moritz Brand “working” in 1908 (Saxonia)
Karl Müller 1908- after 1922 (Baden, since 1921 also Hesse)
Paul Späthe (also Paul Spaethe) 1913-1924 (Prussia, in 1923 also Saxony)
Hans Kordess -1918 (According to the New York Times, 25 April 1918
Konrad Widder 1922-1923 (Baden)
Joseph Kurzer 1924-1927 (Prussia)
Johann Baptist Reichhart 1924-1948/50
Fritz Reichelt 1927-1933 (Prussia)
Alwin Engelhardt 1933-1936 (Prussia) (the same Alwin Engelhardt who was in office from 1900 to 1906)
Friedrich Hehr 1935-1949 (Baden, Württemberg and Hesse)
Ernst Reindel 1936-1943 (sources vary about his start)
Gottlob Bordt 1940–1945
Karl Henschke 1943–1945
August Köster 1943–1945
Alois Weiß 1943–1945
Willi Röttger 1943–1945
Johann Mühl 1943–1945
Fritz Witzka 1943–1945
Alfred Roselieb 1944–945
Clemens D. after 1945, “working” in 1947
Horst S. after 1945, “working” in 1949
Heinz M. 1946–
Gustav Völpel 1946–1948 (it is not sure his if allegations of having been an executioner are true)
? Kleine 1940s (executed in 1946)
? Köster 1940s
? Ulitzke 1940s
? Korzer (also Kurzer) ? (Berlin)
Hermann Lorenz 1968–1981 (former East Germany)
There must be a book or two in existence somewhere that deals exclusively with German scharfrichters and their biographies. Anybody knows of such a book? There are several such books on English executioners.
I am amazed Kisslinger isn't mentioned. Xaver Reichhart was his first assistant before he became the main Scharfrichter, himself . Wonderful work Paul. Great translations--- congratulations __Gordon

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 20 Feb 2009 19:23

A post mysteriously disappeared...perhaps pressed the wrong button. Here is it again:

The reply from Berlin was:"" The nourishing of the Scharfrichter is not dealt with in the contracts.But the allowance is just,because under the given circumstances, it will be difficult for the Scharfrichter and his aids, to find any restaurant in the neighbourhood of the prison.On grounds of secrecy too, the nourishing of the Scharfrichter team is desired to take place in the prison itself.In this matter, Brandenburg/Gorden is to be contacted by telephone.""

Regarding the Koln executions,and the use of prison officials for executions, it was aswered, that""there was no such thing as a Scharfrichter privilege"""(!)

The claim of Reichart for an explanation,was forcefully rejected.
As a result of the telephone discussion with the leader of the prison Brandenburg/Gorden,the result was:

""Reichart has had every opertunity to have the prison meals,if only he returned nourishments cards (.Lebensmittelkarten)
He always refused to do this.Already from grounds of economy .the prison must insist for Reichart to pay Reichsmarks instead.Otherwise, Reichart would have had an advantage a a user of nourishment articles,which could not be accounted for.At the Brandenburg prison,a canteen is located near the main entrance.The keeper is held(as is known to the prison board of Directors) to offer the officials that are to take part in execution activity,food and drinks from the evening before executions, untill 22 or 23 00 hours.Reichart had thus enough time to dine.""

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Paul53
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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 20 Feb 2009 19:35

As promised,I did my best to give a word-by-word translation. The text gives an interesting impression on everyday life in Nazi Germany,and is not all too different from what things are now.

To be continued.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 20 Feb 2009 19:50

Pete26 wrote:
Paul53 wrote: Because I cannot in any case be late,while this would cause very serious trouble with the execution on a given time,I request permission to drive,outside villages,and on the Autobahn,with a maximum speed of 100 km/h.
Paul, any idea what the actual speed limit was on open roads in Germany at that time? I would guess maybe 80 km/h (50 MPH). Given the circumstances described, I do not see Reichhart's request as unreasonable, especially that he limited his proposed maximum speed to 100 km/h (62 MPH).

I wonder, how exactly did they catch speeders back then? They obviously had no radar guns in their police cars.
I think you are right with the 80 or 90 km/h,I think the latter.Reicharts requests are certainly not unreasonable, but they apparently fell on deaf ears.Ordnung muss sein! Order must be!Allowing the claim, would have meant that Reichart was more or less above the rules and that could just not be in Nazi Germany.

Pete26
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Axe beheading

Post by Pete26 » 21 Feb 2009 03:57

Has anybody seen any actual photographs of an axe beheading? Is there perhaps a film somewhere in the German archives of an actual axe beheading?

There are plenty of photos of sword beheadings. I have not seen a film of one though.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by David Thompson » 21 Feb 2009 06:32

Let's not get any more grisly than necessary. Leave a link (if there is one) and let's move on.

gordon anderson
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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by gordon anderson » 22 Feb 2009 05:52

With compliments: Thanks Paul --for the interesting information you are translating for us ! Best Gordon . Photo: The Mainz Fallbeil of North Rhine-Westphalia (German: Nordrhein-Westfalen)---built after the war by Otto Tiggermann in 1949 but never used .
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Pete26
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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Pete26 » 22 Feb 2009 06:24

Gordon, this same photograph appears on the cover of the book "Lebenslanglich Todesstrafe" by Friedrich Kuppersbusch and Oliver Becker.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by gordon anderson » 22 Feb 2009 07:05

Yes I know, I was given that book while I was in Germany in 2003 . Actally by the "specialist" who showed me the films I described to you in a pm. Others may not have the book nor the original full photo without the text.

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Werner Gladow execution

Post by Pete26 » 23 Feb 2009 05:58

According to the article in German wikipedia, the guillotine blade got stuck partially imbedded in Werner Gladow's neck when he was guillotined in Frankfurt on 5 December 1950. He was supposedly screaming in pain when this happened. Evidently it took three attempts to accomplish the beheading. Has anyone heard of this before? Botched guillotine executions are always fascinating. A more accurate translation would be appreciated. Paul, could you accurately translate the last three sentences in the "Leben" section of the article?

http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Werner_Gladow

Anybody knows what type of fallbeil was used in this execution and who was the executioner?

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 23 Feb 2009 14:12

Sorry, I had computer trouble for several days.

This Werner Gladow was ,from the article, an admirer of Al Capone and imitated him as much as he could. He formed a gang around him,and worked his way up from petty thefts to bank robbery and a raid on a police station to collect firearms.
The first death victims fell at a botched bank robbery.Gladow commited the crimes in west Berlin ,and every time, fled to east Berlin were the west police had no jurisdiction.
Finally,Gladow was betrayed by one of his gang members to the east German police,in the house where he lived with his mother.After a firefight of a full hour,in which his mother assisted him by reloading his two pistols and pointing out targets, Gladow(18) received a well-placed slug in a leg,and was apprehended.

He was sentenced to death in Frankfurt an der Oder(the second Frankfurt,a short distance from the Polish border,so in East Germany,in 1950 together with two gang members.They had to give three blows with the Fallbail,Gladow screaming madly all the while.The job was finished the third time. The state prosecuter,who was present, fainted.

A few films were made of the Gladow gang. In one of the films, the constant drone of the allied planes( the Rosinenbomber,the raisins bombers)supplying west Berlin during the Russian blockade, is constantly audible in the backround.A plane is said to land every three minutes.
Last edited by Paul53 on 23 Feb 2009 22:38, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 23 Feb 2009 17:00

Reichart contunued.

With the newly build execution sites and the increase in the number of executioners, the execution administrative areas and,with them, the responsabilities of the various Scharfrichter changed from time to time.In fbruary 1943, Alois Weiss left the Scharfrichterkommando Reichart,to become active as the Scharfrichter for the newly erected execution site for the Bohemia/Moravia area in Prague.At about the same time, Reichart travelled to Berlin,to be informed as ordered, by executioner Rottger about the technical aspects of hanging, and to view the new hanging provision.
Reicharts execution area included at the beginning of 1944,apart from Muenchen/Stadelheim and Stuttgart,the centran execution sites in Vienna and Graz.On grounds of simplification,a new executioner was appointed for Graz, housed in Vienna(Fritz Witzka)
On the same grounds, Vienna was served from this time on by the Prague Scharfrichter,Alois Weiss.Reichart lost Graz,and seldom got contracts for Vienna:""To relieve Scharfrichter Reichart,executioner Weiss can be deployed in Vienna,presumably 1 to 2 times a week,on the condition that he can be missed in Prague.""

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 23 Feb 2009 18:53

Reichart,whose execution area was not yet changed formally,saw his income and the lovely times that he had had in Vienna,threathened, and requested to keep his present execution area:""After the Vienna area was promised to me, and after I fullfilled my duty there in the most precise way,I request,after not having been in Vienna anymore during the last months,as Graz executes themself,to keep the Vienna area.Reason: I am already active as executioner since 20 years,by recommandation of my uncle as predecessor, who was active for over 40 years;I begun small and with very little salary, had to give up my employment as restaurant/hotel keeper and as leader of a transport company and went abroad in order to gain myself an income,yet I did serve from Holland(he had a vegetable store in the Hague),although I gained nothing by it financially.I came back to Germany 1933;I performed my service as Scharfrichter,I believe,with the utmost care and down-to-earthness.I never complained about my long trips to Muenich/Koln/Berlin/Brandenburg/Dresden/Breslau/Vienna, although I drove these distances at that time,alone and by car.Also,I most punctually did my service in the Vienna area from the onset,and never complained about my duties being too much of a strain.
Therefor,I request that I could keep the Vienna area,together with Graz,and that you will grant my request.The reason for my aforementioned request is,that during the last few months,the executions in Vienna are carried out from Prague""


Four months later, the new change in the Scharfrichter areas was confirmed officially.The RJM was not able to secure the various areas to individual Scharfrichter.Reichart only posessed the Muenich/Stadelheim and Stuttgart sites.However, soon ,his execution area would have been added Bruchsal prison_ of which he had no way of knowing then.
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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Paul53 » 23 Feb 2009 19:26

Reichart continuously sought ways to improve the execution procedure,to keep it as short as possible.Reichart regarded the binding of the convicts with ropes, as too clumsy,and recommended the"" double criminal patent cuff"",a simple cuffwith a square lock,that was holding the convict, as did a nutcracker,from the time he or she left the cell, until the moment of execution. He did his best to abolish the use of the blindfold,that was used in Muenich/Stadelheim, Vienna and Stuttgart,after he had established, that very often,the convicts, in their desperation,accidently removed the blindfolds with movements of their shoulders, and terror-struck saw the Fallbeil rise up before them at the time of execution.
At the same time, he was in favor of the abolishment of the movable execution bench,in practice and regarded as nessesary outside Prussia at that time,and of the strapping of the convict to that bench which often took a long time,when the assistants failed to attach the straps right immediately.

The responsable State Prosecuters Office in Muenich was at first critical about these measures however:"" During the last months, executioner Reichart has several times,failed to apply the rules for execution,to be exact the binding of the blindfold, and even the strapping on the bench of the Judicial execution Apparatus(Richtgeraet)He referred hereby to the experience of other Scharfrichter.Apparently, he has the ambition to spare a few seconds.I have reprimanded him sharply, especially in relation to the strapping on the bench,failing which serious consequences may result and reminded him,that the act of execution ,in spite of all the required speed, should be worthy and seriously;in any case, this procedure is not the place to break records.From now on ,the old method is again used.By the way, Reichart has no respect for this""
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