Beheadings in the Third Reich

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fredric
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Re: Reindel book axe execution photos

Post by fredric » 15 Nov 2011 18:19

tomh wrote:Hello People, I have been following this very interesting thread for quite some time now and now I finally decided to join the forum. This is my first post.
fredric wrote: Mr. Blazek says the photos are the only known images of an axe execution and that they were given to (?) or discovered (?) in the Braunschweig Museum archives in 1924. They show the execution of 27 year old Polish worker Anton Giepsz on 17 April 1885 in the Braunschweig Prison yard as the sentence is read and at the moment the axe falls in a blur.
If this goes off topic, please forgive me that, but I believe some of you might be iterested to know that these two are actually not the only known images of an axe execution.
This image shows the execution of Gustav Adolf Eriksson Hjert in Södermanland, Sweden the 18th of May 1876.
hjert.jpg
http://sv.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fil:Avr%C3 ... %A4rad.jpg

Hjert and his accomplice, Konrad Petterson Lundqvist Tector, were both beheaded by axe simultaneously at different locations. These two were the last public executions in Sweden.
My "translation" of is misleading because I think Blazek is saying the Braunschweig photos are the only ones found to date of an axe execution in Germany and the only photo known of Reindel. I did not mean to imply that they are the only existing photos of an axe execution. The Swedish photo is well known. The Swedish technique is different from the German as you can see. I have to believe axe and fallbeil documentary photos taken in Germany must reside in some archives...somewhere. I also believe photos of Nazi era scharfrichters, if only i.d. card photos, must be in a file...somewhere...maybe also in family records.

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Die Letzten Tage movie execution scene

Post by Pete26 » 16 Nov 2011 00:45

Some time ago we discussed the Letzten Tage movie and noted that the leather strap was not used in filming of Sophie's execution scene. Well it turns out that this strap was not removed from the fallbeil, but it was disconnected from one of the pins and let hang on one side, presumably so a clear head shot of the actress (Julia Jentsch) could be taken just prior to falling of the blade.

Image

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Last Swiss guillotine execution

Post by Pete26 » 16 Nov 2011 02:54

This execution took place on 18 October 1940 in Engelberg, Switzerland. Hans Wollenweider was beheaded for murder. The identity of the executioner was kept secret. The article shows some close ups of the Swiss guillotine. Note the canvas bucket. The winch is located on the left side of the guillotine (looking from the end of the bench forward). German fallbeils had the winch mounted on the opposite side.

http://www.onz.ch/artikel/103295

Click on each photo to enlarge it.
Last edited by Pete26 on 16 Nov 2011 04:14, edited 2 times in total.

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Execution of Klemens Bernet

Post by Pete26 » 16 Nov 2011 04:03

Klemenz Bernet, a convicted murderer, was guillotined in the prison courtyard in Altdorf, Switzerland on 29 October 1924. On 31 August 1924 he murdered a 15 year old girl. He was sentenced to death on 17 October 1924, and less than two weeks later the sentence was carried out.

http://www.altdorf.ch/de/alle/portrait/ ... fo_id=1509

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An eyewitness acount of executions at Wolfenbuttel

Post by Pete26 » 16 Nov 2011 04:30

An interesting article describing an eyewitness account of the fallbeil execution procedure in the Wolfenbuttel prison by pastor Hans Hunecke. He mentions that the blood spurted with a loud hiss immediately after the blade fell. The prisoners were placed on the guillotine bench with their abdomen down, so any stories of face up beheadings at Wolfenbuttel are probably not true. The condemned were told of their impending execution at 7 o'clock in the evening prior to the execution and taken back to their cells. The executions were carried out at 5 AM the next day.

http://www.vernetztes-gedaechtnis.de/pd ... eckevg.pdf

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A guillotine video

Post by Pete26 » 17 Nov 2011 04:38


Pete26
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Postwar guillotine executions at Munchner Platz, Dresden

Post by Pete26 » 18 Nov 2011 01:59

Between 1952 and 1956, 66 people were executed by guillotine at Munchner Platz, Dresden, the former Nazi execution site.

http://www.orte-der-repression.de/einrichtung.php?id=52

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Wartime executions at Munchner Platz, Dresden

Post by Pete26 » 18 Nov 2011 02:15

The executions typically were carried out starting at 1800 hours. Until 1943, most bodies of the executed were sent to anatomical institutes in Leipzig and Halle for dissection. After 1943, most of the bodies were buried in one of Dresden's cemeteries. The Catholics were buried in the Catholic cemetery next to Bremer Street. The faithless and Evangelical Christians at the St. John's cemetery in Dresden Telkewitz. The graves of the executed in the Catholic cemetery typically contain 4 coffins stacked on top of another.

http://www.st-paulus-dresden.de/selige_baensch.htm

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Summary of guillotine executions in Switzerland

Post by Pete26 » 18 Nov 2011 04:47


Pete26
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Plotzebsee fallbeil photos

Post by Pete26 » 20 Nov 2011 23:17

I found these photos of the Plotzensee fallbeil, which I have not seen published before. Are these photos rare? In the first photo there is still rope on the winch running through the upper pulley and the blood chute is visible. The rope appears to be damaged. You can also see that the windows on the entry door wall of the execution chamber had shutters too. There were shutters on the front windows, under the hanging beam visible in other photos.

In the second photo, the rope and blood chute on the fallbeil are missing, and the basin appears to have a hole in the bottom, as if a large chunk of debris fell from the ceiling into the basin and ripped out the bottom and tore off the chute as well during the bombing raid.

http://www.science-at-home.net/gallery/ ... m=2&pos=56

http://www.evangelisch.de/themen/gesell ... -juli44825

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fredric
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Re: Plotzebsee fallbeil photos

Post by fredric » 21 Nov 2011 08:50

Pete26 wrote:I found these photos of the Plotzensee fallbeil, which I have not seen published before. Are these photos rare? In the first photo there is still rope on the winch running through the upper pulley and the blood chute is visible. The rope appears to be damaged. You can also see that the windows on the entry door wall of the execution chamber had shutters too. There were shutters on the front windows, under the hanging beam visible in other photos.

In the second photo, the rope and blood chute on the fallbeil are missing, and the basin appears to have a hole in the bottom, as if a large chunk of debris fell from the ceiling into the basin and ripped out the bottom and tore off the chute as well during the bombing raid.

http://www.science-at-home.net/gallery/ ... m=2&pos=56

http://www.evangelisch.de/themen/gesell ... -juli44825

The photos are not rare. But it is good you posted the links in case anyone has not seen these important images. They contain so much information. Both were taken by the Soviet troops when they seized Plotzensee in May, 1945. The Soviets also filmed the execution room at the same time as these still photos were taken. I have seen found a few still frames from this film footage.

The gallery where you found the first photo dates it as taken in "1945", two years after the Sept. 1943 air raid that damaged the Plotzensee fallbeil and destroyed half of the execution building. The German Resistance Memorial Center identifies the second photo as "The guillotine after liberation of the prison by Soviet troops, May, 1945". The damage to the room seen in the photos must have occurred when the prison was seized. However the damage (especially to the ceiling) has led to the idea that these photos were taken by the Germans at the time of the Sept. 1943 bombing but this is wrong. Half the execution building was destroyed in the air raid (I recently found a photo showing the air raid damage to the exterior of the execution building). Most of Berlin was under heavy artillery bombardment and devastating vandalism by Soviet troops so this is probably what is seen here.

Supporting the idea that both photos were taken at the same time is the fact the damage to the machine matches. These are "right hand, left hand" documentary views and the lighting and the quality/look of the photos also match. The same damage to the lunette also can be seen in a third photo of the Plotzensee fallbeil surrounded by a group of Soviet soldiers taken taken in May, 1945 at Moabit Prison. However in that photo, the basin has been removed and the blade has been reinstalled.

The Soviets were documenting how the fallbeil looked "in situ", then removed the damaged basin, rope and other parts including the blade, put it in storage with the possibly sending it being a war trophy. This fallbeil was connected with some of the great heroes of the Soviet Union who died under its blade and evidence of Nazi savagery. It was destined for the Great Patriotic War Museum in Kiev but never got there.

So how did the fallbeil get so beat-up? Maybe an incendiary device was tossed into the basin? Maybe that's water on the floor and debris...and the basket is for cleaning up the mess. Maybe someone tried to blow it up? The lunette must have been warped. Someone (maybe a Soviet soldier?) recently released the blade and it sliced a triangular piece from the right side of the upper lunette. This same fresh cut can be seen in both photos as well as the third photo I have of the machine surrounded by soldiers. The lunette opening also apprears to have been freshly damaged...from an explosion?

More than "the blood chute" (if that is what it is) and the rope are missing in the second photo...the blade has been removed. And the blade shield has a pronounced vertical scar...so the sledge was not running true. Could the section described as the missing "blood chute" be a dangling part of the basin bottom? A part of the basin can be seen hanging below the basin in the second photo. The piece does not look a typical blood chute. In fact Plotzensee's fallbeil, a "modified Mannhardt", may not have had the usual blood chute...there is a metal fabrication affixed to the machine to direct the blood and that is intact. This blood channel is similar to that found on later Tegels and the Plotzensee fallbeil had been repair in 1943 in the Tegel workshop.

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Re: Plotzebsee fallbeil photos

Post by Pete26 » 22 Nov 2011 23:53

fredric wrote: More than "the blood chute" (if that is what it is) and the rope are missing in the second photo...the blade has been removed. And the blade shield has a pronounced vertical scar...so the sledge was not running true. Could the section described as the missing "blood chute" be a dangling part of the basin bottom? A part of the basin can be seen hanging below the basin in the second photo. The piece does not look a typical blood chute. In fact Plotzensee's fallbeil, a "modified Mannhardt", may not have had the usual blood chute...there is a metal fabrication affixed to the machine to direct the blood and that is intact. This blood channel is similar to that found on later Tegels and the Plotzensee fallbeil had been repair in 1943 in the Tegel workshop.
The blade is on the fallbeil in the second photo. The photo is different from the usual fallbeil photo which shows the blade removed and the sledge down:

http://mitglied.multimania.de/redlingho ... _Kopie.JPG

It looks like you are describing the fallbeil in this photo instead. In the second photo I originally posted, the blade and sledge are partially raised, but appear to be jammed against the blade shield, as the rope is not connected to the winch to hold up the sledge/blade. This leads me to suspect that there is something, like a piece of debris jammed between the blade and the blade shield. The last photo in this post shows the fallbeil with the sledge down and the blade removed. What I think happened was that after the second photo was taken, someone forcibly pulled the jammed sledge down and the deep scoring or "scar" in the shield is the result of the foreign object cutting into the shield as the sledge/blade was being pulled down. So it was not the result of the "sledge not running true" but rather something wedged between the blade and the blade shield. So the second photo was taken some time before the third photo in this post.

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Fallbeil from Katowice

Post by Piotr1 » 26 Nov 2011 14:11


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Re: Fallbeil from Katowice

Post by Pete26 » 26 Nov 2011 15:15

Thanks for the photos Piotr. This article too refers to tying the condemned person to the bench before the execution, which is probably factually incorrect. Also, they mention that the "blade fell from the height of 2 meters", which is wrong, unless they measured the fall distance from the top of the sledge. When measured from the center of the slanted blade edge, it would be just over 1 meter. Also, the weight of the sledge and blade, given as 51 kg, which is about 20% less than the given weight of 60 kg on the Pankrac fallbeil. This is a significant difference. I wonder if they actually weighed the sledge and the blade on both fallbeils, and why the difference?

This fallbeil has a huge basin, with the leather strap routed through the cutouts on the sides of the basin. On most other Tegels, the basin is much shallower and the belt is routed over the top of the basin. Is this the original basin, or was it fabricated after the fallbeil was found buried and reassembled? The head of the condemned person, with the forehead resting on the leather strap, would be mostly above the basin on most fallbeils, just before the blade was released. On this one, the head would be completely inside the basin.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Kalwejt » 26 Nov 2011 17:45

Der Vollstrecker wrote:Despite existing leather strips for buckling, one often did already at that time without these, in The rare photos show the execution 27 years old worker Anton Giepsz in prison in Braunschweig on 17 April 1885. The executioner was Friedrich Reindel - which one with the long beard. On the same morning the codefendants by Giepsz, the 35 years old widow Antonie Kossmieder was led a little later to the scaffold.
Mr. Reindel was well-known for his long, white beard

Image

Of course, execution prodecure shown on this illustration is very innacurate.

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