Beheadings in the Third Reich

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Pete26
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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Pete26 » 29 Dec 2015 13:50

The difference I see between the Moabit Tegel splash shield (assuming that's the original shield) and the Poznan Tegel shield is that the replacement shield on the Poznan Tegel has both of its leaves in a single plane. The Moabit fallbeil has those leaves at a 90 degree angle, sort of forming an inverted "V" around the blade pull rod handle. It seems that orientation of the two leaves of the guard in a straight line provides better protection from splashed blood, and this may have been the reason for the retrofit on the Poznan Tegel. And yes, the size of the shield appears to be about the same.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by svenga » 29 Dec 2015 14:47

A collection of beautiful models.. And a working replica Tegal..

Unfortunately I'm not sure what is being said or who this individual is..

Last edited by svenga on 30 Dec 2015 12:50, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Pete26 » 30 Dec 2015 01:52

svenga wrote:A collection of beautiful models.. And a working replica Tegal..

Unfortunately I'm not sure what is being said or who this individual is..

[youtube]https://youtu.be/ICbHlYx2SHU[/youtube]
This is the correct link for the clip:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICbHlYx2SHU

The name of the guillotine model maker in the video clip is Vladimir Sebecek. He is a Czech locksmith by profession and builds very accurate high precision guillotine models. He is most proud of his 1:10 model of French Berger guillotine. He also shows a model of gas chamber used in the US executions in the 20th century. (e.g. San Quentin prison), and a model of Cuban garotte machine. The full size replica of the Pankrac Tegel fallbeil is unfortunately based on improper restoration after WWII, not its original features as used. However, the vertical frame, sledge, and blade have not been altered as they are based on the original design. Mr Sebecek mentions in the clip that the weight of the Pankrac fallbeil sledge and blade is 60 kg (132 lbs) and that this weight was essential because of the reduced height of the machine so it would fit in rooms with low ceilings. He believes that Pankrac Tegel guillotine was built in 1943 and that it represents the most modern decapitating machine. Unfortunately, it was used to behead Czech resistance fighters.

Note how he uses the infamous "hook" tool to lower the winch hook by inserting the bent part of the fire poker like device into the hole in the hook weight. This is the real reason why this implement was used with the fallbeil- to bring down the weighted hook and the cable in case it did not come down on its own when the winch was placed in the freewheeling position. The ridiculous story about the executioner using this tool to retrieve the severed heads from the head basket and showing them to the members of the execution commission is in my opinion just a silly story invented to make the execution ritual look even more gruesome.

Thanks for the clip link. This is another clip in which you can see a full size Tegel guillotine blade come down and it is fast - about 1/2 of a second from the time it is released to the time it reaches the bottom. Given the fall height of about 4 feet and weight of the sledge/blade as 132 lbs, the potential energy of the blade is 528 ft-lbs. This is then converted to the same 528 ft-lbs of kinetic energy (minus some frictional losses) as the blade accelerates to its maximum speed just before the sledge legs hit the stops. For comparison, the maximum blade kinetic energy of Berger 1872 guillotine is about 700 ft-lbs. Even though the weight of its blade and mouton is only about 88 lbs, the drop height is almost twice that of Tegel fallbeil.
Last edited by Pete26 on 30 Dec 2015 04:53, edited 3 times in total.

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Axe execution of Eduard Waldau in Cottbus prison

Post by Pete26 » 30 Dec 2015 02:18

Image


http://www.lr-online.de/storage/pic/xml ... 1362124024


The executioner was Johann Friedrich Gast. Note how four assistants are carrying the condemned to the bench. The axe looks like a typical Richtbeil of that era.

http://www.lr-online.de/regionen/cottbu ... 49,3848347

https://translate.google.com/translate? ... edit-text=

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Wroclaw prison

Post by Pete26 » 31 Dec 2015 01:55

A short clip on Wroclaw (Breslau) prison on Kleczowska street, which was one of the central execution sites of the Third Reich. An unmodified Mannhardt fallbeil, complete with the bascule was used to behead over 700 people in this prison. It looks like it still is an active prison.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGM5AD4-_vc


http://ipn.gov.pl/__data/assets/image/0 ... 1-5068.jpg

In this clip, you can see the displayed Wroclaw fallbeil blade(1:41 into the clip):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsfmTcOS8kY

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Poznan fallbeil

Post by Pete26 » 31 Dec 2015 12:38

In this clip, you can see the Poznan fallbeil at 1:17 into the clip. They also show the front of the guillotine with the head bucket removed and the leather strap attached. The head bucket is on the floor. Note how the executioner's splash guard has been folded inward in this photo. You can also clearly see the stove (wood or coal fired) used to heat the execution chamber and the hose used to wash the fallbeil and floor of blood after executions. The narrator refers to the fallbeil as a "beheading board".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6RZlPiDGfo

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by history1 » 02 Jan 2016 13:20

wm wrote:[...] The man here in the middle is, if I'm not mistaken Emil Rapport - a Polish Jew, judge of the Supreme Court of the Republic of Poland (before and after the war).
Image
[...]
Not E. Rapport but Emil Stanisław Rappaport:
https://pl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emil_Stan ... _Rappaport

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by history1 » 02 Jan 2016 13:42

Ref. the axe execution of Eduard Waldau. The caption reads "Contemporary illustration of an execution with a headsman". No hints that the "victim" nor the executioner are any of those mentioned in the article.
http://www.lr-online.de/regionen/cottbu ... 98,2389040
Isn´t it weird that the are carrying the condemned with the belly up? Was this the final position also for the execution because it would be need further efforts to turn him over again?
And I´m astonished about your knowledge of the Czech language, Pete! What agreat job you did by the translation of the vid.

About the narration of the Wroclaw blade " with the bascule was used to behead over 700", she said that during the 2nd WW they behaded there 800 people.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by fredric » 03 Jan 2016 07:02

The artist shows the condemned not blindfolded so hauling him backward, face up, would conceal the sight of the bench and block from him, reducing the risk of a violent struggle during the approach to the block.

Executioners had individual techniques. The same technique was reportedly used occasionally at fallbeil executions. We also have reports of "face-up" beheadings (axe and fallbeil) attributed to the executioner wanting to make the victim suffer. Here, though, it looks like they have a fairly long distance to travel with a rather powerful looking victim, so getting him to his doom without incident is probably the goal.

Another reason for the "backwards handling" may be because in the illustration, the block is not hidden by a curtain.

The illustration shows what happened a second or so after the sentence had been read. The four assistants have lifted the condemned and are carrying him face-up toward the bench. I think that once at the bench, the assistants would turn the condemned face down. The block is constructed with a "chin cup" which helps position the neck across the striking surface of the block. Sometimes the head also was often secured by a leather strap (not shown) or was grasped by jaw and the neck stretched (by a brave assistant) for the axe blow. Regardless of where the execution took place, a consistent element is that everything must be done to carry out the beheading fast and with a single stroke.

There are a lot of curious elements to the illustration. The handle of the richbeil, the strange area to the right of the executioner, the mounds of sand(?) around the table legs, the tables in the distance, the absence of a scaffold, what appears to be a sack for the head...etc. But as I said, executioners and perhaps individual locations had their own techniques and equipment.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Pete26 » 03 Jan 2016 15:21

The richtbeil handle has been drawn too thin to be realistic, it almost looks like a metal rod not a wooden handle. I believe that's just an oversight on part of the artist. The purpose of the sand piles around the table legs is most likely to make the table more stable and more resistant to tipping once the condemned is placed on it, considering possibility of a struggle. There is what appears to be a piece of black cloth on the ground to the right of the executioner - most likely it was used to hide the axe until the time the verdict was read with the prisoner standing with his back to the execution table. This same cloth was possibly used to cover the body right after the execution. The horse drawn wagon in the background will most likely be used to take the body to the cemetery (probably on the prison grounds). And it looks like there is a coffin on a table in front of the wagon.

The illustration fits the execution of Eduard Waldau as all details about his execution well match the illustration. The execution took place on 16 July 1864, which meant that the executioner was 49 years old at the time.

https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johann_Friedrich_II._Gast

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Richtbeil

Post by Pete26 » 04 Jan 2016 04:17

Image

Another German Richtbeil, most likely from the 18th century. Does each indentation on the blade represent a person executed with this axe? There are six indentations on this side of the blade.

http://media201.zgt.de.cdn.thueringer-a ... E2F0887057

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fredric
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Re: Richtbeil

Post by fredric » 04 Jan 2016 05:35

Pete26 wrote:Image

Another German Richtbeil, most likely from the 18th century. Does each indentation on the blade represent a person executed with this axe? There are six indentations on this side of the blade.

http://media201.zgt.de.cdn.thueringer-a ... E2F0887057
Some beils were engraved with the names of the beheaded and I one
such photo showing this in my collection. Krautz is reported to have engraved the
names of those he beheaded into his beil. This also was done to some French guillotine blades. The six circular "strike" marks could indicate the number of people beheaded with the axe but I would have guess the number would be a lot higher. They also could be "proof" marks or hallmarks. I have seen various marks stamped into richtbeil blades including slogans, these little circular marks, the name of the firm that made the axe and various symbols
of execution such as the wheel, gallows and justice. This was more typical of older
richtbeils such as the one in the photo you posted.

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Engel Aus Eisen

Post by Pete26 » 05 Jan 2016 04:17

A scene from the 1981 movie Engel Aus Eisen (Angels of Iron). The movie is based on Werner Gladow gang activities in post war Berlin. Gladow was inspired by the American gangster Al Capone and was often referred to as "Al Capone von Berlin".

The fallbeil shown is a just a stage prop, many of the features are wrong, e.g. straps on the fixed bench, winch mounted on the bucket side instead of bench side, bench top made from several narrow boards with gaps between instead of a single wide board, the head bucket with the rear wall, head bucket hung too low, lunette opening too big, sledge legs too thin, strangely angled blade pull rod with a wrong handle, etc. However, the execution room looks realistic enough with tiled walls, sink, and water hose. But as usual, the filmakers always seem to end up with invented and wrong fallbeil features.

I believe the scene shows Werner Gladow with executioner Gustav Volpel, with Gladow trying to see what it feels like to lie on the guillotine bench face up looking at the blade. The scene has nothing to do with any execution, although Gladow was eventually caught, sentenced to death and guillotined on 10 November 1950 in Frankfurt on Oder. He was 19 years old and his execution was badly botched, as the blade got stuck twice and he was successfully beheaded only on the third try. The executioner Volpel was actually involved in Gladow gang criminal activities and he knew Gladow well. Volpel himself was eventually tried and sentenced to seven years in prison.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9kZ8BYiKUz4

Compare the view of the sledge/blade at 1:48 into the clip with a real Tegel fallbeil sledge/blade:

http://boisdejustice.com/Germany/Pankrac4.JPG

Image

Five members of the Gladow gang during sentencing in April 1950. They are: Dietrich Bohla (prison sentence), Kurt Gaebler (death sentennce), Werner Gladow (death sentence), Wellnitz (prison sentence), and Papke (prison sentence).

http://www.tagesspiegel.de/images/todes ... rmat14.jpg

Image

Gladow (left) with his defense lawyer during his trial

http://cache4.asset-cache.net/gc/542413 ... bCSw%3d%3d

"Der 10. November 1950 ist ein Freitag. „Gladow, Sie sind zum Tode verurteilt. Das Urteil wird jetzt vollstreckt!“. Der Satz des Oberstaatsanwaltes, scharf wie das Fallbeil, das nach unten rast.

Der junge Mann, den es trifft, schreit wie am Spieß. Zweimal bleibt es im Nacken des Todeskanditen stecken – dann ist Werner Gladow tot. Der Al Capone vom Alexanderplatz stirbt mit nur 19 Jahren. Eine RBB-Doku erzählt heute um 22.15 Uhr in der Reihe „Tatort Berlin“ seine Geschichte.

Werner Gladow. Ein hübscher Bengel. Der Zweite Weltkrieg hat ihn kaputt gemacht. Von der SS in den letzten Kriegstagen in den Kampf um Berlin geschickt, da war er gerade mal 14. Sein großes Vorbild war US-Gangster-Boss Al Capone. Er träumte von einem Leben in einer Villa im Grunewald. Mit 16 Jahren beklaute er die Schwarzhändler am Alexanderplatz, kaum 17 Jahre alt terrorisierte Gladow Berlin.

Zwischen 1947 und 1949 verübte die Gladowbande 375 Überfälle auf Banken, Juweliere, Läden, Geschäfte und Märkte. Wegen zweifachen Mordes, 15 Mordversuchen, Raubüberfällen, schwerer Straßenraub, unerlaubter Waffenbesitz und Entwaffnung von Volkspolizisten wurde der Metzgerssohn aus Friedrichshain zum Tode durch das Fallbeil verurteilt. Ein Bandenmitglied verpfiff Werner Gladow. Als die Polizei ihn in der elterlichen Wohnung festnehmen wollte, versuchte er sich den Weg frei zu schießen.

Gladow war der erste in der DDR hingerichtete Mensch."


Translated by google:


"November 10, 1950, a Friday. "Gladow, you are sentenced to death. The verdict is now enforced ". The sentence of the chief prosecutor, sharp as the guillotine, the catch down.

The young man she meets, screaming like a banshee. Twice it remains at the nape of the condemned stuck - then Werner Gladow is dead. The Al Capone of Alexanderplatz dies at only 19 years old. A RBB documentary told today at 22.15 clock in the series "Tatort Berlin" his story.

Werner Gladow. A handsome villain. The Second World War has made him broken. Sent by the SS in the last days of the war in the battle for Berlin, because he was only 14. His idol was US gangster boss Al Capone. He dreamed of a life in a villa in Grunewald. At age 16 he beklaute the bootleggers at Alexanderplatz, and barely at the age of17 years Gladow terrorized Berlin.

Between 1947 and 1949, the Gladow gang perpetrated 375 attacks on banks, jewelers, stores, shops and markets. Because of two counts of murder, 15 attempted murders, robberies, serious robbery, unlawful possession of weapons and disarmament of the People's Police, the butcher's son from Friedrichshain was sentenced to death by guillotine. A band member Werner verpfiff Gladow. When the police wanted to arrest him in his parents' home, he tried to shoot their way free.

Gladow was the first man who was executed in the GDR."

http://www.berliner-kurier.de/berlin/ne ... e-23122284

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Gustav Erpel

Post by Pete26 » 05 Jan 2016 20:59

Gustav Erpel (sitting in the middle in front row) was guillotined on 20 February 1951 in Frankfurt on Oder. The same guillotine was used to behead Werner Gladow just 3 months earlier.

Image

http://www.gedenkstaette-koepenicker-bl ... 0fa33d.jpg

http://www.gedenkstaette-koepenicker-bl ... itung.html

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fredric
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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by fredric » 05 Jan 2016 22:45

Yes, the actors in the referenced scene are depicting Gladow and Vopel. Neither resemble the real people. The scene is ficticious.
Gladow was quite handsome, well-dressed, a "movie star villain" and Vopel was a shady, rather wimpy looking guy (from his mug shots).
Photos most often published of Gustav Vopel show him wearing his silly mask looking more Halloween than exectiomer. There is no proof that
he carried out the number of executions he claimed. I have read that he borrowed a richtbeil from Breslau for executions in the DDR. There certainly is no record of him working in the Western Zone.

The "bench top" on a Mannhardt is made of three joined planks and beneath those, usually three more. Thus it is not a single, solid plank.

The fantasy fallbeil prop was also used in a film about Sophie Scholl back in the 1980's. I hope it is never again in a film.

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