Beheadings in the Third Reich

Discussions on the Holocaust and 20th Century War Crimes. Note that Holocaust denial is not allowed. Hosted by David Thompson.
Pete26
Member
Posts: 2940
Joined: 26 Aug 2007 02:19
Location: USA

Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Pete26 » 28 Mar 2019 05:11

vinnievega wrote:
27 Mar 2019 20:56
Sorry Pete, my last question wasn't clear. Wouldn't officers normally be sent to a prisoner of war camp? I find it odd that they were executed
After Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia, in March of 1939, he split the country into a Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia, and an "independent" Slovak state. The Czechoslovak Army was disabanded, and the weapons seized for use by the Wehrmacht. The following excerpt from Wikipedia gives some idea how much army equipment Hitler confiscated from Czechoslovakia:
Czechoslovakia had fielded a modern army of 35 divisions and was a major manufacturer of machine guns, tanks, and artillery, most of them assembled in the Škoda factory in Plzeň. Many Czech factories continued to produce Czech designs until converted for German designs. Czechoslovakia also had other major manufacturing companies. Entire steel and chemical factories were moved from Czechoslovakia and reassembled in Linz (which incidentally remains a heavily industrialized area of Austria). In a speech delivered in the Reichstag, Hitler stressed the military importance of occupation, noting that by occupying Czechoslovakia, Germany gained 2,175 field cannons, 469 tanks, 500 anti-aircraft artillery pieces, 43,000 machine guns, 1,090,000 military rifles, 114,000 pistols, about a billion rounds of ammunition and three million anti-aircraft grenades. This amount of weaponry would be sufficient to arm about half of the then Wehrmacht. Czechoslovak weaponry later played a major part in the German conquests of Poland (1939) and France (1940).
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Munich_Agreement

The officers who were executed were no longer on active duty because the Czechoslovak Army no longer existed (except in exile) at the time these people were executed. Most of these officers were involved in underground resistance activities and they were sentenced to death and executed by Nazis for that reason.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obrana_národa

The army was disbanded following the German takeover of Czechoslovakia in 1939. During World War II the Czechoslovak Army was recreated in exile, first in the form of the new Czechoslovak Legion fighting alongside of Poland during the Invasion of Poland and then in the form of forces loyal to the London-based Czechoslovak government-in-exile.

gordon anderson
Member
Posts: 235
Joined: 06 May 2005 01:27
Location: Hollywood California

Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by gordon anderson » 11 Jun 2019 05:11

WHERE IS PEETE 26 ????????????

I am concerned about Pete 26. He has not posted since March 26, and he has been sorely missed. A
few weeks ago I sent them along private message and have not heard back from him, so I am now concerned! Has anyone heard from him? His contributions to this forum have been important and invaluable I hope everything is okay. Thanks, Gordon Anderson

Deliverance
Member
Posts: 26
Joined: 12 Feb 2010 00:21

Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Deliverance » 24 Jun 2019 21:13

gordon anderson wrote:
11 Jun 2019 05:11
WHERE IS PEETE 26 ????????????

I am concerned about Pete 26. He has not posted since March 26, and he has been sorely missed. A
few weeks ago I sent them along private message and have not heard back from him, so I am now concerned! Has anyone heard from him? His contributions to this forum have been important and invaluable I hope everything is okay. Thanks, Gordon Anderson
Previously, he's left gaps of 2-3 months on several occasions without posting (and I'd assume not logging in) so I'd not get too worried yet as he perhaps he's unaware of your PM.

User avatar
Max
Member
Posts: 2275
Joined: 16 Mar 2002 14:08
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Max » 25 Jun 2019 04:48

If your PM is still in your outbox, then he hasn't seen it yet.
If it's not in the outbox, then he has picked it up , but not replied.
Greetings from the Wide Brown.

User avatar
von thoma
Member
Posts: 4205
Joined: 10 Jul 2010 03:40
Location: Spain

Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by von thoma » 10 Jul 2019 01:01

Member fredric ( USA Princeton ) is missing too...
WHERE IS PEETE 26 ????????????
Is there any news ?
" The right to believe is the right of those who don't know "

User avatar
fredric
Member
Posts: 904
Joined: 03 Dec 2004 04:19
Location: USA Princeton

Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by fredric » 10 Jul 2019 02:42

Fredric here, reporting in...
all is well...

1. Pete26, our constant supplier of interesting information, is still around. Perhaps he, like me, is not finding much new stuff.

2. I have been searching for more information about Xaver Reichhart and the Mannhardt Co.
A goal is to find where the Mannhardt fallbeil were first sent.
Both Evans and Waltenbacher say Mannhardt built six machines and that all were found to be
operational when the RMJ survey of fallbeils was conducted.

3. The Mannhardts were shipped from their "base locations" to prison needing them, a practice discontinued when Central Execution Sites were designated. Perhaps this why multiple wooden bases and tables have been found but
without the metal elements. My guess is that Mannhardt supplied each original location with a complete fallbeils including both the wooden as well as metal parts. Shipping proved costly and cumbersome (as well as a tell-tale sign that an execution was about to take place). This is part speculation but supported in part by Evan's research.

4. I found a photo of a man identified as Wilhelm Rottger when Google searching. Perhaps you have seen it?
Its source is Russian. I know no more than that about the photo.
A photo of a man identified as Carl Gropler also has turned up.

5. I recommend reading Jurgen Gromann's book "Aufzeichnungen eines Scharfrichters". It
presents in Xaver Reichhart's own words, executions he carried out.
It is similar to the Deibler diaries and was meticulously done from Bavarian archives.
I hope Mr. Gromann continues to write about our favorite topic.

User avatar
von thoma
Member
Posts: 4205
Joined: 10 Jul 2010 03:40
Location: Spain

Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by von thoma » 10 Jul 2019 03:43

It's a relief, thank you !

Berlin lawyer Elizabeth "Lilo" Glöden, (1903-1944) at the meeting of the People’s Court of Justice.
Elizabeth Glöden, along with her husband and mother, helped those who were persecuted by the Nazis to hide in her apartment.
Among them was one of the participants in the anti-Hitler conspiracy, General Artillery Fritz Lindemann.
After the failure of the July 1944 assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler, the family of Elizabeth Glöden was arrested by the Gestapo
and tortured during interrogations. On November 30, 1944, all three – Elizabeth Glöden, Erich Glöden and Elisabeth Kuznitzky were
executed on the guillotine
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
" The right to believe is the right of those who don't know "

Piotr1
Member
Posts: 326
Joined: 16 Sep 2007 05:24
Location: Poland

Fallbeill from Plotzensee/less known photo/

Post by Piotr1 » 13 Jul 2019 21:06


User avatar
fredric
Member
Posts: 904
Joined: 03 Dec 2004 04:19
Location: USA Princeton

Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by fredric » 14 Jul 2019 00:30

Great work Piotr1. Photo I do not recall seeing this view before now. Any thoughts, anyone, about the objects on the table and the floor?
This fallbeil was moved to Moabit Prison where the famous photo of the fallbeil surrounded by Soviet soldiers was taken.
My speculation is that the Soviet troops wanted it for the Great Patriotic Museum in Kiev. However the Breslau fallbeil wound up at the Museum. How the Plotzensee fallbeil came into the hands of the Berlin authorities from the Soviets is unknown to me. I have read the Plotzensee fallbeil was traded to authorities in occupied West Berlin for food by the Soviets. No proof of this however.
I believe this fallbeil today is displayed in the Brandenburg-Gordon Memorial. Much of it has been restored (badly in my opinion).

Pete26
Member
Posts: 2940
Joined: 26 Aug 2007 02:19
Location: USA

Hamburg fallbeil in Bützow prison

Post by Pete26 » 14 Jul 2019 02:50

Thank you all for your concern about my whereabouts. I am doing just fine, I had a few busy months so I did not post anything.

Here is something I found recently. As you know, Hamburg fallbeil, operated by Friedrich Hehr, was moved from Hamburg Hostenglacis prison to Dierbergen-Bützow prison sometime in late December 1944. On 8 January 1945 Friedrich Hehr began executing people in Bützow prison with the relocated Hamburg fallbeil. Evidently they also had provisions for hanging in Bützow prison. By 23 April 1945 Friedrich Hehr executed 42 men and women in Bützow prison.

Take a look at the photos in the links below. The hanging hooks are the most macabre I have ever seen, and including are transverse black curtains to separate the victims. The fallbeil appears to have some kind of moveable bench on wheels, unlike anything else I have seen. The photos appear authentic as they were published in the Ostee Zeitung, but I am not sure if the fallbeil is authentic, as it appears to be heavily modified. And the execution room rear and side walls are tiled, just like in most other fallbeil execution chambers.

https://www.ostsee-zeitung.de/Mehr/Bild ... ow#chart=5

https://www.ostsee-zeitung.de/Mehr/Bild ... ow#chart=6

User avatar
fredric
Member
Posts: 904
Joined: 03 Dec 2004 04:19
Location: USA Princeton

Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by fredric » 14 Jul 2019 05:23

Thanks Pete26!

A few quick thoughts:

The photo of the hanging chamber is the one I have ever seen that shows the curtains to separate the victims.
The separation curtains are mentioned by author Gilles Perrault in his book about the Rote Kappelle. He says the curtains were drawn to separate each of the male leaders who were being hanged at Plotzensee. The separating partition curtains plus the curtain covering the front of the hanging "chambers", thus concealed the horrifying view of a stuggling victim from the view of the next approaching victim.

The hooks are unusual...wicked, long, thin and sharp. If a standard slip-knot noose were used with these hooks, wouldn't the drop be very short? Perhaps the hooks were adjustable?
I believe I read in William Shirer's "Berlin Diary", he asserts that at Plotzensee the bomb plotters were impaled under their jaw with the hooks... and left to die...but I have not seen this anywhere else and doubt it is true.
Could anyone estimate the possible length of the drop?

The fallbeil probably is authentic. According to Waltenbacher, the Hamburg fallbeil was one of the first three Tegels produced. He says the first two (one of which was for Hamburg) retained the lever release similar to that on a Mannhardt.
(For the third Tegel he says the lever was replaced with a "pull rod" activating a spring bolt which released the blade).
So the blade release seems to match the Hamburg Tegel.

That a rolling bench is new to me. Perhaps it allowed the assistants more space for securing the victim and for unbuckling and removing the decapitated body? The Hamburg Tegel had a flat bench fixed to the machine so this may have been a revision.

Some features of the fallbeil seem similar to those I have once saw in a photo of the Hamburg fallbeil (e.g. a very long blade, the afore-mentioned "Mannhard-style" lever, a small, open crank). But there are differences too which could be later modifications. The sledge does not seem to match the one on the Hamburg. The photo does not show enough of it however to describe the differences.
The curved bench definitely does not match the bench I recall from photos of the Hamburg machine.

Thought-provoking photos Pete which should stimulate some comments. Thanks.

Pete26
Member
Posts: 2940
Joined: 26 Aug 2007 02:19
Location: USA

Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Pete26 » 14 Jul 2019 05:50

I thought that the Hamburg fallbeil was a modified Mannhardt with a different sledge to accommodate the old wooden Hamburg fallbeil blade, which was different from those on regular Mannhardts, and was attached to the sledge with three bolts. If it was a modified Tegel, then they would have had to replace the entire upper crosspiece, blade release mechanism, and the winch. If Walterbacher states that this is one of the early Tegel fallbeils, then it most likely is. It makes sense, apparently they tried to copy most of Mannhardt fallbeil features when designing the new Tegel fallbeil, but found out that this design was more costly, so they simplified the later Tegels with cheaper blade release mechanisms, which also allowed them to reduce the overall height, as the upper Mannhardt cable pulley was eliminated in later Tegel design, and two pulleys were hideden inside the upper frame crosspiece.

Here is a photo of Hamburg fallbeil:
Hamburg fallbeil.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
fredric
Member
Posts: 904
Joined: 03 Dec 2004 04:19
Location: USA Princeton

Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by fredric » 14 Jul 2019 18:11

Right on! The Mannhardt was a proven but cumbersome machine and it required considerably high ceiling, something not found at many prisons. I think the engineers at PTI incorporated what they felt were the best elements of the Mannhardt that could be incorporated into a more modern fallbeil, what we today call the "Tegel". They were, in the words I have heard
many engineers use, "tweeking" the design. By the third machine, they had settled on a smaller, more easily transportable if needed fallbeil. The spring bolt began to appear after the third Tegel was built I believe (I have to check Waltenbacher). It was a clever replacement for the Mannhardt lever. "Off the shelf" parts in some cases I think... heavy spring, rod, bolt release, etc.
I believe once the Tegels were being produced by subcontractors, some parts were simply purchased
from industrial hardware suppliers.
For a long time I too thought the Hamburg machine was a modified Mannhardt. You identify a major goal... reducing the overall height to fit most prison rooms. That of course was accomplished in the first machine design but the Tegel was a "work in progress".
Does the Hamburg/Butzow machine still exist?

Pete26
Member
Posts: 2940
Joined: 26 Aug 2007 02:19
Location: USA

Jiří Sedmík

Post by Pete26 » 16 Jul 2019 04:28

Jiri Sedmik.jpg

Jiří Sedmík was guillotined in Berlin Ploetzensee prison on 18 December 1942.

http://old.ustrcr.cz/cs/jiri-sedmik

https://translate.google.com/translate? ... iri-sedmik
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

heraldika
Member
Posts: 4
Joined: 18 Jul 2019 10:36
Location: Czech Republic

Re: Stadelheim prison execution building

Post by heraldika » 18 Jul 2019 10:59

Hello there and thank you for bringing this theme alive.

I am great-granddaughter of a member of Czech resistance member who was beheaded in Munich Stadelheim in 1944.

In January of this year, I wrote right to Munich Stadelheim Prison for more info, some photos etc. The answer was that in case the prisoner was imprisoned in Stadelheim more than 70 years ago, then there are no info about him/her there. And that they care about the documents for no more than 10 years after releasing (is the beheading meant as releasing?). After 10 years the documents are offered to Staatsarchiv for archival purposes and this Archive have the final word what to do with documents.

So I had a word with the Staatsarchive. I got a scanned pages from the Book of executed where is the name of my great-grandfather.

True is that I did not asked for pictures of Stadelheim´s execution room or any other pictures of this Prison. I asked only for pictures of my great-grandfather.

Second thing I want to say here is about White Rose temporary exhibition. It is in Czech library in Olomouc. There is one picture of Stadelheim´s death row cell (see attached).

If you have any clue of how to get to some pictures of prisoners made by Nazis or Gestapo, I would be glad if you tell me. I asked for them also the Bundesarchiv and they are not here. But one never know.





Pete26 wrote:
17 May 2013 19:37
fredric wrote:This NS era picture is a unique discovery. It may confirm an archive of historic Stadelheim images exists perhaps at the prison?
I understand Straubing Prison set up an execution room which was never used nor was the Stadelheim fallbeil
unpacked.
Stadelheim prison most likely has an archive with historic images of the prison. No doubt they have photos of the fallbeil in the execution room too. Some time ago I posted a movie clip about Stadelheim prison and they showed the authentic prison cards for Hans and Sophie Scholl which are still kept in the prison.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Return to “Holocaust & 20th Century War Crimes”