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: 3014
Joined: 26 Aug 2007 02:19
Location: USA

Johann Reichhart in Denazification Court

Post by Pete26 » 23 Sep 2019 01:11

These two images of Johann Reichhart in Denazification Court in Munich on 1 August 1947 are somewhat different from those already posted.

Johann Reichhart in Denazification Court.jpg
Johann Reichhart in Denazification Court 2.jpg

https://www.alamy.com/johann-reichhart- ... 02889.html


https://www.alamy.com/johann-reichhart- ... 20378.html
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
fredric
Member
Posts: 911
Joined: 03 Dec 2004 04:19
Location: USA Princeton

Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by fredric » 23 Sep 2019 23:25

More thoughts about these important pic for anyone interested...
Johann's son, Hans, might be the person seated to the left of the empty chair.
The woman might be Johann's daughter.

However in my opinion she is not the woman seen in another photo of Johann taken at the trial as he is being
escorted by a doctor and Johann has a booing crowd behind him.
People close to Johann in the courtroom had to be family or supporting friends in my opinion.

At the time these photos were taken, Johann had executed (hanged) 152 war criminals (for pay)
for the Allies. This trial, the second he has faced (the first was as a war criminal and imprisoned and beaten)
ironic and painful for a man called upon by the Allies.
At this time he is a focal point for hatred. He is hated by Germans, Czechs, Poles, etc.
He appears a "broken man".
I believe this Court found him guilty of profiting from his role as an executioner for the Reich.
I think he had a huge fine and jail time. He was impoverished by the fine.
Does anyone else have information on this?
He lived as an impoverished pensioner and an outcast until his death in 1972.

Pete26
Member
Posts: 3014
Joined: 26 Aug 2007 02:19
Location: USA

Re: Johann Reichhart

Post by Pete26 » 24 Sep 2019 03:43

Here is some info from Wikipedia:
In May 1947, Reichhart was imprisoned again. After a denazification trial process in Munich in December 1948, he was "incriminated" and sentenced to two years in a labour camp and confiscation of half of his assets. Following an appeal, the sentence was reduced to one and a half years and confiscation of 30% of his property. Since his time in custody by then exceeded the prison sentence, Reichhart was subsequently released. Reichhart's profession made him a lonely person. His marriage failed. His son, Hans, dispirited by his father's occupation and the denazification trial, committed suicide in 1950.
Impoverished and despised by many, Reichhart lived on a small military pension from the First World War. In 1963, during a series of murders of taxi drivers, when public demands increased for the reintroduction of capital punishment, Reichhart spoke out against the death penalty.
Reichhart was temporarily confined in Algasing psychiatric hospital. He died on 26 April 1972, at a hospital in Dorfen, at the age of 78.



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

Pete26
Member
Posts: 3014
Joined: 26 Aug 2007 02:19
Location: USA

Another 1928 photo of Johann Reichhart

Post by Pete26 » 25 Sep 2019 01:36

Johann Reichhart - early days.jpg

https://dirkdeklein.files.wordpress.com ... .jpg?w=750



This photo is taken in 1928, but from a different angle than this familiar photo below. Then curtain behind the fallbeil is also plainly visible. Also, the bell mounted on the wall which would ring during an execution. The cloth head bucket on the Mannhardt fallbeil also shows well in this photo. Notice how short the blood chute is and there is obviously no drain in front of the fallbeil. A pile of sand or saw dust was used instead to absorb the blood. Johann Reichhart was about 34 years old when this photo was taken.

Johann Reichhart 1928.jpg

https://www.thesun.co.uk/wp-content/upl ... 497673.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Pete26
Member
Posts: 3014
Joined: 26 Aug 2007 02:19
Location: USA

A 1948 photo of Johann Reichhart

Post by Pete26 » 25 Sep 2019 02:05

Johann Reichchart in 1948.jpg

https://media-cdn.sueddeutsche.de/image ... 1566200472



A 1948 photo of Johann Reichhart and his son.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
fredric
Member
Posts: 911
Joined: 03 Dec 2004 04:19
Location: USA Princeton

Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by fredric » 25 Sep 2019 15:47

Hans would commit suicide in 1950. It is said he suffered from guilt and
severe depression due to his father's occupation. One source I have read says that Reichhart's "two brothers" assisted Johann
Reichhart at the Landsberg hangings (1945-1946) and it is possible one of the "brothers" might have really been Hans. This is
only supposition on my part. I have not seen evidence that Hans was an assistant. In the two biographies of Reichhart, it is reported
that Johann's children were taunted by classmates who would yell "your father is a head-chopper!" Johann had two sons and a daughter.

Pete26
Member
Posts: 3014
Joined: 26 Aug 2007 02:19
Location: USA

Johann Reichhart's sons

Post by Pete26 » 26 Sep 2019 00:48

If you look at the names on Reichhart's family grave, the last name engraved is "Herbert Reichhart", who was born in 1922 and died in 2007. This is most likely the second Reichhart's son and he lived to be 85. His other son's name was Hans and this is the one who committed suicide in 1950 and his name is also on the grave marker. He was born in 1927, so he was only 23 when he died.

Reichhart's Grave.jpg

http://thefifthfield.com/biographical-s ... rts-grave/
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Pete26
Member
Posts: 3014
Joined: 26 Aug 2007 02:19
Location: USA

Alsace resistance group guillotined in Stuttgart

Post by Pete26 » 28 Sep 2019 01:06

On 1 June 1943, eight members of the resistance group from Alsace, France were guillotined in the courtyard of Stuttgart courthouse. The executioner was Johann Reichhart.

Alsace resistance group 1.jpg
Von links: René Birr, 20 Jahre, ledig, Eisenbahner; Eugène Boeglin, 30 Jahre, verheiratet, 1 Kind, Lehrer, Gewerkschafter; René Kern, 31 Jahre, ledig, Eisenbahner, Gewerkschafter; Alphonse Kuntz, 32 Jahre, ledig, Eisenbahner.


Alsace ressitance group 2.jpg
Von links: Adolphe Murbach, 40 Jahre, verheiratet,1 Kind, Schreiner; Edouard Schwartz, 42 Jahre, verheiratet, 2 Kinder, Eisenbahner, Gewerkschafter; Auguste Sontag, 27 Jahre, verheiratet, 1 Kind, Lehrer, Gewerkschafter; Marcel Stoessel, 38 Jahre, verheiratet, 2 Kinder, Kranführer, Gewerkschafter.


https://www.kontextwochenzeitung.de/zei ... -5171.html
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Pete26
Member
Posts: 3014
Joined: 26 Aug 2007 02:19
Location: USA

Notice of execution

Post by Pete26 » 28 Sep 2019 01:22

Notice of execution of 14 resistance fighters guillotined in Stuttgart on 15 September 1942.

Notice of execution of 14 resistance members.jpg

https://www.kontextwochenzeitung.de/zei ... -5171.html


https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_Lechleiter


https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Landgeric ... itergruppe
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
fredric
Member
Posts: 911
Joined: 03 Dec 2004 04:19
Location: USA Princeton

Re: New Book on Mildred Harnack

Post by fredric » 29 Sep 2019 05:13

Resistance Women by Jennifer Chiaverini is a new book about the Red Orchestra and
Mildred Harnack. It is getting good reviews. It is in most book stores now.
Some reviewers are describing this book as "well-researched" and a "rich in detail", thus a valuable historical novel.

Forum readers/contributors who come across this book should know that it is a " non-fiction" novel.
As such her description of Mildred's beheading at Plotzensee is more imagination than fact. I was expecting more from
this popular novelist.

To Chiaverini's credit, she does make it clear in tiny print that "This is a work of fiction without references to real people, events, establishments, organizations or locales...all drawn from the author's imagination." I hope readers see this.

She describes the Plotzensee fallbeil as being "all gleaming brass and polished wood" (lifted from from Sharon Brysac's book "Resisting Hitler") says that "guards led her (MIldred) to the guillotine and forced (Mildred) to kneel". '
Too bad she did not research fallbeil executions during the Third Reich and just perpetuates fallbeil myths.

Pete26
Member
Posts: 3014
Joined: 26 Aug 2007 02:19
Location: USA

An article on last guillotine execution in Berlin Moabit prison

Post by Pete26 » 29 Sep 2019 08:58

The article states that after WWII Berlin Moabit prison was selected as the fallbeil execution site in East Berlin because Ploetzensee condemned block was damaged by bombing. A total of 12 people were guillotined in Moabit prison. The last one was a 24 year old convicted murderer Berthold Wehmeyer, guillotined on 11 May 1949. The article mentions that the executioner was most likely Gustav Ludwig Völpel. Also, the execution of Wehmeyer was apparently botched - two attempts were needed to behead Wehmeyer beucase the "fallbeil blade became somewhat dull". So this could have been an awful execution where the dull blade did not fully cut through the neck first time. However, it could have been just another case of the fallbeil blade getting stuck in the outer frame due to poor fallbeil maintenance.

https://www.welt.de/geschichte/article1 ... oabit.html

12 people executed in Moabit prison.jpg
A list of 12 people guillotined in Berlin Moabit prison
Plan-Zellengefaengnis-Moabit (1).jpg
Plan of Berlin Moabit prison. The circled area is the area where the fallbeil execution room was located.

Moabit prison.jpg
Photo of Berlin Moabit prison

Gustav Ludwig Völpel .jpg
The executioner Gustav Ludwig Völpel
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

User avatar
fredric
Member
Posts: 911
Joined: 03 Dec 2004 04:19
Location: USA Princeton

Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by fredric » 29 Sep 2019 18:02

Ludwig was a low-life criminal. He claimed to have beheaded with the axe he carried in a green suitcase.
Plenty info about him is available. Some researchers say he was a total fraud but I would question this. He was
looking for ways to make money and the unwanted, hated job of being a scharfrichter fit. If Vopel worked the
fallbeil at Moabit, he probably did not know much about maintaining it including how to remove, sharpen and reset the
blade. In 1949 he would have been working for the Soviets/East German Communist government. Any idea if it was a Tegel
he claimed to have operated? Eventually executions in the Russian zone were carried out by a pistol shot to the base of the skull.
This job fell to a Soviet State executioner.

Pete26
Member
Posts: 3014
Joined: 26 Aug 2007 02:19
Location: USA

Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Pete26 » 30 Sep 2019 05:28

fredric wrote:
29 Sep 2019 18:02
Ludwig was a low-life criminal. He claimed to have beheaded with the axe he carried in a green suitcase.
Plenty info about him is available. Some researchers say he was a total fraud but I would question this. He was
looking for ways to make money and the unwanted, hated job of being a scharfrichter fit. If Vopel worked the
fallbeil at Moabit, he probably did not know much about maintaining it including how to remove, sharpen and reset the
blade. In 1949 he would have been working for the Soviets/East German Communist government. Any idea if it was a Tegel
he claimed to have operated?
Eventually executions in the Russian zone were carried out by a pistol shot to the base of the skull.
This job fell to a Soviet State executioner.
Yes, it was a Tegel fallbeil.
Auf Vorschlag von Reichsjustizminister Franz Gürtner ordnete Hitler am 14. Oktober 1936 an, die Todesstrafe im Deutschen Reich künftig nur noch mit dem Fallbeil zu vollziehen. Ab 1937 wurden auf Hitlers Befehl hin 20 zentrale Hinrichtungsstätten mit einer Tötungsmaschine ausgerüstet, die von der Physikalisch-technischen Reichsanstalt serienmäßig in den Arbeitsbetrieben der Justizvollzugsanstalt Berlin-Tegel gefertigt wurde - daher der Name des Modells.
Die Ludwigsburger Guillotine stammt aus Berlin-Moabit, wo sie bis 1949 zum Einsatz kam. Zuletzt starb mit Genehmigung der britischen Besatzungsbehörden am 11. Mai 1949 ein 24-jähriger Schlosser im Zellengefängnis Lehrter Straße unter ihrem Messer, verurteilt wegen Raubmordes durch das Berliner Landgericht.
Im Westen Deutschlands wurde die Todesstrafe mit der Gründung der Bundesrepublik im Mai 1949 abgeschafft. In West-Berlin blieb sie in Kraft für Straftaten, die sich gegen den Vier-Mächte-Status richteten, auch wenn die Alliierten diesen Teil des Besatzungsrechts nie angewandt haben. Deshalb blieb die Guillotine, demontiert und in Ölpapier verpackt, im Keller der Untersuchungshaftanstalt Moabit eingelagert und wurde regelmäßig auf ihre Funktionstüchtigkeit überprüft. Erst am 14. März 1989 verfügte die Alliierte Kommandantur eine Aufhebung der entsprechenden Vorschriften.
Das Fallbeil ging über in den Besitz des Deutschen Historischen Museums und von dort wurde es als Dauerleihgabe an das Strafvollzugsmuseum in Ludwigsburg weitergereicht, versehen mit einer genauen musealen Beschreibung: "2 Holzböcke und ein Auflegebrett mit Ablaufrinne durch eiserne Auflagenstütze miteinander verbunden. An den vorderen Bock ist ein Rahmen angeschraubt. Im Rahmen läuft der Schlitten, der mit Hilfe der seitl. angebrachten Kurbel nach oben gezogen werden kann. An der gegenüberliegenden Seite eine Stange als Auslöser. In der Mitte des Rahmens 2 Halsbretter. Dort am Rahmen auch Hängevorr. für Spritzschutz und Ablaufbleche. Nach vorne ragend 2 gelochte Holme, in die der lederne Stirnriemen befestigt ist. Unter ihm gebogenes Ablaufblech. Seitlich, unter der Auslösestange Spritzschutzblech.
https://bawue.museum-digital.de/index.p ... &oges=1373

Moabit fallbeil.jpg
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Pete26
Member
Posts: 3014
Joined: 26 Aug 2007 02:19
Location: USA

Ignaz Liedlbauer

Post by Pete26 » 01 Oct 2019 05:11

Ignaz Liedlbauer .jpg

Ignaz Liedlbauer was guillotined in Vienna on 1 July 1943.


https://ignaz-liedlbauer.zurerinnerung. ... ery_view=1
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Pete26
Member
Posts: 3014
Joined: 26 Aug 2007 02:19
Location: USA

Marko Hermann

Post by Pete26 » 01 Oct 2019 05:15

Marko Hermann.jpg

Marko Hermann was guillotined in Vienna on 18 November 1942.


https://hermann-marko.zurerinnerung.at/?cemetery_view=1
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.

Return to “Holocaust & 20th Century War Crimes”