Beheadings in the Third Reich

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Hans1906
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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Hans1906 » 25 Jan 2021 13:34

fredric, thank you very much,

I am a little bit aware about the photos, and they are not acceptable for an internet forum like the AHF.
Thank you again for the informations, question is solved.

Hans1906

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fredric
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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by fredric » 25 Jan 2021 17:00

I feel a discussion of the Mauthusen Trial and subsequent hangings does not fit the AHF Topic "Beheadings in the Third Reich". It may
fit another Forum Topic. Whether a submission is "acceptable" is up to the AHF moderator.
Thus, pretty much agree although it is a topic I have researched a bit.

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Poznan fallbeil

Post by Pete26 » 27 Jan 2021 21:42

Here is a photo of Poznan fallbeil with a sledge hammer on its bench. The hanging pits next to the fallbeil are also clearly visible.

Poznan fallbeil.jpg

https://www.reddit.com/r/ArtefactPorn/c ... zna%C5%84/
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Re: Poznan fallbeil

Post by marko10 » 28 Jan 2021 16:13

Pete26 wrote:
27 Jan 2021 21:42
Here is a photo of Poznan fallbeil with a sledge hammer on its bench. The hanging pits next to the fallbeil are also clearly visible.


Poznan fallbeil.jpg


https://www.reddit.com/r/ArtefactPorn/c ... zna%C5%84/


what could sledge hammer on fallbeil ?

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Hans1906
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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Hans1906 » 28 Jan 2021 18:37

On the photo, is was a "Holzhammer", a mallet, not a so-called "Vorschlaghammer", a so-called sledge hammer.

Without any knowledge about all this, I am able to imagine, for what the Holzhammer was finally used.
(For hitting the top of the blade, in case, the blade did not behead the delinquent with the first cut)

Nobody would use an iron or steel sledge hammer on such a piece of machinery, never.


Hans1906

Btw. In the polish movie from the year 1988, "A Short Film About Killing", the final hanging scene of the murderer
happened exactly in such a facility.
(The movie is well kown, no need to share a link to the movie, one of the most disturbing movies ever)

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by fredric » 01 Feb 2021 01:52

Hans1906 wrote:
28 Jan 2021 18:37
On the photo, is was a "Holzhammer", a mallet, not a so-called "Vorschlaghammer", a so-called sledge hammer.

Without any knowledge about all this, I am able to imagine, for what the Holzhammer was finally used.
(For hitting the top of the blade, in case, the blade did not behead the delinquent with the first cut)

Nobody would use an iron or steel sledge hammer on such a piece of machinery, never.

Hans,
das holzhammer iss richtig. Sorry, but I lapse into my poor German.
Your observaton about the "hammer" on the table is interesting.
My guess it is a wooden "mallet" and I guess it was used for various purposes.
I disagree that it was for smashing down the falbeilmesser on the condemned's neck.
No, this was not done. There are no records in any of the literature.
The sledge/blade could cut off anything... pile-driver power.
Maybe that hammer was an assembly tool?



Hans1906

Btw. In the polish movie from the year 1988, "A Short Film About Killing", the final hanging scene of the murderer
happened exactly in such a facility.
(The movie is well kown, no need to share a link to the movie, one of the most disturbing movies ever)

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Hans1906 » 01 Feb 2021 19:39

fredric,

none of us was there at the time, when an execution took place, we only speculate.
We read internet posts, maybe books, we know a few photos, nothing more.

Sorry, I do not have a better answer.


Hans1906

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by tomh » 01 Feb 2021 21:07

A very interesting article by Andreas Wagner, about the executions of the "Rostock plunderers" in Bützow in 1942, was published in "Zeitgeschichte regional" 07/2003. It is not available online, but I got a paper version of it.
It is a great and rather long article. My German is not perfect enough to fully understand everything, but:

After Rostock was heavily bombarded by the Allies between 23 and 27 April 1942, a number of people were arrested for plundering and death sentences were passed.
In the end of 1936 Hitler had ordered all executions to be carried out by guillotine. However, at the Reichstag 26 April 1942 he also had criticized the judical system for acting too slowly and sticking to unnecessary bureaucracy, and ordered plunderers to be punished as quickly and effectively as possible. Apparently the latter order was considered more important under the circumstances.
Therefore it was considered more practical to order executioner Ernst Reindel with his axe and block to Bützow-Dreibergen, than to transport the prisoners to Brandenburg-Görden to be executed with guillotine.
Last edited by tomh on 02 Feb 2021 01:28, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by tomh » 01 Feb 2021 21:25

img008.jpg
19 year old Marie-Luise Buckow was beheaded with hand axe in Bützow-Dreibergen prison 28 April 1942 at 6:00 a.m.
She had found a handbag with 70 Reichsmark in a destroyed building in Rostock between 24 and 25 April, and taken the money. Her execution was carried out three days after her arrest.

Source:
Wagner A. 2003. Die Hinrichtung der "Rostocker Plünderer" 1942 in Bützow. Zeitgeschichte Regional 7 Heft 2: 24-29
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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by tomh » 01 Feb 2021 23:02

According to the Bützow death register 16 people were executed for plundering between April and July 1942, including 2 Dutchmen, 1 Pole, 1 Czech and 1 Austrian.


27 April:
Karl D., age 28
Jan C., born 1902 (Dutch)
Karl-Heinz L., age 17

28 April:
Marie-Luise Buckow, age 19
Irene and Johann D. (married couple)

30 April:
Bernardus van Bruggen, age 35 (Dutch)
Josef K., age 49

5 May:
Magdalene I., age 32

13 May:
Friedrich S., born 1900

18 May:
Adolfa Ch., age 41 (Czech)

21 June:
Leo Pr., age 26 (Polish)

29 June:
Hans A., age 27

4 July:
Anna P., age 42

28 July:
Meta P., age 46
Helene L., age 46

The executions were carried out with Handbeil in Bützow-Dreibergen prison by executioner Ernst Reindel, who brought the execution equipment with him by car. According to an eyewitness, the beheadings took place in the prison yard, between a storage building and the prison wall.
In the end of November 1942, the Führer allowed also civil executions to be carried out by Gestapo or Wehrmacht firing squads.

Source:
Wagner A. 2003. Die Hinrichtung der "Rostocker Plünderer" 1942 in Bützow. Zeitgeschichte Regional 7 Heft 2: 24-29

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by fredric » 01 Feb 2021 23:44

New information! Far more people beheaded by Ernst R than I though or sources present!
I have read that E Reindel had to get the axe and block from the RMJ which has seized pre-fallbeil execution equipment for much of
Germany and replaced it with the fallbeil.. by '42 Tegels to be sure.
I must find this book.
Danke,
c

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by tomh » 04 Feb 2021 15:54

Hi fredric, you're welcome!
fredric wrote:
01 Feb 2021 23:44

I have read that E Reindel had to get the axe and block from the RMJ which has seized pre-fallbeil execution equipment
Do you remember the source? I'd like to know more about this!

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by fredric » 04 Feb 2021 23:11

The source is Richard Evans.
I will try to recount this tale... let's start at the beginning:

In "Rituals of Retribution", pp. 674, Evans describes the saga of Scharfrichter Alwin Englehardt, hired in 1933 to replace Fritz Reichhelt, an assistant to Groppler. The RMJ at first was delighted with Reichelt but in Evans' words, "it soon became clear he was not up to the job." Reichelt, who had limited first-hand experience beheading people, took two blows to sever a victim's head. "He was immediately dismissed" Evans states.

Former Scharfrichter Alwin Englehardt then reapplied for the job. Englehardt had once served as a state sharfrichter but was "sacked" possibly for drinking (a frequent issue with sharfrichters) and he was in great debt. But he continued to lease and run a knackery
and married the daughter of Prussia's most famous scharfichter, Friedrich Reindel.
Englehardt was given his old position. With axe and fallbeil, he beheaded many including Marinus Van den Lubbe, accused arsonist in the Reichstag fire. Maybe he obtained F. Reindel's axe/block then?
Englehardt's drinking was a problem but he also was found to be selling tainted meat from his knackery to the public! He again was "sacked'. Englehardt contested his dismissal up to 1942, even writing to Hitler and Reich Justice Minister Franz Gurtner. Gurtner's wife read the letter and was shocked. At that time Alwin Englehardt possessed a sharfrichter's tools and threatened to sell them (all this documented by Evans). Englehardt wanted up to 50,000 RM. for his execution equipment. Perhaps he had quite a bit? Then the Gestapo stepped in, seized Englehardt's equipment, paid him a few hundred marks and increased his pension a bit. So now the axes, etc were with the Gestapo/RMJ. (The RMJ also would required all scharfrichters to turn over their axes and blocks, if they owned them, to the RMJ as the new fallbeille came into use... see Evans)

After Ernst Reindel died, his home was torn down and a richtbeil was found under a stairs (per R. Evans).
Maybe Ernst had kept it?
It was sold for scrap metal.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by tomh » 05 Feb 2021 22:36

Thanks fredric!

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by fredric » 05 Feb 2021 23:37

I wish I knew how to post photos. I have one of Scharfrichter Alwin Englehart. Elegant in his wing-ed collar shirt and possibly
a formal tuxedo. He also has four pins on his jacket. I wonder what they signify.
Photographs of Scharfricter are rare. Some are private, which I respect. Others are not, particularly those
of Johann Reichhart.
Keep good questions coming in the spirit of this forum. All questions are respected and responded.
Finland , btw, was a great interest to me... enough so the Finnish Embassy in D.C. invited me to talk to them. WOW.
I spent much of my time with family in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, meeting many Finns. I own a Finnish knife... dating from
about 1949.
Enough about Finland... I should take a nice sauna and chill out.
Best.

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