Beheadings in the Third Reich

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fredric
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Re: Brandenburg-Görden execution book

Post by fredric » 14 Feb 2021 17:13

stvn wrote:
14 Feb 2021 02:06
Andy.X.WorldWar2 wrote:
13 Feb 2021 23:45
Pete26 wrote:
15 Sep 2019 09:09
Brandenburg Gorden execution book .jpg

Two pages from Brandenburg-Görden prison execution book. Note that on 26 June 1944, 26 people were executed.

Between 1 August 1940 and 20 April 1945, 2032 people were executed in Brandenburg-Görden prison.

https://www.brandenburg-zuchthaus-sbg.d ... g-goerden/


Image

Garage building in 1937 which was converted to the execution site.

https://www.brandenburg-zuchthaus-sbg.d ... Nr_222.jpg

Image

Aerial view of Brandenburg-Görden prison in 1929

https://www.brandenburg-zuchthaus-sbg.d ... ftbild.jpg

Image

The entrance to the prison in 1937

https://www.brandenburg-zuchthaus-sbg.d ... rB1937.jpg

Image

Prison cell for four inmates, 1931

https://www.brandenburg-zuchthaus-sbg.d ... zelle1.jpg
Dear Pete,
Is it possible that there were a large number of people guillotined or executed in other manners completely secretly in the prisons and camps during 1936-1945 in the Nazi regime? You listed a lot of names listed in the documents. But I am afraid that there were many who perished even without being documented.
Perhaps I can weigh in here

I doubt that there were any beheadings in concentration camps. At least there are no documented cases that I am aware of.

There was a fallbeil at Pankrac prison in Prague. The Pankrac Prison was operated by the Gestapo, and it is very likely that the Gestapo brought people in secret to be executed by the fallbeil.

This is seldom talked about due to lack of sources but allow me to mention this possibility: The gestapo may have used the fallbeil as an interrogation tool also. I can't imagine something more effective at extracting confessions/information. Keep in mind, I cannot confirm this and it is not documented as far as I know. It just seems like something they could've done and probably would've done given their forté for brutality. I have suspicions is all.


Stvn
Good questions:
I have read (again in "Rituals of Retribution) that the Gestapo occasionally held secret fallbeil executions at prisons.
The gestapo personnel and their victims would just show up on a day when the Scharfrichter was executing prisoners condemned by the Volksgericht. Even the Scharfrichter did not know they were coming. The victims perished as "night and fog"... no records, nothing. I also recall that Scharfrichters complained because they had to carry out these executions for free. The victim and all records of them simply vanished. Pankrac... was very likely a "night and fog" executions were held there too. Pancrac was a central site with a new Tegel and a brutal Gestapo staff.

I cannot recall the title but years ago I read a book about treatment of homosexuals sent to concentration camps... the author states that a roving execution team with a "spring-loaded" portable fallbeil would arrive at the camp, set up their equipment and behead certain prisoners while watched by other prisoners. I recall the book mentions that the execution team wore
yellow rubber aprons and worked fast. Then they moved on. I have never found any other reference to this and I think it is a myth.

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Re: Brandenburg-Görden execution book

Post by Pete26 » 14 Feb 2021 20:56

Andy.X.WorldWar2 wrote:
14 Feb 2021 05:32


Nice to see you back Pete! Perhaps you are the one with the most posts in this topic.
Were there only fallbeil, hanging and shooting rooms in the normal prisons? Was gas only used against Jews?
I mean, as gas seems to do a quick job in use of executing a group of individuals at the same time, it might be practiced in secret executions.
Some execution sites had only guillotines, some had both guillotines and hanging beams or other types of gallows (e.g. Poznan execution room had a guillotine and individual hanging hooks with pits below). There were no "shooting rooms" that I know of. Certainly some individuals were executed by shooting. But this was typically done at an outdoor shooting range or execution site. A good example here is execution by shooting of several hundred people in Prague. The shooting always took place at the Kobylisy firing range, which was an outdoor shooting range. In Vienna, those who were shot were executed at the Kagran firing range, which was also an outdoor shooting range. In some cases, people were also shot in courtyards of prisons. Because high powered rifles were used, there had to be a large pile of sandbags, a substantial wall, or a berm of some kind behind the victims.
I have never heard of any people being gassed outside of concentration camps. The use of cyanide gas to execute several individuals at a time without endangering the witnesses and prison personnel would require use of a special air tight gas chamber, much like the United States used for judicial executions in the 1950's. You can find photos and description of such gas chambers in US prisons, such as San Quentin for example. Even after the hydrogen cyanide gas was sucked out of the chamber by fans after the execution, the body was sprayed with liquid ammonia to neutralize any remaining gas which remains on the clothing of the executed individuals. This was done to protect the personnel removing the bodies after the execution. The main problem with these gas chambers was deterioration of the chamber door rubber seals with age and possible leakage of cyanide gas to the outside during the execution.
Use of nitrogen gas for executions would have been much safer as nitrogen is non toxic and a simple asphyxiant. And a person in highly concentrated nitrogen atmosphere falls unconscious after a few breaths and dies quickly. On the other hand, execution by cyanide gas is painful, cruel, and often slow. Witnesses have claimed that some people executed by cyanide gas in the US were still alive and moving 10 minutes after the gas was released.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by fredric » 14 Feb 2021 23:42

Having driven past San Quentin many times, I always wondered if they still give tours of the gas chamber. Pete most accurately
describes the equipment and procedure. A friend of mine was stationed at a nearby Naval base so he would take his visitors to see
the execution chamber, part of the tour. Tour guides of course said the victim died almost immediately. This is crazy. Pete's description
is accurate. My friend, if here, would only add that the victim would rise up, straining against the straps, two times and be dead when
he dropped. I understand from comments of my friend and other sources that the "clean-up" was dangerous. The execution chamber I was told had a vent stack to help suck out gas. Maybe a myth. But my friend heard the area around the stack was covered with dead
seagulls and other birds.
The above of course is off topic but linked to the inquiry. Pete's description fits what I have read and seen in his many postings. Shootings in the NZ era were military executions. Harald Polchau in his book "Die Letzen Stunden" (sp) has a chapter on such shootings and they were not done at a prison. Military prisoners in Berlin I believe were held in Leherter Strasse prison. They were then transported to a shooting range outside of town and shot there. Pastor Polchau accompanied many of these condemned soldiers (cowardice, etc.) and
prayed with them on the way to the site. The site was a typical shooting range with a hill, a ditch and open area for posts. There are
few military executions I have found that were carried out by fallbeil. The Rote Kapelle was one.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Pete26 » 15 Feb 2021 04:06

fredric wrote:
14 Feb 2021 23:42
Having driven past San Quentin many times, I always wondered if they still give tours of the gas chamber. Pete most accurately
describes the equipment and procedure. A friend of mine was stationed at a nearby Naval base so he would take his visitors to see
the execution chamber, part of the tour. Tour guides of course said the victim died almost immediately. This is crazy. Pete's description
is accurate. My friend, if here, would only add that the victim would rise up, straining against the straps, two times and be dead when
he dropped. I understand from comments of my friend and other sources that the "clean-up" was dangerous. The execution chamber I was told had a vent stack to help suck out gas. Maybe a myth. But my friend heard the area around the stack was covered with dead
seagulls and other birds.
The above of course is off topic but linked to the inquiry. Pete's description fits what I have read and seen in his many postings. Shootings in the NZ era were military executions. Harald Polchau in his book "Die Letzen Stunden" (sp) has a chapter on such shootings and they were not done at a prison. Military prisoners in Berlin I believe were held in Leherter Strasse prison. They were then transported to a shooting range outside of town and shot there. Pastor Polchau accompanied many of these condemned soldiers (cowardice, etc.) and
prayed with them on the way to the site. The site was a typical shooting range with a hill, a ditch and open area for posts. There are
few military executions I have found that were carried out by fallbeil. The Rote Kapelle was one.
Fredric, quite a few German soldiers sentenced to death for desertion, etc. were beheaded in Dortmund prison. Some were also beheaded in the Roter Ochse prison in Halle. Several were also beheaded in Pankrac prison. But shooting was definitely the preferred execution method for military offenders.

From what I read, the US prison gas chambers, when used, had a stack for evacuating the hydrogen cyanide gas after the execution.
These chambers were made to execute two prisoners at a time. Two chairs were provided side by side. There was a built-in bowl under each chair with piping going outside the chamber . When the execution began, the executioner would release diluted sulfuric acid into each bowl by operating a valve from outside the chamber. Then he would drop sodium or potassium cyanide pallets into the acid by using a lever on the outside of the gas chamber as well. Chemical reaction of sodium or potassium cyanide and sulfuric acid would produce hydrogen cyanide gas which would rise in the chamber and be visible to the condemned. Some desperately tried to hold their breath as long as they could. Hydrogen cyanide gas interferes with body's red blood cell ability to transport oxygen to the cells so the person dies of internal suffocation. It also constricts blood vessels and creates heart attack like painful sensation.


https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/articl ... d-him.html

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by fredric » 15 Feb 2021 17:02

Excellent info. Forgot about the "two - seater" chamber.
Cyanide is scary stuff... I worked with some in a heat-treating lab.... perhaps not the same cyanide as used
in the chamber?
Also, great info, new to me, about German soldiers being beheaded at Dortmund and Halle. I wonder if these were axe or fallbeil
executions. Pankrac of course on the Tegel.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Pete26 » 18 Feb 2021 06:22

fredric wrote:
15 Feb 2021 17:02
Excellent info. Forgot about the "two - seater" chamber.
Cyanide is scary stuff... I worked with some in a heat-treating lab.... perhaps not the same cyanide as used
in the chamber?
Also, great info, new to me, about German soldiers being beheaded at Dortmund and Halle. I wonder if these were axe or fallbeil
executions. Pankrac of course on the Tegel.
I believe that it was laboratory grade sodium or potassium cyanide but instead of powdered form which it is usually manufactured in, it was in pellet form. I worked in a chemical lab many years ago as well and we used potassium cyanide on occasion for laboratory analysis of glass. I remember that it was packed unlike any other chemical I ever came in contact with. A sealed glass bottle with poison warning label was the outer packaging, Inside the bottle was a sealed metallic foil pouch with skull and crossbones warnings and inside it was yet another sealed bottle with white cyanide powder inside and the required warning label.

The executions in Dortmund and Halle were almost exclusively by fallbeil. Of more than 300 people beheaded in Dortmund, only 5 were beheaded with an axe. I do not have that information for Halle. Obviously, only fallbeil was used for beheading executions in Pankrac prison.

I have posted this info about Dortmund executions some time ago:

" Dortmund was designated as one of the official execution sites of the German Reich from June 1943 to the beginning of January 1945. The executions were typically carried out once a week.

Five people were beheaded in Dortmund with a hand axe. Four were beheaded on 30 August 1934 for politically motivated crimes. A convicted robber murderer was also beheaded with an axe on 26 February 1936. After 1936 no beheadings were carried out in Dortmund until guillotine executions started in June 1943.

5 January 1945 was the date of the last guillotine execution. Five people were beheaded, but not by the executioner, but by prison officials. The remaining condemned prisoners were transferred to Wolfenbuettel prison a week later.


Some notable execution dates where 10 prisoner total execution limit was exceeded:

15 November 1943: 19 people beheaded

30 June 1943: 18 people beheaded

18 October 1943: 17 people beheaded

2 June 1943: 12 people beheaded

15 September 1944: 11 people beheaded

22 September 1944: 11 people beheaded"




Here is the case of one German soldier beheaded in Dortmund for desertion, which I posted a while ago:

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=35191&p=2215640&hil ... d#p2215640



This is a partial list of German military personnel beheaded in Dortmund:

In the court prison in Dortmund from May 1943 to the beginning of January 1945 the Nazi military justice system executed those sentenced to death who were not from Dortmund:

Werner Birlem born on June 14, 1920 in Berlin-Lichtenberg
Heinz Werner Busch born on February 3rd, 1921 in Koblenz
Wilhelm Eduard Franz Böttger born on July 26, 1902 in Düsseldorf
Heinrich Dülks born on September 8, 1922 in Essen
Johann Eschbach born on November 30, 1924 in the Rheinberg district of Cologne Porz
Heinrich Ludwig Feisel born on September 9, 1918 in Frankenberg
Johann Fi **** born on October 5th, 1909 in Kellen Kreis Kleve
Ludwig Edmund Christian Fri **** born on July 25, 1903 in Dortmund-Berghofen
August Grüters born on November 23, 1919 in Elberfeld
Edmund Hackhausen born on March 6, 1920 in Cologne-Zollstock
Friedrich Herrmann born on April 2nd, 1914 in Düsseldorf
Ernst Karl Hopf born on April 30, 1920 in Stendal
Karl Ernst Huckschlag born on August 23, 1916 in Menden
Hans August Robert Hülsmann born on May 12, 1922 in Bochum-Hordel
Wilhelm Jülich born on November 16, 1912 in Cologne-Lindenthal
Harry Kurt Ko **** born on December 23, 1922 in Gladbeck
Leo Kaczorowski born on March 21, 1902 in Jellen, Strasburg district / West Prussia
Emil Kallenbach born on January 25, 1921 in Wasungen district of Meiningen
Heinrich Koch Born on December 30, 1913 in Wachendorf district of Euskirchen
Johann Wilhelm Kraft born on December 11, 1905 in Wuppertal, poss. Dortmund
Willy Kuchweide born on December 16, 1906 in Barmen
Paul Kusz born on August 3rd, 1918 in Gelsenkirchen
Phillip Johann Lenhart Born on October 27, 1919, last address in Weiler bei Bingerbrück
Richard Liebelt born on October 9, 1902 in Wiesa district of Kamenz
Gerhard Lindemann Born on October 15, 1918 in Wörlitz Krs. Dessau
Heinrich Lüttgen born on November 21, 1913 in Düsseldorf
Otto Malick born on June 20, 1918 in Forst
Alfred Mannewitz born on March 24, 1910 in Brandenburg
Ludwig Musielak born on August 12, 1912 in Oberhausen
Gustav Möllmann born on August 2, 1914 in Wesel
August Mühlbach born June 6th, 1907 Frankfurt / Main
Gerhard Otto Müller born on September 5, 1918 in Wilnsdorf / Dippoldiswalde
Franz Wilhelm Nagl born on February 5, 1916 in Gmunden / Oberdonau
Josef Nösler born on September 8, 1914 in Wattenscheid
Friedrich Prylewski born on October 21, 1913 in Wanne-Eickel
Walter Rachowiak born on September 12, 1912 in Herten
Emil Karl Reinhold Riese born on January 24, 1906 in Essen-Altendorf
Johann Roth born on September 3rd, 1914 in Hüls / Kempen-Krefeld
Alfred Horst Rumey born on February 13, 1917 in Königsberg
Wilhelm Rusche born on May 4, 1907, last place of residence Mülheim / Ruhr
Heinrich Josef Scheidtmann jun. born on May 16, 1914 in Neviges
Johann Schröder Born on February 7, 1925 in Neudorf Castle, Meseritz / Warthe district
Heinz Seidel born on April 10, 1921 in Seeburg near Halle
Heinrich Seidler born on November 17th, 1904 in Rüttenscheid / Essen
Rudolf Sgubisch born on June 10, 1920 in Bismarckhütte / Beuthen
Josef Spanz Born on March 15, 1912 in the Stockigt district of Bitburg
Johann Tauber born on February 11, 1919 in Graz / Austria
Hermann Tegeder born on December 8, 1919 in Remscheid
Bernhard Thiel born on September 1, 1907 in the Loneker district of Enschede
Heinz Thomas born on October 29, 1922 in Barmen
Hermann Witte Born on February 1, 1915, last place of residence in Düsseldorf
Helmut Oskar Zehkorn born on October 2, 1907 in Hohensalza

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Dortmund prison

Post by Pete26 » 23 Feb 2021 04:23

The document designating Dortmund prison as one of Central Execution sites of the Third Reich. Also, the cross from the Dortmund fallbeil execution room.

Dortmund-I.jpg

https://gefaengnisseelsorge.net/schatte ... angeneheit

Another example of a young person executed by guillotine for minor theft after a bombing raid, using the People's Pest regulation to justify the death sentence:
19 year old Ilse Mitze was sentenced to death by Nazi judge Ernst Eckhardt for stealing some articles of clothing whilst clearing out debris after an allied bombing raid in nearby Hagen. She was executed by guillotine in Dortmund Prison on 12 May 1944.
https://www.frankfallaarchive.org/priso ... nd-prison/
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Hans Haberl and Walter Klingenbeck

Post by Pete26 » 24 Feb 2021 02:21

Historian Bernhard Schäfer portrays an almost forgotten resistance member from Grafingen: In 1941, as a teenager, Hans Haberl distributed leaflets critical of the regime and tried to set up a radio station of the same kind.


https://www.sueddeutsche.de/muenchen/eb ... -1.4774797

W. Klingenbeck.jpg


19 year old Walter Klingenbeck was guillotined in Munich Stadelheim prison on 5 August 1943 by Johann Reichhart.
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Four forced laborers beheaded in Stadelheim prison

Post by Pete26 » 24 Feb 2021 22:52


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Maria Ehrlich

Post by Pete26 » 01 Mar 2021 01:15

80 year old Maria Ehrlich was beheaded in Munich Stadelheim prison on 10 February 1944 for undermining German military strength.


https://portal.ehri-project.eu/units/de ... ms_200_272

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Alois Weiss

Post by Pete26 » 04 Mar 2021 06:39

A larger photo of Pankrac prison executioner Alois Weiss.

Alois Weiss.jpg

https://www.ahaonline.cz/galerie/musite ... aci?foto=0
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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Hans1906 » 04 Mar 2021 20:17

Pete26,

thanks for your link, the few photos are frightening, the execution room is even more disturbing, the water hose in the corner is just terrifying.

Very sure I'm repeating myself, but I can't even imagine what was going on there.

It is beyond imagination for me personally, the simplest thought of it, it robs me of sleep.
Still, thanks for the photos, the pictures are a good message:

You shall not kill!

With all due respect


Hans1906

* I think it is important to speak out against a death penalty even today, I cannot speak against it, state murder, is and remains murder.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by fredric » 04 Mar 2021 23:56

Pete 26 is the best source about the Czech execution room.
Sekerama! Axe room.
A horrible location of the worst in inhuman history.
Alois Weiss never went to jail. He retired in Germany.
I believe some of his assistants were executed. The entire staff of Pancraz was killed
when Prague fell... I think. This is not my area.
Was Scharfrichter Alois Weiss evil? He needed the money and made a sizable income running the execution
room at Pancraz.
Was Weiss "just following orders"?
I think he must have escaped to a suburb of Munchin.
I have never researched his life in Germany except that I have read he retired happily.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by Pete26 » 05 Mar 2021 03:39

fredric wrote:
04 Mar 2021 23:56
Pete 26 is the best source about the Czech execution room.
Sekerama! Axe room.
A horrible location of the worst in inhuman history.
Alois Weiss never went to jail. He retired in Germany.
I believe some of his assistants were executed. The entire staff of Pancraz was killed
when Prague fell... I think. This is not my area.
Was Scharfrichter Alois Weiss evil? He needed the money and made a sizable income running the execution
room at Pancraz.
Was Weiss "just following orders"?
I think he must have escaped to a suburb of Munchin.
I have never researched his life in Germany except that I have read he retired happily.
The Czech word for the "axe room" is "sekyrárna ", not "sekerama". It is most often called "Pankrácká sekyrárna", which means
"Pankrac axe room". Two of Weiss's assistants, Antonin Nerad and Robert Tyfa were tried and executed by hanging in Pankrac prison after WWII. Two other assistants, Otto Sweiger (his brother in law) and Jan Kriz escaped to Germany and were never punished.

Alois Weiss did not have a happy retirement despite the fact that he was never prosecuted or punished for his deeds. Czechoslovak government requested after WWII that he be extradited to Czechoslovakia for trial and punishment, but German government refused. He was lucky because I have no doubt he would have been sentenced to death and hanged, just like two of his helpers. According to what I read, Alois Weiss lived in relative poverty in West Germany after the War. He apparently squandered most of his fortune he made as the Pankrac executioner (over 40,000 Reichsmark) and had to work low paying jobs to make a living, For a time he worked as a waiter. He demanded a pension for his "civil service work" as the Pankrac executioner from the German government and even asked the government of Czechoslovakia to confirm that he was indeed employed as Pankrac executioner between April 1943 and April 1945. There was of course no response from the Czechoslovak government, but in the end Weiss's persistence paid off and he was indeed given some kind of pension by the 'German government for his bloody services.
Alois Weiss, when interviewed by a journalist after WWII, stated that his conscience did not bother him and the fate of the people whom he guillotined did not move him. Cynical words by a cynic who killed people only for money. Alois Weiss also performed at least 100 guillotine executions in Vienna during his tenure as the Pankrac executioner.

It cannot be said that Alois Weiss just followed orders. He applied for the position of Prague executioner willingly as he stood to make a lot of money and apparently he had no higher education or any trade skills to be able to secure a job that would pay anywhere near what this executioner job would.

Alois Weiss was a former assistant to Johann Reichhart. I often wondered if he assisted Johann Reichhart in the executions of Hans and Sophie Scholl and Christoph Probst. However, this is highly unlikely because he moved to Prague in January 1943 to supervise the construction of the execution complex in Pankrac prison and installation of the guillotine. The Scholl siblings and Probst executions took place on 22 February 1943 in Stadelheim prison.

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Re: Beheadings in the Third Reich

Post by fredric » 05 Mar 2021 21:30

You provide such great information.
Thank you.

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