Hameln Prison Reburials

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Janssen
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Hameln Prison Reburials

Post by Janssen » 30 Sep 2014 16:26

Between 1945 and 1949, following a series of war crimes trials, the British executed a total of 202 alleged German war criminals. One hundred and fifty five of them were hanged in Hamelin Prison by Albert Pierrepoint.

The majority of those executed were members of Concentration Camp staff from Bergen-Belsen, Ravensbrück and Neuengamme. After execution, their corpses were buried in mass graves within the prison grounds.

In 1950, the British handed Hamelin Prison back to the Germans. There followed years of agitation by right wing elements in Lower Saxony to give the executed Germans a decent burial. In March 1954, the German prison authorities set about exhuming the bodies from the prison yard, identifying the remains and putting them in separate coffins for reburial in individual plots. A total of 91 bodies were reburied in hallowed ground in Hamelin's Am Wehl Cemetery.

Cemetery officials said no memorials would be allowed on the graves but wooden crosses would be allowed if relatives paid for them. Right up until the 1980s, there were local citizens’ initiatives to tend the graves and erect wooden crosses in memory of those executed.

In 1986, after a mass demonstration by the Neo-Nazi Free German Workers’ Party (FAP), the town council abandoned the site and it was left to grow wild.

Here is a photo of the burial site taken in 2013.
nazi graves am wehl.jpg
Does anybody have any more information on this subject, in particular, photos of the site before the town council abandoned it?
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Janssen
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Re: Hameln Prison Reburials

Post by Janssen » 02 Oct 2014 07:45

Here is a news report about the reburials from March 8, 1954

Germany Reburies Executed Nazis

http://www.jta.org/1954/03/08/archive/g ... in-britain

Janssen
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Re: Hameln Prison Reburials

Post by Janssen » 13 Oct 2014 13:25

Here is a link to the website where I stole the photograph.

http://www.historymatters.group.shef.ac ... bury-nazi/

Written by a Leicester University lecturer, she says that the burial site operated normally from 1954 until the early 1980s, a period of about 30 years. I can't find any newspaper reports online, except for a report on the reburials which I have linked to in the post above.

Anybody seriously interested in Nazi Germany would surely have visited the site, either to pay their respects, or just out of morbid curiosity - whatever your point of view.

We are talking about the graves of these people.
Irma Grese, josef Kramer.jpg
It's hard to believe that if the graves were there for 30 years nobody knows anything about them.
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Paul D
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Re: Hameln Prison Reburials

Post by Paul D » 14 Oct 2014 13:20

Janssen

have you tried contacting Hameln museum they may have some details for you, i know they had a display regarding hameln during the ww2

http://www.hameln.de/kultur/kultur/museum/index.htm

siwiec
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Re: Hameln Prison Reburials

Post by siwiec » 14 Oct 2014 13:44


Janssen
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Re: Hameln Prison Reburials

Post by Janssen » 14 Oct 2014 17:10

That is exactly what I was looking for.

One of those crosses is probably the grave of Irma Grese, the poor girl they called the beautiful beast. The article says they levelled the site in 1986. I'm not sure what that means but I doubt if the bodies were disturbed. I assume they just removed the crosses and allowed the site to grow wild.

Thank you very much for your help.
Last edited by Janssen on 14 Oct 2014 18:02, edited 1 time in total.

Janssen
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Re: Hameln Prison Reburials

Post by Janssen » 14 Oct 2014 17:19

Paul D wrote:Janssen

have you tried contacting Hameln museum they may have some details for you, i know they had a display regarding hameln during the ww2

http://www.hameln.de/kultur/kultur/museum/index.htm
Good idea. I will contact them and ask them if they can supply any more information.

It would be interesting to know if the bodies were disturbed when they levelled the site.

LineDoggie
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Re: Hameln Prison Reburials

Post by LineDoggie » 15 Oct 2014 17:22

Janssen wrote:
One of those crosses is probably the grave of Irma Grese, the poor girl they called the beautiful beast.
"Poor Girl"?
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

George_W
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Re: Hameln Prison Reburials

Post by George_W » 15 Oct 2014 19:24

And
Janssen wrote:Anybody seriously interested in Nazi Germany would surely have visited the site, either to pay their respects, or just out of morbid curiosity - whatever your point of view.
Pay respect to whom? Irma Grese and Josef Kramer?
I hope it was a joke 8O

George

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Skyderick
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Re: Hameln Prison Reburials

Post by Skyderick » 15 Oct 2014 22:36

Janssen wrote: ... to pay their respects... We are talking about the graves of these people. Irma Grese, Josef Kramer. One of those crosses is probably the grave of Irma Grese, the poor girl...
Lovely.

Janssen
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Re: Hameln Prison Reburials

Post by Janssen » 16 Oct 2014 08:35

I take the same view as the respected Jewish Publisher Victor Gollancz.

When the bodies were reburied in 1954, he wrote a letter to The Times.
Victor Gollancz 1.png
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Skyderick
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Re: Hameln Prison Reburials

Post by Skyderick » 16 Oct 2014 15:59

Janssen wrote:I take the same view as the respected Jewish Publisher Victor Gollancz.
When the bodies were reburied in 1954, he wrote a letter to The Times.
Your point being? They have already been reburied. Suppose you want Polish and Jewish survivors to light candles on their yahrzeit? Or maybe the local municipality should tend to the graves of these national heroes, since their families clearly don't want to?
Even Gollancz, who "lived by the teachings of Christ and Saint Francis of Assisi" wouldn't call Grese a poor girl.

I take the liberty of supplying the complete article you copied, since it also features some different opinions:

Image
Image
Image

Little John
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Re: Hameln Prison Reburials

Post by Little John » 07 Mar 2018 13:27

Janssen wrote:Between 1945 and 1949, following a series of war crimes trials, the British executed a total of 202 alleged German war criminals. One hundred and fifty five of them were hanged in Hamelin Prison by Albert Pierrepoint.

The majority of those executed were members of Concentration Camp staff from Bergen-Belsen, Ravensbrück and Neuengamme. After execution, their corpses were buried in mass graves within the prison grounds.

In 1950, the British handed Hamelin Prison back to the Germans. There followed years of agitation by right wing elements in Lower Saxony to give the executed Germans a decent burial. In March 1954, the German prison authorities set about exhuming the bodies from the prison yard, identifying the remains and putting them in separate coffins for reburial in individual plots. A total of 91 bodies were reburied in hallowed ground in Hamelin's Am Wehl Cemetery.

Cemetery officials said no memorials would be allowed on the graves but wooden crosses would be allowed if relatives paid for them. Right up until the 1980s, there were local citizens’ initiatives to tend the graves and erect wooden crosses in memory of those executed.

In 1986, after a mass demonstration by the Neo-Nazi Free German Workers’ Party (FAP), the town council abandoned the site and it was left to grow wild.

Here is a photo of the burial site taken in 2013.
nazi graves am wehl.jpg
Does anybody have any more information on this subject, in particular, photos of the site before the town council abandoned it?
Hi I'm sorry to reopen an old topic but I will be in Hameln this weekend and was planning to go out to the cemetery Am Wehl to look for this gravesite. Not to bestow any flowers or anything but just out of morbid curiosity as I've had a lifelong interest in The Holocaust and am currently researching one Dorothea Binz whom I believe is buried there. The question is, Does anyone know exactly where in the cemetery grounds this grave is located? I will have limited time in Hameln and don't want to spend all day searching the graveyard so any specific directions would be much appreciated.

Thanks.

Konrad Hagen
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Re: Hameln Prison Reburials

Post by Konrad Hagen » 10 Mar 2018 11:03

Hello Big John,

I went as far as the entrance of the Friedhof on Friday morning (I had very limited time). Car parking is good and the site is open over the weekend.

I believe the part of the cemetery you are looking for is CIII. I would search the northern part of the cemetery first. From the photographs it appears as though you want to find a path with high ground on either side of it. There is a florist at the bottom of the hill near the main road if you wish to buy flowers (not the one annotated on the satellite photograph by the cemetery entrance). Please let us know how you get on.

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The Jew, Gelderblom, has a webpage recounting (in a prejudiced manner) incidents surrounding those graves in 1986. Although biased the article is worth reading if only for the contemporary press reports contained within it.

http://www.gelderblom-hameln.de/zuchtha ... 51986.html

nora93
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Re: Hameln Prison Reburials

Post by nora93 » 10 Mar 2018 14:19

Konrad Hagen wrote:
The Jew, Gelderblom, has a webpage recounting (in a prejudiced manner) incidents surrounding those graves in 1986. Although biased the article is worth reading if only for the contemporary press reports contained within it.

http://www.gelderblom-hameln.de/zuchtha ... 51986.html

Bernhard Gelderblom is not Jewish but ethnic German. Not that his ethnic background has any relevance.

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