In 1938,it was decided that the prison in Konigsberg had to have a state of the art execution site with its own guillotine.Before the site was ready in the fall,
, Ernst Reindel beheaded using the hand held ax.After the reform of the German execution system,in 1937/38,the main method of exe3cution was the Fallbeil.The sit had a glass roof and a cell adjacent for the condemned to spent his last hours in
Already in 1934,discussions between Roland Freisler and representatives of the RJM resulted in a recommandation of the Fallbeil as the sole instrument of execution,as the hand ax was by a majority of those present regarded as midieval and repulsive.Things got under way after the beheading of Von Natzer and Falkenhayn,feb.18 1935,which caused some commotion abroad.However,there were not enough modern Fallbeile to cover the needs of the RJF.Until that time, the hand ax was to be used.It had its drawbacks however,that became manifest when executioner Reichelt had to give two blows to complete the job.(Reichelt was fired immediately)The only time that the hand ax was officially used in wartime(there were Fallbeile enough at that time)was in nover\mber 1942,when looters were to be executed after air raids on Rostock.The executioner(not stated who) was given the Handbeil and Richtblock, and was driven to the nearest prison,Dreibergen/Buetzow,to do the job.
Anyway,from 1938 until summer 1943,Reindel,Hehr,Bordt and Henschke were respon sible for the executions in Konigsberg prison.It was found however,that the executions were more and more difficult for these men to carry out, becaus of the distances in travel and the effect of allied bombing.It was therefor decided that a Scharfrichter had to be appointed who was a local resident or was willing to become one.This Scharfrichter had to serve Danzig prison also(more on that later)Karl hENSCHKE,from Poznan,applied and was given the job.january 3th 1944,he became active as Konigsbergs and Danzigs own executioner.
Last edited by Paul53 on 16 Jan 2009 20:43, edited 1 time in total.