Kampfgruppe Peiper's war crimes in Ardennes (16.12. 1944)

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Kurt_Steiner
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Post by Kurt_Steiner » 23 Feb 2007 10:51

Davy wrote:Hi,

the murders in Stavelot was not for Kampfgruppe Peiper, but from Schnelle gruppe Knittel, a unit of the SS.AA.1

Davy.


IIRC, SS-Kampfgruppe Knittel did not link up with Peiper at Stavelot until 00.00 am (or so), 19 december 1944, after Mohnke ordered Knittel to return to Stavelot because American forces had managed to cut off the LAH spearhead from their supplies.

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Post by Harro » 23 Feb 2007 11:16

Kurt_Steiner wrote:When I quoted that link, I mentioned the difference between the common accepted number of civilians and the one from those mentioned in that link. I don't understand your surprised, unless you skipped my note.

About factual proofs

After the end of World War II, Peiper and other members of the Waffen-SS were tried for war crimes in the Malmedy massacre trial. Among those crimes the massacre at Stavelot was included. Peiper was found guilty and sentenced to death by hanging, as were many of his men.

However, the sentences created a big turmoil because the accused were found guilty on the ground of "illegal and fraudulently procured confessions" and were subjects of a mock trial. This turmoil led to an investigation of the US Senate which concluded that improper pre-trial procedures (including mock trial, but not torture as sometime stated) had harmed the process and, although in some cases there was little or no doubt that the accused were indeed guilty of the massacre, the death sentences could hardly be applied.

Now, my question, 'Harro'. Have you anything that proves that Peiper had nothing to do with the Stavelot massacre? Perhaps the US Senate would be highly interested in your proofs.

Why would I try to provide evidence that Peiper "had nothing to do with the Stavelot massacre"? I never made such claims.

Once again you avoid my simple question: do you have factual proof that the same units from KG Peiper killed 130 civilians in Stavelot on December 18, 1944? No distractions about the trial in general or the other crimes Peiper and his men committed in the Ardennes. I'm asking you about the 130 civilians you mentioned being killed in Stavelot on December 18. Now, it seems you already agree that it might just as well have been 93 victims. That's already 37 victims less than your original claim! So where did these 37 people go? I'll go easy on you. Proof that KG Peiper killed 93 civilians in Stavelot on December 18, 1944, would be quite sufficient. Off course KG Peiper was responsible for civilian victims in Stavelot that day. But the question is: how many. Please provide factual proof.


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Post by Kurt_Steiner » 23 Feb 2007 11:19

Peiper was accused and senteced for that crime, and it was said that there was little doubt about it. For me, it's enough. Full stop. If you need more factual proofs, ok, it's fine for me, go and do your crusade on your own. I have nothing more to say about it.

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Post by Harro » 23 Feb 2007 11:31

Kurt_Steiner wrote:
Davy wrote:Hi,

the murders in Stavelot was not for Kampfgruppe Peiper, but from Schnelle gruppe Knittel, a unit of the SS.AA.1

Davy.

IIRC, SS-Kampfgruppe Knittel did not link up with Peiper at Stavelot until 00.00 am (or so), 19 december 1944, after Mohnke ordered Knittel to return to Stavelot because American forces had managed to cut off the LAH spearhead from their supplies.

That's incorrect. You've got your facts all wrong. Peiper left Stavelot for La Gleize in the morning of December 18, 1944. The first elements of KG Knittel crossed the bridge in Stavelot before noon. For the rest of the day and part of the night the battle for the centre of Stavelot raged between Knittel and the Americans. You mix-up Stavelot and La Gleize. It was shortly before midnight when the first elements of KG Knittel linked up with Peiper in La Gleize- other elements arrived during the night. Mohnke ordered Knittel to return to Stavelot in the morning of December 19.

I suppose Davy was thinking of the crimes committed by KG Knittel in Parfondruy (Legrand farm) and Stavelot (Legaye house) on December 19. That's why I wrote that he mixed up the dates.

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Post by Harro » 23 Feb 2007 11:45

Kurt_Steiner wrote:Peiper was accused and senteced for that crime, and it was said that there was little doubt about it. For me, it's enough. Full stop. If you need more factual proofs, ok, it's fine for me, go and do your crusade on your own. I have nothing more to say about it.

Is that your way of saying: "Sorry Harro, I don't have any actual knowledge of the case. I just parrot some other sites"? The Malmédy trial wasn't that simple. Peiper was indeed accused and sentenced for crimes. Also for this particular crime - 130 dead civilians in Stavelot on December 18, 1944? I'm most curious if you can quote from the verdict anything that refers to this specific crime. Did you even read the verdict? How do we know it were 130 victims? Or was it 93? Or less? Do you know the report from the Belgian War Crimes Commission? Have you seen the listed names of the victims? Do you know where they lived and what happened to them? And above all: do you know how many victims were counted? I guess it is no use asking you all this because you've decided to abandon ship and stick to the verdict. A verdict that means nothing.

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Post by Kurt_Steiner » 23 Feb 2007 13:41

Harro wrote:
Kurt_Steiner wrote:Peiper was accused and senteced for that crime, and it was said that there was little doubt about it. For me, it's enough. Full stop. If you need more factual proofs, ok, it's fine for me, go and do your crusade on your own. I have nothing more to say about it.

Is that your way of saying: "Sorry Harro, I don't have any actual knowledge of the case. I just parrot some other sites"? The Malmédy trial wasn't that simple. Peiper was indeed accused and sentenced for crimes. Also for this particular crime - 130 dead civilians in Stavelot on December 18, 1944? I'm most curious if you can quote from the verdict anything that refers to this specific crime. Did you even read the verdict? How do we know it were 130 victims? Or was it 93? Or less? Do you know the report from the Belgian War Crimes Commission? Have you seen the listed names of the victims? Do you know where they lived and what happened to them? And above all: do you know how many victims were counted? I guess it is no use asking you all this because you've decided to abandon ship and stick to the verdict. A verdict that means nothing.


A verdict means nothing... Parroting... I see...

Sorry, I don't want to play that game.

The Malmedy Massacre Trial, by the way, states:

"did....at, or in the vicinity of Malmedy, Honsfeld, Büllingen, Lignauville, Stoumont, La Gleize, Cheneux, Petit Thier, Trois Ponts, Stavelot, Wanne and Lutre-Bois, all in Belgium, at sundry times between 16 December 1944 and 13 January 1945, willfully, deliberately, and wrongfully permit, encourage, aid, abet, and participate in the killings, shooting, ill treatment, abuse and torture of members of the Armed Forces of the United States of America, then at war with the then German Reich, who were then and there surrendered and unarmed prisoners of war in the custody of the then German Reich, the exact names and numbers of such persons being unknown aggregating several hundred, and of unarmed civilian nationals, the exact names and numbers of such persons being unknown."

Peiper recognized those crimes during the trial, to take the blame on him and not on his men, but he didn't deny them. Curious, indeed.

You haven't proved that those crimes didn't took place, you haven't proved that the verdict was ilegal, you haven't proved that Peiper was innocent of the crimes, you haven't proved your point -whatever it is, I don't care-. But you ask for factual proofs. If you need "factual proofs", search them by yourself. As you say, I prefer to abandon the ship, because you don't deserve the effort. I don't care about you may think or wrote.

Be happy, etc.

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Post by tonyh » 23 Feb 2007 15:37

Peiper recognized those crimes during the trial, to take the blame on him and not on his men, but he didn't deny them. Curious, indeed.


He also didn't say he was guilty either.


Tony

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Post by Harro » 23 Feb 2007 15:42

Again: I didn't prove that those crimes didn't take place simply because I'm NOT denying that they took place. Tell me, why should I proof that? Just look at the quote you just posted.[...] several hundred, and of unarmed civilian nationals, the exact names and numbers of such persons being unknown.. The exact names and numbers of such persons being unknown. Yet you claim the number of 130 civilians as a fact. You say 130, others say 93, some say even less. What's the truth? You say 130, what's your prove? You keep talking about the trial, about Peipers guilt and the verdict. But you still refuse to answer a simple question: what proof do you have that the same units from KG Peiper murdered 130 civilians in Stavelot on December 18, 1944. As far as I know it is forum policy that anyone who makes such claims has to provide factual sources. You did not and do not want to. I'm not worth the effort? You can use all sorts of lame excuses for not providing sources but everybody can see that you simply cannot backup your statements. "At sundry times between 16 December 1944 and 13 January 1945". KG Peiper left the area on December 25, 1944, yet they were tried for crimes committed as late as January 13, 1945. You call that proof?

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Post by Kurt_Steiner » 23 Feb 2007 15:45

I was re-reading Liddell Hart's History of WW2, when he mentions Peiper's actions during the battle of the Ardeness.

When I suddenly came to that part that he says -I'm traslating from Spanish, so those are not the same words that LH wrote-:

"On the way [to the Meuse crossing at Huy] he won fame by killing unarmed US prisioners, as well as many Belgian civilians, Peiper said, during his trial in the post war period, that this was done following Hitler's orders. [...] However, Peiper's KG was the only unit which acted in such a brutal way" (pag. 282 Historia de la Segunda Guerra Mundial, Liddell Hart, editorial Caralt, Barcelona, 1991).

So I suppose that LH mentions those Belgian civilians for the sake of being just playful and unprofessional, as our dear Harro would argue...

Can you Harro say all the names of those killed at Coventry, Dresden or Hamburg? Really? Can you? Or are you just trying to make a revisionist version of the Malmedy trial?

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Post by tonyh » 23 Feb 2007 15:58

On what page does that appear and in what chapter...cos I cannot recall reading such a sentence in Liddel Hart's "History of the Second World War"

At the trial, IIRC, Peiper denied profusely that there was any order to kill POWS from anybody and the prosecution couldn't find one. Ironically, however, one was actually found for an American unit.

All very embarrasing I'm sure.


Tony

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Post by Kurt_Steiner » 23 Feb 2007 16:00

Returning to Knittel. We agree that the kampfgruppe Knittel, which was sent to help Peiper. The KG Knittel crosses the bridge at Stavelot at 19:00, where the situation is quite complicated as part of the 117 US IR had been attacking Stavelot since some hours ago. At 20:00 some US ATs enter into Stavelot and they destroyed some German vehicles in the market place. Knittel counter-attacks until midnight but to no avail. Thus, we can conclude that Knittel and his boys are quite busy to kill unarmed civilians.

Well, bearing in mind that the Kampfgruppe Hansen was having troubles at the Rollbanh E, we can suppose that Hansen wasn't there to kill those Belgian people. But, oh surprise, who had been there? Peiper.

What a suprise!

In my edition of LH -Spanish version-, it's page 282

And during the trial, Peiper blamed on himself to keep his men out of the troubles, to no avail. So, what do we do? Did he admit it? Did he not?

Oh, so embarrasing indeed.

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Post by tonyh » 23 Feb 2007 16:14

Actually, just checked this, Liddel Hart does in fact say the following on page 685...

Peiper claimed at his post war trial that this was done in fulfilment of an order by Hitler that the thrust should be preceded "by a wave of terror".


I have a lot of respect for Liddel Hart's book, but in this case he seems at odds with others, such as Gordon Williamson. There used to be a substantial excerpt from Peiper's trial on this website, maybe the answer lies in there.

But I'd say Liddel Hart in this case was wrong.

And during the trial, Peiper blamed on himself to keep his men out of the troubles, to no avail. So, what do we do? Did he admit it? Did he not?

Oh, so embarrasing indeed.


By the way, I mean it was somewhat embarassing for the Allied prosecutors that a US order not to take prisoners was found but could find no order from the other side. it was not a remark on you.

Also, Peiper asked to have the weight of the sentence to be placed on him and not his men out of an old style sense of honour (that is sadly lacking these days). He never admitted guilt for any of the charges and in fact was nowhere near Malmedy when the shootings occured.

Tony

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Post by Kurt_Steiner » 23 Feb 2007 16:18

Ok, he was not near Malmedy. Who was near?

Neither KG Knittel nor KG Hansen were there with time or disponibility to do those crimes. Elements of KG Peiper had been there...

So, Peiper wasn't guilty because he wasn't there. Hitler was not in the KZs, but no one says that he was not guilty. Peiper gave an order, his men fulfilled it.

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Post by Harro » 23 Feb 2007 16:23

Kurt_Steiner wrote:Returning to Knittel. We agree that the kampfgruppe Knittel, which was sent to help Peiper. The KG Knittel crosses the bridge at Stavelot at 19:00, where the situation is quite complicated as part of the 117 US IR had been attacking Stavelot since some hours ago. At 20:00 some US ATs enter into Stavelot and they destroyed some German vehicles in the market place. Knittel counter-attacks until midnight but to no avail. Thus, we can conclude that Knittel and his boys are quite busy to kill unarmed civilians.

Knittel "and his boys" - when not taking cover for Allied airraids - were in constant battle with the 30th US Inf.Div. So why your conclusion that they were "quite busy to kill unarmed civilians"? That makes absolutely no sense at all.

BTW, you have your facts wrong. "KG Knittel crosses the bridge at Stavelot at 19:00" makes no sense since the first elements of KG Knittel crossed before noon (that's more than seven ours before 19.00) - were then stopped by the American airforce and artillery - but continued crossing Stavelot during the night.
Kurt_Steiner wrote:Well, bearing in mind that the Kampfgruppe Hansen was having troubles at the Rollbanh E, we can suppose that Hansen wasn't there to kill those Belgian people. But, oh surprise, who had been there? Peiper. What a suprise!

Isn't that something we already established? It doesn't proof that 130 civilians were killed that day in Stavelot. Peiper left Stavelot before noon.
Kurt_Steiner wrote:And during the trial, Peiper blamed on himself to keep his men out of the troubles, to no avail. So, what do we do? Did he admit it? Did he not?

So?

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Post by Harro » 23 Feb 2007 16:25

Kurt_Steiner wrote:Ok, he was not near Malmedy. Who was near?

Neither KG Knittel nor KG Hansen were there with time or disponibility to do those crimes. Elements of KG Peiper had been there...

So, Peiper wasn't guilty because he wasn't there. Hitler was not in the KZs, but no one says that he was not guilty. Peiper gave an order, his men fulfilled it.

Peiper was in the KZ Lager, he even witnessed the gassings, looked through the small glass window in the door of the gas chamber. It didn't move him at all emotionally. For that matter he was a true hardcore nazi. Same with the many crimes his men committed in the East, in Italy and in Belgium. But that does not proof that 130 civilians were murdered by his men in Stavelot on December 18, 1944.

This topic is about 130 civilians in Stavelot. Not about the Malmédy massacre or Hitler in the KZ Lager.

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