SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Peiper - Naive, Desperate or Suffering from Battle Fatigue ?

Discussion in 'Axis Units' started by Drew5233, Jun 25, 2009.

  1. Korps Steiner

    Korps Steiner Senior Member

    I gave my sources. I even gave them in the same post as the one you just quoted from.

    So your saying that these books provide definative historical evidence that Poetschke gave the order that the prisoners at Malmedy were to be shot ?
  2. Ruimteaapje

    Ruimteaapje Member

    No comment.
  3. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

    Just for clarification, Peiper was a convicted war criminal but only convicted for something that is highly disputed to have happened, by him at least?
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    No. The massacre happened. The 'controversy' is apparently where direct culpability lies, somewhat hindered by a rather shaky trial process.
  5. MLW

    MLW Senior Member

    If you are truly interested in this topic, I suggest you consider buying this very inexpensive, yet primary source document about KG Peiper and the Malmedy massacre.

    Item number: 220434356858
    Kampfgruppe Peiper: Malmedy 15-26 December 1944
    by Oberst Joachim Peiper

  6. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Thanks but Im not interested in the massacre more his frame of mind when he did one with what was left of his Kampfgruppe :D

  7. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Thanks but Im not interested in the massacre more his frame of mind
    A subject which is surely intricately associated with cold-blooded killing of dozens of US troops.
    If you think you can talk about Peiper in the Ardennes without reference to that incident you're barking up an unlikely tree Andy.

    And if you are purely interested in his thought processes, we'll never really know, a wild stab at an unlikely request? (Mind-reading is Brushing with 'what if' territory)
    Military parole similar to the type you mention has been going on for centuries. There must be other examples from WW2, but the expectation of some sort of prisoner exchange like that was surely far-fetched to say the least.
    Sounds more like hostage taking the way you describe it, maybe needs more corroboration of what was being requested to have any real legs though:
    agreement on paper with the senior American prisoner that was Major McCowan. It basically stated that the American PoW's would be left at La Gleize to be released later when the German wounded soldiers had recovered in American hospitals and returned to German lines. To make the agreement 'official' Peiper got McCowan to sign the document, which he did but stated that he doubted his American superiors would honour such an agreement nor did he have the authority to sign it.

  8. James S

    James S Very Senior Member

    Von P
    No. The massacre happened. The 'controversy' is apparently where direct culpability lies, somewhat hindered by a rather shaky trial process.

    The lack of clarity at the trial has not helped an unsderstanding of what actually took place and I would agree with the view that the truth will probably never be known as it has all been soprejudiced over the years.
    That the men were killed is the only thing we can be certain about , that and Peiper's not being there when it happened.
    Was it panic on the Germans part , was it a direct order to kill , did the POW's attempt to make a break its impossible to know.

    What certainly was a war crime was that men were "finished off" .

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    Looks like I'm going to have to try and dig out my US military intelligence transcript of one of the Dachau interviews now!

    He's quite lucid and open in the interview and there's some interesting psychological profiling being done throughout (and the interviewer actually seems to like the guy afterwards!)

    James S likes this.
  10. Ruimteaapje

    Ruimteaapje Member

    Likable, sympathetic, that's Peiper alright. And meanwhile he told everybody the fiarytales he wanted them to believe. Like his story about the rabbi who testified for him during his trial. Total nonsense, there was no rabbi and the people Peiper supposedly saved were in fact gassed in Auschwitz. But everybody fell for his stories because he was such a charming guy.

    CROONAERT Ipsissimus

    Likable, sympathetic, that's Peiper alright. .

    Also arrogant and disrespectful of his superiors. Those two traits are also something that get's a mention , if I recall correctly (I always remembered them two... they could have been describing me!!!:lol:)

  12. Korps Steiner

    Korps Steiner Senior Member

    No comment.

    Thanks for your help and clarification of what was a straight forward question as i have not read either of thse books myself.

    You are quoting from them so i hoped you could answer the question ??
  13. Ruimteaapje

    Ruimteaapje Member

    I'm not quoting from these books, I'm referring to the authors because I know them and know their research.
  14. Korps Steiner

    Korps Steiner Senior Member

    I'm not quoting from these books, I'm referring to the authors because I know them and know their research.

    So are you saying that the authors have evidence that Werner Poetschke issued the order ?? Or not ??

    A straight forward question !!!
  15. Ruimteaapje

    Ruimteaapje Member

    Already in 2005 Westemeier wrote on AHF forum...

    I know very well, that there a different opinions about the massacre. But all at all, it was not to difficult to "solve" this atrocity. The national archives are full with material and next to the allready researched material by Weingartner and Bauserman (both superb books) we (Danny S. Parker and my person) located a lot of material, never used before.

    Peiper was not at the crossroad during the massacre, but allready during the offensive he was well informed about the massacre and as the leader of the battlegroup he had to take over the responsibility of the acts of his men. Even worse, he did not interfere in any atrocities of his men and he didn´t care to much of the fate of any prisoners. This was well known inside his unit. Peipers units had a long atrocity "tradition", started in Russia. Even not guilty by shooting the prisoners by himself, Peiper was guilty, because he tolerated atrocities in his unit...and in his presence.

    The order to shoot the prisoners at the crossroad was given by Poetschke through a messenger to Rumpf. Hering was an other SS leader at the spot. The shots of fleps started the massacre, the orders were already given before. Siptrott was a brave NCO, as an old "hase", he smelled the BS and as the tank commander he refused to initiate or to participate in the atrocity.

    It was not to difficult for the American prosecutors to figure out the action at the crossroad. But this scene didn´t fit in the theorie of a big conspiricy by 6. Panzerarmee. So most of the interviews by Cpt Hoelzel and other interrogation officers were not used. For Ellis the trial was fare more than he could handle. Later the ss guys used different versions to confuse everything. Peiper gave from 1946 to 1976 in every interview a different version, so the confusion was perfect.

    An other problem is, that you have a mix of totally innocent ss men and ss murderes at the Dachau trial, and all were in some way condemned. One has to understand, that innocent and honourable men like Rolf Reiser tried everything to bring their fellows out of the prison. Even by puzzling the story. So you also have to understand the hounarable Ralf Tiemann and the intention of his book, but he was also tricked and missled...and he wanted to belief. Different to Agte: He is falsing to create the holy St. Peiper and SS picture. His books are one reason, why time by time there are new discussions, massacre yes or no? There is no question at all: It was an atrocity. I have to admit, that I was also misled for my first Piper book published 1996.

    I used in my second Peiper book (Zwischen Totenkopf und Ritterkreuz) from 2004 all the interrogation reports, beginning with 17.12.44. At that time, there was not yet any need to hide or puzzle the story. Danny S. Parker was able to locate all interogation reports (not only the ones from national archive, but also out of a private estate). Danny S. Parkers book will be published in 2006 by daCapo Press. He will be 100% accurate and his work will be fantastic...but no very big surprise for the massacre, you will find allways the same names near the crossroad: Poetschke, Rumpf, Sievers.

    This historical correct version (i´m arrogant enough to insist, that my version is correct, but no fear, i´m not omniscient [​IMG] ) and my statements are fore sure very disappointing for all Peiper fans. Like most of the Peiper fans don´t want to belive that he was well aware about the holocaust and admired Himmler to the end. His handsome good looking very often didn´t fit with his character.

    I hope this helps.
    2006 was a bit optimistic but Danny is in the progress of completing his book on Peiper to be published in late 2009.
  16. Korps Steiner

    Korps Steiner Senior Member

    Already in 2005 Westemeier wrote on AHF forum...

    2006 was a bit optimistic but Danny is in the progress of completing his book on Peiper to be published in late 2009.

    Thank you i'll await the book with interest
  17. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    Thank you i'll await the book with interest
    Just had a look for new Pieper books ref the above, and cant find it,also what is the definitive book on the subject of Pieper the Patrick Agte book or another:unsure:
  18. mitch

    mitch Junior Member

    This is only my second post and would like to add that after the end of WWII my grandfather who was a Spitfire pilot during the BOB and then went on to fly Tempests did a lot of work on Pieper and other SS officers and interviewed him on three occasions and, as the defence produced a few Allied officers giving supporting testimony to Pieper.

    Naive was not one of the words that one would associate with Pieper and, in fluid situations he was from all accounts level headed and, respected greatly by his men and fellow officers.

    I think from some of the documents that I have it seems that Pieper no doubt a fervany Nazi did have some sort of military moral code that was unique to a few officers from all sides and, that the story of Mcgowen was one of those times where it was transgressed in Piepers thoughts by his escape.

    I have just began going through all the papers I have from Family and, the research and interviews with surviving SS officers over the last ten/twelve years that I have done to put it into book format so, will if anyone is interested put snipps on here for your consumption.
  19. wtid45

    wtid45 Very Senior Member

    Mitch welcome to the forum I for one would be intrested in any information you can post I have always wanted to know more about Pieper.
  20. canuck

    canuck Closed Account

    No. The massacre happened. The 'controversy' is apparently where direct culpability lies, somewhat hindered by a rather shaky trial process.

    All of this is eerily similar to the trial of Kurt Meyer.
    Also convicted of ordering the killing of prisoners, he too had his death sentence commuted. His defence was that it must have been subordinates who directly ordered the many executions of British and Canadian POW's, well after their capture and miles behind the lines. At various points, it was suggested that other various 12th SS officers were responsible (Milius, Wuensche, Mohnke, Bremer, Krause, Siebken, etc.). Meyer even had a Canadian Captain (Renwick) who could attest to having been properly treated. The fact remained that a minimum of 134 Canadian prisoners were murdered by troops under Meyer's command.

    The conviction of Meyer hinged upon the principle that a general officer is culpable if he authorizes or encourages the murder of prisoners. The parallels with Peiper are inescapable.
    Sufficient evidence was presented in the Meyer trial to establish that, particularly within SS formations, subordinates owed instant and complete obedience, not only to direct orders, but also to the will and policies however expressed. German officers testified that orders to kill prisoners would never be committed to writing but that soldiers conducted themselves with the knowledge of what their Commander wanted and was was generally accepted or expected. Officers were not foolish enough to personally implicate themselves when there was no need to do so.

    Meyer, like Peiper, was not found standing over the victims with a smoking gun. The legal question was if he "ordered, encouraged or verbally or tacitly acquiesced in the killing of prisoners, or wilfully failed in his duty to as a commander to prevent the killings".

    Despite the protests of innocence from various SS officers and a stated opposition to the practice, there was no evidence of an SS unit 'ever' reporting those killings to senior command or to a single case of those known to be responsible being disciplined in any way.

    The ways and means that Peiper employed to obfuscate and confuse the proceedings sound so similar to the defence arguments and methods in Meyer's trial.

    History re-written!

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