The killing and ill-treatment of allied airmen in the former Gau Baden-Elsaß

Discussion in 'Prisoners of War' started by Pollux5, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. Pollux5

    Pollux5 Senior Member


    Some boardmembers maybe remember my posts in the threads about the killing of airmen in Pforzheim respectively its surrounding villages. I´m a history student and to be honest..during my studies I never showed interests in the 3rd Reich or 2nd worldwar cause this zone of history always seemed to me very fussy with emotions, guilt and stuff like that and everything seemed investigated so I more focused on medieval times of history. Untill spring 2010 I saw a plaque in a village next to my hometown Pforzheim "In Memorian to FO James Vinall who has beaten to death at this place".

    Since then I´m very much interested in these cases. With the marvellous help of Drew it was possible for me to reconstruct detailed what has happened in Huchenfeld and Dillweißenstein and I also disvocered an in my hometown completely unknown murder of an airman in Eutingen. With a friend of mine I started Interviews with eyewhitnesses and tried to collect the facts Andrew sent me or I found in german archives or were told me by contemporary witnesses.
    And I posted them here in the threads. Unfortunately I made some bad experiences with a journalist from a newspaper who tried to steal the story without contacting me and also with a family of an accused who tried to prevent that heir familyname comes up and remitted a declaration to cease and desist against me against which I had to fight back juridically. Especially these people were really pain in my ass. Unfortunately I got also annoying comments of some english relatives of the victims who were angry about me that I posted exhumationphotos and who appealed me not to contact their living relatives who survived the killings. Thats why I stopped here for nearly two years.
    But I never stopped investigating. I was fascinated in reconstructing the history around these cause which can be detailled told and the biographies of the killers and the victims who came from different backgrounds and which collided at a stonewall of a churchyard in my neighbourhood in southern Germany.Till now the cases of Huchenfeld Dillweißenstein and Eutingen are filling a book with 160 pages. But a found more cases in my farer neighbourhood where relatives of mine live and lived.
    The killing of airmen was especially in Baden not a singular problem of a theory is that it was directly approved by the Gauleiter Wagner.
    I now present the known cases in short sentences, so that an journalist is not able to steal them and will show detailled facts about the new cases I hopefully will be succesfull in searching.

    First I want to post a list, made by two germans Willi Wachholz and Gerd Viebahn. Unfortunately they stopped their project because one has died and the other one is suffering of dementia. The list is about whole germany but with more focus on the lynching of american airmen because they got more contact to the US side. The translation is from me...if I made mistakes please correct me. There are also sources for each case...if for one case someone wants to know, I will post them.

    25.7.1943 Killing of two american airmen Co-pilot Dale Wendte and Waistgunner G. Kralick near Lübeck
    6.9.1943 Killing of an american airman in Hülben near Dettingen
    February/ March 1944 Killing of a british airman by a SA-Obersturmführer near Appen (Kreis Pinneberg)
    24.3.1944 Killing of thwo unkwon british airmen in Berlin
    25.3. -13.4.1944 Killing of 50 Officers of the RAF after their escape of Stalag III near Sagan
    29.3.1944 Killing of 4 FO british norwegian and new zealand near Rotenhahn by Gestapo
    29.3.1944 Killing of two FO of RAF, Roger Bushell und Bernard Scheidhauer near Saarbrücken by Gestapo
    29.3.1944 Killing of two southafrican FO of RAF, Lieutenant H.J. Stevens and Lieutenant J.S. Gouws, near Schweitenkirchen (Pfaffenhofen) by Gestapo Münich.
    11.4.1944 Killing of an unknown US airman by NS-Kreisleiter Dettmann of Rostock-city
    19.5.1944 Killing of two US airmen near Lochtum
    22.5.1944 Killing of an american airman near Nettelsee
    28.5.1944 Killing of the US-airman-Leutnant Roy D. Cruse in Elm
    30.5.1944 Killing of the US-pilot Fletcher E. Adams in Tiddische/Landkreis Oldenburg by Landwehr and SA
    6.6.1944 Killing of an US airman by an SS-Brigadeführer place unknown
    13.6.1944 Killing of a polish RAF airman in Radevormwald
    13.6.1944 Killing of two US airmen in Altenkirchen
    18.6.1944 Killing of an US airman (Waistgunner Sgt. Czarnecki) in Eggerstedt near Pinneberg by SA men
    20.6.1944 Killing of the US airman William H. Kane in Neu-Wulmstorf
    21.6.1944 Killing of 15 captured US airmen near Schwerin/Mecklenburg
    29.6.1944 Killing of an unknown US airman in Wolfsburg
    Juli 1944 Killing of an american airman in Holzendorf near Stettin
    7. 7.1944 Killing of two US airmen in Bad Harzburg by Gestapo
    11.7.1944 Killing of the canadian pilot James Dale near Ludenhausen
    20.7.1944 Killing of the american airman Arthur W. Manosh in Moosinning (Kreis Erding) by a NSDAP-official
    20.7.1944 Killing of an american airman in Rüsselsheim by civillians
    20.7.1944 Killing of two american airmen in Wohlsborn
    20.7.1944 Killing of 5 US Airmen near Wollmatingen/Konstanz swiss border
    21.7.1944 Killing of 5 US airmen near Schollach in the blackwoodforrest by NSDAP-officials
    26. 7.1944 Killing of a canadian airman in Oberweier
    28.7.1944 Killing of the US airman Peter Mandros near Fauerbach by SA
    29.7.1944 Killing of 5 US airmen in Ottmannshausen by NSDAP officials
    29.7.1944 Killing of an unknown US airman in Bad Kösen by SS
    31.7./1.8.1944 Killing of 3 US airmen (John B. Good, Emil Berry jr., Lewis E. Pulsipher) near Saarbrücken by SS
    August 1944 Killing of an unknown canadian airman in Klein Flöthe by SA and homeguard
    August 1944 Killing of an unknown US airman in Langensebold, Kreis Hanau
    4.8.1944 Killing of 7 american airmen at Borkum island
    5.8.1944 Killing of 5 american airmen in Hohenhausen/Lippe
    9.8.1944 Killing of 3 american airmen near Weisenbach
    9.8.1944 Killing of an american pilot (Leutnant Theodore D. Nielsen) near Bad Saulgau by an SS officer
    15.8.1944 Killing of an unknown american airman near Eifelcommunity Preist near Trier
    24.8.1944 Killing of the american airman Edward Sauniers in Hermsdorf/Thüringen
    24.8.1944 Killing of two US airmen in Münstedt near Schmedenstedt by SS-officers
    26.8.1944 Killing of 4 US airmen (Maxwell, Fetterhoff, Wyatt und Zemonek) in the forrest near Gersweiler
    26. 8.1944 Killing of 6 american airmen in Rüsselsheim
    26. 8.1944 Killing of two american airmen in Groß-Gerau
    Autumn 1944 Killing of two canadian airmen in Gießen by an HJ Official
    Autumn 1944 Killing of a canadian airman in Steinbach near Gießen by a teacher and his schoolclass <<< WTF
    This is the source for this case...seems to be a horrible story:
    Quelle: Humphrey, Richard; Haaser, Rolf; Pagenkemper, Miriam (Hrsg.): Der Untergang des alten Gießen, Gießen 1994, S. 47

    Autumn 1944 Killing of an unknown english pilot...he has been drowned in the Blies river
    September 1944 Killing of an american airman in Wolfenbüttel
    6.9.1944 Killing of the US pilot Quince Brown in Schleiden by an SS officer
    10.9.1944 Killing of the US Flying Major John N. Reynolds in Ingolstadt by two NSDAO officials
    12.9.1944 Killing of 4 american airmen near Ruppertshütten by Gestapo
    12.9.1944 Killing of the canadian FO Apple in Bingen by SA and NSDAP officials
    13.9.1944 Killing of an indian member of the Royal Air Force in Darmstadt
    13.9.1944 Killing of two US airmen near Altenkirchen
    16.9.1944 Killing of a british RAF member in Emmerich
    21.9.1944 Killing of an US airman (Oberleutnant Francis Chinchilla) in Hüllenberg by HJ officials
    21.9.1944 Killing of the US airman Charles Hollerbeck in Wollendorf
    26.9.1944 Killing of an american JaBo pilot in Merzhausen
    27.9.1944 Killing of five american airmen (Newell W. Brainard, John J. Donahue, John W. Cowgill, Hector V. Scala und James T. Fields) in Nentershausen /Rhön
    27.9.1944 Killing of two US airmen (Ferdinand K. Flach and Lee R.J. Huffmann) near Hattenrod
    28.9.1944 Killing of three US airmen (two are known: Lt. Hamrick and Sgt. Robert Minear) in the community Schwickershausen/Kreis Meiningen
    29.9.1944 Killing of the american airman, Sgt. Hubert Burleigh, in Bad Neustadt/Saale by NSDAP official
    Sept. 1944 - Jan. 1945 Killing of 9 allied airmen by Whermacht and SA Officials of the Fliegerhorst Rheine
    Okt. 1944 Killing of an american airman in Wolbeck by a german Wehrmacht officer
    3.10.1944 Killing of the US Leutnants Nichols Darwin in or next to Gießen by a policeman
    3.10.1944 Killing of 3 american airmen (F. Adams, W. Bengson, E. Dornburgh) in Gießen (Neuer Friedhof) by members of police, Volkssturm and HJ
    7.10.1944 Killing of 4 british airmen near Rheinweiler
    15.10.1944 Killing of an american airman in Laubenheim/Nahe by SS members
    15.10.1944 Killing of an american airman in Friedensdorf
    18.10.1944 Killing of a captured british airman near Fliegerhorst Völkenrode
    19.10.1944 Killing of an american airman in or next to Wiesbaden
    19.10.1944 Killing of an american airman next to Wallau by Gestapo
    19.10.1944 Killing of three unknown american airmen in Niederseelbach
    20.10.1944 Killing of an unknown american pilot in Frankfurt/Main
    27.10.1944 Killing of an american low flying airplane next to Stommeln
    28.10.1944 Killing of a new zealand Royal Air Force member in Altenburg
    28.10.1944 Killing of a canadian airman in Haltern
    2.11.1944 Killing of an american FO in Sutthausen by SS members
    5.11.1944 Killing of 4 canadian airmen in Solingen by SA members
    5. or 6.11.1944 Killing of the american airman Stanford G. Wolfson next to Kaiserslautern by a community official
    8.11.1944 Killing of a british Warrant-Officer of the Royal Air Force in Roeschen
    21.11.1944 Killing of two british airmen in Bad König
    21.11.1944 Killing of the american FO Anthony B. Martin in Frankfurt/Main by a NSDAP official
    25.11.1944 Killing of 4 american airmen next to Gaggenau by members of SD and police.
    26.11.1944 Killing of the american FO Carl J. Hert next to Springe by german soldiers
    December 1944 Killing of an US airman near Haimbuch
    1.12.1944 Killing of 4 US airmen (Hugh L. Evans, Thomas K. Kohlhaas, Milton B. Erich, John J. Bellovary) in Beltershain
    4.12.1944 Killing of an unknown US airman in Freiburg/Breisgau
    7.12.1944 Killing of the british airman M. Martinez (ID. 1392648) in a forrest near Oberlemp
    7.12. bzw. 10.12.1944 Killing of two australian members of the Royal Air Force (Sgt. J. Scott and Fl./Sgt. McGladrigan) in Weidenhausen
    13.12.1944 Killing of three british airmen in Essen
    23.12.1944 Killing of a british FO in Köln
    23.12.1944 Killing of the american pilot (Oberleutnant John E. McDonell) in Niederraden-Straßenhaus by SD members
    24.12.1944 Killing of the american pilot, Capt. William H. Mooney, in Freienseen by the local NSDAP Ortsgruppenleiter
    24.12.1944 Killing of a british and a canadian RAF member in Neuss by policeofficers
    24.12.1944 Killing of two members of the Royal Air Force, the british pilot Hislop and the canadian Lindenboom by SA men
    29.12.1944 Killing of an unknown RAF pilot in Langlingen by an SS officer
    30.12.1944 Killing of an american airman next to or in Delkenheim
    30.12.1944 Killing of an american airman next to Wallau by Gestapo.
    31.12.1944 Killing of two allied airmen in Solingen by a policeman
    6.1.1945 Killing of a canadian airman next to Loccum by SS members
    7. 1.1945 Killing of a canadian airmen by german soldiers in Hanau.
    31. 1.1945 Killing of a british airman (named Livingstone) in Rengsdorf (Kreis Neuwied) by SD members
    February 1945 Killing of an american FO in Rengsdorf (Kreis Neuwied)
    February 1945 Killing of a new zealand member of the Royal Air Force between 1.2 and 28.2.1945 in Rhede.
    3.2.1945 Killing of an unknown allied airman next to Fischbach by an known and named SS member
    10.2.1945 Killing of a canadian airman next to Kemel by a local policeman
    13.2.1945 Killing of 4 US airmen in Schützen-am-Gebirge (Austria) by RAD members
    15.2.1945 Killing of an american airman in or next to Bensheim
    15.2.1945 Killing of an unknown allied airman in Zwickau by a NSDAP official
    21. 2.1945 Killing of the british FO Cyril W. Sibley in Dirmstein (near Worms) by NSDAP officials
    22.2.1945 Killing of an american FO (William A. Duke) in or next to Bieber by policemembers
    22.2.1945 Killing of an american airman (Archibald B. Monroe) in or next to Offenbach by policeofficers
    22.2.1945 Killing of an american airman (Charles Frazer) in Offenbach
    22.2.1945 Killing of the american airman Robert A. Park in Alsfeld
    28.2.1945 Killing of two british pilots in Bohmte
    March 1945 Killing of two unknown allied airmen in Duisburg-Nienhausen

    A german victim beaten to death by his own people:
    March 1945 The german Oberleutnant Stempel had to bail out of his hittened aircraft Focke Wulff FW 190D-9. On the ground he was immediately beaten to death by outranged people who thought he was an allied pilot.
    source: Leiwig, Heinz: Flieger über Rheinhessen, 2. Auflage, Alzey 2006, S. 171.

    March 1945 Killing of the canadian Lieutenant Georg Kienzle at the Fliegerhorst Deiningen near Nördlingen by a german soldier
    2.3.1945 Killing of a british pilot in Köln by members of the police
    2.3.1945 Killing of three american airmen (Robert H. Folsom; W.L. Hoenshell; Henry M. Isenberg) in the community of Langgöns
    4.3.1945 Killing of 4 allied airmen in Graz (Austria) by SS members
    5./6.3.1945 Killing of two unknown canadian airmen in Chemnitz by civillians
    6.3.1945 Killing of the canadian airman Henri Jean Maurice Joseph D´Avril in Frankenberg/Sachsen by civillians
    7.3.1945 Killing of the british pilot Officer Henry Joseph Carley, in the community of Külte near Arolsen.
    8.3.1945 Killing of a canadian airman (Thomas M. Draper) in Schloßvippach 4 british airmen (R. Appleyard, P. Scott, A.K. Robinson und R.S. Howe) in Buttstädt
    8.3.1945 Killing of a british airman in Vogelsberg/Thüringen by a policemember
    16.3.1945 Killing of 3 canadian airmen near Altenau by Gestapo members
    17. - 18.3.1945 Killing of 5 british airmen in Pforzheim-Huchenfeld
    18.3.1945 Killing of an american airman in or next to Wallrabenstein
    18.3.1945 Killing of US Leutnant van Horn after bailing out by Gestapo in Reichelsheim prison
    18.3.1945 Killing of a british airman in Sommerhausen
    19.3.1945 Killing of an american pilot in Dortmund-Asseln
    20.3.1945 Filling of the american airman J. Rivos next to Quirnbach
    22. - 25.3.1945 Killing of 12 or 13 allied airmen at the airport of Dreierwalde next to Hörstel.
    23.3.1945 Killing of the US-airman Charles Mitchell in Hieflau by a group of young Nazis
    24.3.1945 Killing of two american airmen in or next to Bensheim
    24.3.1945 Killing of a british airman in Bochum-Altenbochum by civillians and NSDAP officials
    24.3.1945 Killing of the US-Flight-Sergeant Paul L. Berger at the Fliegerhorst Hesepe near Thiene
    24.3.1945 Killing of three australian airmen in Bochum-Laer
    25.3.1945 Killing of a british FO in Velen
    25.3.1945 Killing of the three canadian airmen R.A. Paul, J.M. Jones und L.W. Brennan in Wulfen
    25.3.1945 Killing of an american Major in Dortmund-Asseln by an SA man
    31.3.1945 Killing of an australian airman in the community of Oststeinbeck
    31.3.1945 Killing of the australian airman K.G. Clark in Hamburg/Billstedt by a member of the Volkssturm
    3.4.1945 Killing of a british FO at the Fliegerhorst Varrelbusch next to Boesel by german soldiers
    3.4.1945 Killing of a canadian airman in Hagen by Gestapo
    07.04.1945 Killing of two american airmen Lieutenant Georg Lyford and Sergeant Frank W. Picula in Parchim by german soldiers
    16.04.1945 Killing of an unknown us airman in Burkhartswalde by SS
    16.04.1945 Killing of the wounded US pilot Chester F. Coggeshall in Freilassing by the mayor of the city
    17.4.1945 Killing of the american airman Norman N. Shane in Reinhardtsgrimma by SS members
    17.4.1945 Killing of the US airman Eduard (Eddie) G. Eschinger in Halsbrücke, Kreis Freiberg/Sachsen by a civilian
    Spring 1945 Killing of a british pilot in Kirchberg-Lendsiedel by a volkssturm member
    25.4.1945 Killing of a canadian airman at Wangerooge by a member of the german naval forces
    25.4.1945 Killing of an US airman according to orders of NS officials in St. Georgen am Walde (Austria)
    1.5.1945 Killing of two allied airmen near Böken next to Schwerin by the local forester

    These are the current more or less known killings of allied airmen in Germany...but some are not discovered yet in german history. For example the Lynchmurder in Eutingen is missing, and I found informations about the killing of airmen in Oberseebach, Bruchsal, Ettlingen and Neuhausen which are not remarked in the schedule above. And there also happened killings on bailed out female FANY and WAAF agents in Karksruhe by Gestrapo members.
    Unfortunately we don´t have any specialiced literature about these events...only small articles in village chronicles. There is only one book about the killings of the american airmen in Rüsselsheim and a academic dissertation about warcrimes in english trials...

    In the next steps I will skecht the killings of Huchenfeld, Dillweißenstein and Eutingen which I already wrote a few years ago but deleted it and later I will go on with the new cases I found and what I discovered with the help of Drew :)
    But I will focus on the cases which happened in the Gau Baden...cause its my homelandpart of germany and I´m experienced with the archives.
    I use three sources...
    First the sources of the National archive in Kew second the denazificationfiles of the accused in the lokal archive in Karlsruhe and third I search for eyewhitnesses if I will find some. For same of the cases I already found some...
    4jonboy, Owen, Drew5233 and 1 other person like this.
  2. AlanW

    AlanW Senior Member

    To add to your list. Pilot Officer Henri Edouard Dube, RCAF, chained to a drain pipe at Olizy Church, and beaten and shot 8th Aug 44, along with Richard Francis Noble USAAF, murdered in wooded area near Olizy.

    The killing of an entire 617sqdn crew, after the Kembs Dam operation of 7th Oct 44.
    Drew5233 and dbf like this.
  3. Lindele

    Lindele formerly HA96

    Looks like a pretty comprehensive list and a lot of detailed investigations you had to do. One incidence on 9th August 1944 was close to my home town in Oberschwaben – Bad Saulgau. If you need any help, please send me a private message.

    Drew5233 and dbf like this.
  4. Our bill

    Our bill Well-Known Member

    Thank you for sharing and for researching this .
    The more I learn about the actions of England and their Allies enemies during ww2 leaves me sick to the stomach . I wonder how much crap was shoved under the carpet by our own government .how come we know of the Jews persecution and all the won battles. But our own poor lads suffering is ignored and not made public. Did anyone get to answer for these horrific crimes I doubt it . I cannot believe how much the enemies got away with in WW2 . The japs treatment of our POW's The Germans . All these deaths and no one pays the price this is the sad reality of war shame on the governments for turning a blind eye . I just don't get it at all .
    Can someone please explain to me why when a lad answers the call of his country he ends up being nothing more than cannon fodder as no one seems to give a damn what happens to them. If a country cannot take care of the lads than they should not have the power to make them go to war let them that declare war and their families be in the thick of it . And leave joe public out of it. A disgruntled Elsie
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Great to see you posting again mate - So pleased to see you have not been deterred by others.
    dbf likes this.
  6. NickFenton

    NickFenton Well-Known Member


    This is a very interesting subject and one that l have touched on a few times.

    "In comparison with what the POW’s at the hands of the Japanese suffered, we all believe that the captive service men had an easy life under German control, which cannot be disputed but that is because the stories about what the POW’s suffered under the German‘s has not really been told. This in no way attempts to dismiss the horrors that the POW’s in the Far East suffered, but more attempts to raise the awareness of what happened closer to home. What cannot be denied is the fact that there were many crimes committed against allied POW’s, individual and groups and that one in twenty of every allied airman that fell into the hands of the German forces never returned home alive."

    "The bomber crews were proclaimed during the war for their achievements, to great accolade through the propaganda machines and described as ‘the means to victory’ by the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, until after the Germans surrender, when the true extent of the destruction, carnage and death toll was revealed, when to a man, the politicians, including Winston Churchill, decided to distance themselves from this brave and resilient bunch of men. How they must have felt. In fact, it was not until February 2013 that a decision was made to award Bomber Command aircrew with the Bomber Command clasp".

    You have to accept that World War 2, much like the Great War was a confused place, where things happened all over the place that we would not be proud of as humanity but lets not go looking for others to blame, for example our own politicians as easy targets. We have already discussed things our own forces did in the heat of battle. There was a direct order within the German Government not to interfere if these airmen were likely to be harmed and to actively encourage it. It happened frequently and the people at the top were dealt with if captured. There was a direct order that Commandos should be shot. I believe this was investigated.

    If it happened in my village, my Grandfather was involved, how would l feel? Equally, if it happened to one of my relatives, 70 plus years ago, do l want my Grandmother to know the details?

    Please tread carefully and with respect. This is within living history and memory. Lets remember these airmen for what they did, how they lived rather than how they suffered. My ambition is that George Grimson is recognised for what he achieved but if you do know how he died, please let me know.

    That said, l admire what is being done and if l can help in anyway, please let me know. I have a number of aircrew in my story that suffered this way as well as POW's.


    Our bill likes this.
  7. Pollux5

    Pollux5 Senior Member

    The list I posted is only about the killinga of airmen in germany. A lot of killings also happened in France, Belgium and the netherlands. In connection with the operation "Market Garden" also killings of aircrews took place.
    About the killing of airmen on the 7th Oct, is it possible that this is the killing of Rheinweiler or Bad Bellingen where Ortsgruppenleiter Grüner shot british airmen and threw them into Rhine river? Cause I know that the victims of the rheinweilershooting belonged to a dambuster raid.

    Unfortunately we have in german historiography about the 2nd worldwar nearly nothing about the killing of bailed out airmen.
    Even nowadays when it´s possible to write about and to discuss every german warcrime the killing of airmen is a difficult subject. Cause it happened in or next to our villages and not by some unidentified SS members far away in Poland or Russia. And the people still sometimes show anger against the lynched victims. When I talked to an eyewhitness of the killing of Dillweißenstein who is far away in his mind from national sozialist ideology, his daughter married a black brazilian and he was happy about it, when we talked about the killing he answered with anger in his face that he then and now has no compassion with the killed man. Even when the airman begged to the crowd before the killing not to harm him. The "Thommy got what he deserved" he told me. And I think that is still the subliminal oppinion of most of the eyewhitnesses. Most of them just answered with a shrug when I aksed about their empathic feelings. Of course they may have reasons to think like that for example their experiences with the airraids and the low flying attacks. And that might be sympathic...but my subject are the killed airmen about who no books and even stories exist.
    dbf likes this.
  8. Pollux5

    Pollux5 Senior Member

    Hi Stefan
    Because I have lack of lifetime...i focus on the killing of airmen in my neighbourhood in Baden. That´s why I chose the headline. A friend of mine is from Herbertingen and I´ve often been to Weingarten.
    Another reason is that when I get files from Andrew I go to the killingsites and take photos how it looks now and try to organise photos how it lokked then. So it´s impossible to go through the whole list. I just wanted to show with the list that killing of airmen was not a singular event in a specific town but to show that it happened in all of germany and definitely not in a small number. But the killings in Baden are largely enough.
  9. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    The incident of the loss of the No 617 Squadron crew on 7 October 1944 after ditching in the Rhine is here.

    As regards justice,it is interesting to note that Robert Wagner,the Gauleiter of Baden and Alsace was tried by the French Permanent Military Tributional; at Strasbourg in 1946 and sentenced to death for the murder of Allied airman and other war crimes.....which would cover.the murder of Allied airmen occurred in Alsace which was internationally recognised as French territory. .... the French took the responsibility to charge him with war crimes committed by him and his organisation within their territory.

    The referenced Gruner was a subordinate of Wagner's who carried out his instruction to the letter.He came across a group of four RAF airmen who had just been pulled out of the Rhine by members of the Wehrmacht who refused to take responsibility for them.Gruner promptly shot them in the back using a tommy gun and had their bodies thrown back into the Rhine.It occurred on 7 October 1944 when a No 617 Squadron aircraft out of Woodhall Spa,on a daylight raid to the Kembe Dam, skippered by S/L D.R.C Wyness, was hit by light flak while flying low over the target,losing two engines and on fire.Exiting the target area,S/Ldr Wyness set a northly course and put the aircraft down in the Rhine river between Chalampe (Haut Rhin department,Alsace.) on the west bank and Neuenburg on the east bank.

    It is thought that the crew survived the ditching and all may have been murdered in the afternoon after capture.S/Lr Wyness and his Wireless Operator,F/O Hosie RNAF have known graves, resting some way away at Choloy War Cemetery.France..this cemetery was created in 1950 so these two crewmen must have been interred locally until then.Similarly the Navigator,F/L R N Williams and the Bomb Aimer,F/O H W Honig have known graves at Durnbach in Bavaria,another post war consolidated war cemetery and must have been initially interred evidence as I see, of how three of the crew lost their lives on that fateful afternoon.

    Rear Gunner F/O G E Cansell,Flight Engineer, F/S T J Hurdiss and the Mid Upper,F/S T Horrocks are remembered on the Runnymede Memorial.

    Gruner admitted his deed to a US War Crimes investigator..must have been called to book but fate unknown.
    Edited by Harry Ree, 14 March 2014 - 10:40 AM
  10. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    Hi Pollux
    I've read your previous threads with interest so I wish you well with your continued efforts and especially admire your determination despite the setbacks, some of which were encountered after you posted your findings here. If we all concerned ourselves too much with any possible sensitivities of others, then nothing of the realities of warfare and the dark side of human nature would be said or written.

    I hope you find more information via our National Archives. As with much of the files there, I doubt that many have accessed them despite their availability.

    Viel Erfolg!


    ( There seems to be a belief expressed in posts (at least one now apparently deleted) that little was done around that time or that there was some cover up afterwards. These files consist of contemporary investigations into and evidence gathering about war crimes. There were trials as a result. Not ignored, definitely in the public domain. This from just one national archive ... )
    Drew5233 likes this.
  11. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

  12. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Given the ideology,the indoctrination,the propaganda relating to the so called terror flyers and the incitement to murder POWs from the top of the Nazi organisation,there is little wonder that these incidents look place.

    For some, it led to the dock at Nuremberg but of the perpetrators on the ground,too many got away with murder or were given light sentences .I think the onset of the murder of Allied aircrew was from March 1944 when after the Stalag Luft 111 escape ,Hitler gave the instruction to execute all 76 escapees,amended to 50...then there was the impact of the Allied bomber offensive and the motivating of civilians to murder POWs.One of the factors was that the police in many cases and military escorts did not react and protect captured airmen as was their responsibility. As aired many times at postwar trials and rejected by the criminal courts,"following orders" was their primary defence.

    Just looking at the incident on 17 March 1945...a No 51 Squadron crew out of RAF Snaith with an Australian skipper of those chiefly involved was former Luftwaffe aircrew,captured during a raid on Britain during the B of B and given human treatment for his injuries,then repatriated back to Germany on account of his medical condition...turned out as a Luftwaffe guard,he howed a complete lack of compassion and was fit enough to murder.

    There was also an incident on 17 April 1945 when Elwyn Righetti,C.O of the No 55 Fighter Group was set on by hostile civilians and murdered after crash landing his Mustang north of Dresden.As far as I know his body was never recovered......not in Pollux's territory but typical of the murder of Allied aircrew that took place in the Third Reich's death throes.


    Just seen your note after posting....thanks for the link....without doubt the Gauleiters had the utmost loyalty towards Hitler and Bormann....Bormann had his own wireless communications with his Gauleiters..we were never able to break the code because the volume of traffic was low compared to the military traffic for a start and other priorities.

    Had we been able to read his communications,it would have revealed more what was going on in the heart of the Nazi Party.
  13. Pollux5

    Pollux5 Senior Member

    "Downstairs! The Kreisleiter demands it!"
    - The killing of Cyril Lodlow in Eutingen August 1944​

    Eutingen is in the suburb of Pforzheim and looked in the regarding time like this. Thie picture is from the early 40s

    In the evening of the 28th July of August 1944 Stuttgart has been raided by the RAF. Amongst the Raid was the Lancaster I ME864 DX with its pilot Anthony Wardle.
    This raid suffered of heavy losses...39 airplanes were shot. Amongst them was the airplane of Wardle which has been shot down returning from Stuttgart by the nightflyer Hauptmann Heinz Schnauffer.


    The plane came down north of Eutingen in the fields.
    And the crash has been recognized by the local authorities.

    "2 am Kreisführer Bruder called and told me that in Eutingen an allied airplane had been crashed and that I have to go to Eutingen and have to see what happened" (policeofficer Buchleither affidavit towards an american investigation oficer)

    The local NSDAP officials also were set in motion

    "Around 6.30 am Kreisleiter Knab came to the crashsite and asked me wether I have Informations about the aircrew. I told him "NWe dont have any informations yet." Then he answered:"If some airmen are captured don´t hand them over to the Wehrmacht, just lay them over." He greeted "Heil Hitler" and went away." (Kreisführer Kamil Bruder towards an american investigation officer)

    This is Kreisleiter Hans Knab sitting at his Desk in the Kreisleitung Pforzheim

    The authorities in Eutingen were not really enthusiastic about killing people and refused Knabs order.

    "Two hours later two captured airmen were brought to me and I handed them over to the Wehrmacht" (Kamil Bruder towards an american investigation officer)

    Knab somehow got informed about that and intervened.

    "Shortened bevor the airmen were picked up by the Wehrmacht Knabs office called the telephonestation in the townhall with following words: "The Kreisleiter wants no airman arriving Pforzheim alive". I talked to my comrades Dennig and Keller and we three agreed not to follow these orders and to refuse them." (Townhall telephonist Karl Hugo Keller towards an american investigation officer)

    Another airmen was brought into the townhall and was handed over to the Wehrmacht.

    The townhall of Eutingen then and now

    Knab noticed the lack of killing interests of the eutingen people and sent his henchmen from Pforzheim.
    First he called the SA office of Pforzheim but the mainsaleader in german called "Standartenführer" was not present only his adjutant Willi Schwab.
    "Knab called the SA office and asked emmidiately for the Standartenführer Becker but he was not there he yelled at me "Everytime he is needed he is not present! In Eutingen three enemy airmen had been captured and had been protected by the locals! You go up to Eutingen and determine who is responsible for that. If we have traitors in our Organisation I will exterminate them root and branch. You can count on."
    (Willi (Wilhelm) Schwab towards an american investigation officer)

    Willi Schwab himself called one of his SA subordinate named Franz Schroth and together they moved to Eutingen.

    Willi Schwab and Franz Schroth

    Schwab and Schroth moved to Eutingen, went into the townhall to the mayorsoffice where they had an argument with the local NSDAP leader and mayor August Issel.

    Mayor August Issel and August Issel sitting at his desk in the Mayeroffice where the argument took place

    Willi Schwab picked up the telephone and called the Kreisleiter and gave the telephone to Issel
    "I handed the telephone over to Issel and just heard the yelling of Kreisleiter Knab on the other side of the line. Issel just always answered "Jawohl". After the telephonecall Issel was really excited." (Willi Schward towards an american investigation officer)

    Suddenly a civilian came into the mayoroffice and said that another airman was brought in.
    The telephoneist of the office Karl Jung heard then heard one of the three men scream: "Come on! Downstairs! The Kreisleiter demands it!" (Karl Hugo Jung towards an american investigation officer)

    Meanwhile in the woods near Eutingen the airmen Cyril Ludlow had been found. He had an broken leg

    Cyril Ludlow age 22 ID 1 863 182 engineer
    I don´t know where he came from or what his birthdate is. I only know how brutal he had been killed.

    Ludlow had been brought in to the arrestcell in the townhall by the local policeman Buchleither and they made a splint around his broken leg.
    The 16 year old Werner Rothfuß beeing present spoke a little bit english and asked Ludlow if he has pain, in which aircraft he flow how many crewmembers they had and how many engines the airplane had.
    Werner Rothfuß in 1945
    He is still alive and we had a really good conversation.

    Several other people were present...
    And they had an argument
    "The young Rothfuß talked to the airmen in english and I stood aside. A woman named Grötzinger shouted "They all should be killed...they should be stepped into the face. They should be beaten to death." I responded that this soldier also has a mother who is crying for him like she does for her son. Suddenly three men appear from the mayorsoffice and sent all the spectators away. Only another man Julius Zorn stayed back" (Teacher Helmut Dennig towards an american investigation officer)

    "When I left the room and watched back I saw one of the men holding his hands to the airmans throat" (Werner Rothfuß towards an american investigator in 1945)

    "There were several people in the room and I asked the englishmen some questions about his plane...suddenly the mayor came in with other men. He looked very aggresive, I know that till now cause I always saw him very chilled drinking beer and I have in mind that he was not a fanatic. My father holded my shoulder and moved or pushed me to the door. The men who came in had really aggressive faces. I looked back and saw the resting man Julius Zorn attacking the airman by holding his throat. My father pushed me forward and told me angry not to watch behind. But I still remember the angry face of the mayor and the scared eyes of the airman and his screams like a cat and his shaking hands punching the ground bounded by the knees of Julius Zorn. Outside passing the small window of the cell we heard loud scream and then a shot. At father told me not to talk about." (Werner Rothfuß in a conversation with me in late 2012)

    During the american investigation Julius Zorn denied to be present at all.

    The local policeofficer Karl Geuss who was present told that he saw the people leaving the room after Schroth, Schwab and Issel entered the cell and that the celldoor was locked and that he heard screaming out of the locked cell. Then he heard a shot and the door opened and the four man walked out and that he saw one of the SA members washing his hands covered in blood.
    The airman was lying in a pool of blood and that a long stick was lying broking in the room.

    Later on the coroner of Eutingen Karl Keller entered the room to remove the body
    "As coroner I went to the room and saw the airman lying dead in a huge pool of blood. His head had been shot through. I definitely know that the dead person was the one we brought alive to the townhall a few hours before. We buried him next to two of his fallen comrades." (Karl Keller towards an american investigator)

    Karl Keller next to the graves of the three dead airmen in Eutingen including the killed Cyril Ludlow

    Afterwards the teacher Dennig had problems with the local vice Kreisleiter cause he showed mercy for the airman.

    In June 1945 during the exhumation of the dead bodies in the graveyard of Eutingen the americans discovered that one of them had an entrance and an exit wound in the head and startet an investigation.

    entrance and exit wound of Ludlows skull

    They started an investigation.
    The case was brought to trial in March 1948
    Two of the mainaccused were already dead. Issel committed suicide in May 45 near the austrian border and Knab had been hanged for his involvements in the killing of airmen in Huchenfeld and Dillweißenstein.
    Julius Zorn committed suicide at the first day of the trial. He cut his venes in the washing room.
    The two remaining accused Schroth and Schwab blamed the three deads for the murder and noone had seen who actually shot, the policemen who saw one of them washing his blooded hands could no longer remember who it exactly was and so the two accused were acquitted.

    The whole case was Eutingen nothing remembers of Cyril Ludlow.
  14. Andreas

    Andreas Working on two books

    Mit Stumpf und Stiel ausrotten = to exterminate them root and branch. I.e. totally.

    All the best

  15. Pollux5

    Pollux5 Senior Member

    Thanks Andreas
  16. AlanW

    AlanW Senior Member

    Regarding the loss of the Wyness crew after ditching in the Rhine. I have the report, amongst other war crime reports, in my attic, and as far i can recollect, the report states that they made their way to the river bank, but were machine gunned whilst in the dinghy.
  17. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Alan, that's an interesting piece of information.It might point to the fate of the three crew who have no known graves..were they victims of being machine gunned when they took to the water after ditching?

    See Tom's link in post #14 for the trial of Wagner which includes the account of Gruners participation in the murders.I do also recollect that Gruner blamed a Gestapo agent for shooting an airman before he arrived on the scene.
  18. AlanW

    AlanW Senior Member

    After ditching, whilst trying to reach the Swiss bank by dinghy, they were machine gunned by German soldiers, killing 3 of the crew.The 4 survivors were picked up and taken to Rheinweiler, and after a period of time, were driven back to the Rhine, and as each one was shot, (quote, in the back by machine gun salvo) they were each thrown back into the river. Two people were implicated, Hugo Gruner, and Erich Meissner. Gruno escaped captivity (and his death sentence) do not know what happened to Meissner. I have a few reports for different incidents, and all, are not good reading.
  19. alex kandel

    alex kandel Member

    I live near Kembs Barrage ,my latest research on Kembs Raid dated 2018 clearly indicates that the 3 survivors were which were far from reaching Swiss bank ( there is NO Swiss bank at Rhineweiler but French) were not machine gunned while swiming to the Alsace bank of the river.

    They were arrested by Gestapo on French bank alerted by Gruenner and Meissner probably executed as "agents " at concentration camp Natzweiler-Struthof in Alsace then cremated .
    That is why their remains were never found .

    Murderer " Hugo Gruener "
    Murder of Sq.Ldr.Drue R.C.Whyness & Crew

    Alex K
    Tullybrone and dbf like this.

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