Woman Hanged WWII"

Discussion in 'The Holocaust' started by scotisle, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. scotisle

    scotisle Junior Member

    "Three German soldiers stand beneath a woman hanging from the gallows at an unidentified German concentration camp during World War II."

    The AP caption for this photo lacks details. Obviously Heer soldiers weren't at death camps, at least not officially. I've seen it other places (and in other views) on the Net also without a caption, but I can't find it at ushmm.org or yadveshem.org. Does anybody have any details on this photo?

    Thanks
    Scotisle
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Hi and welcome to the forum...Can't say I've seen that shot before.

    Regards
    Andy
     
  3. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Senior Member

    "Three German soldiers stand beneath a woman hanging from the gallows at an unidentified German concentration camp during World War II."

    The AP caption for this photo lacks details. Obviously Heer soldiers weren't at death camps, at least not officially. I've seen it other places (and in other views) on the Net also without a caption, but I can't find it at ushmm.org or yadveshem.org. Does anybody have any details on this photo?

    Thanks
    Scotisle

    Just a guess on my part, and no details, but that doesn't appear to be in a camp at all. What it looks like is a suspected "partisan" being hanged by an Einsatzgruppen detachment. Probably in the Eastern Front in some of the occupied territories. She doesn't need to be Jewish either, simply a non-cooperative Slav could as easily be strung up as a Jewess. As I say, just a guess.
     
  4. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    Grim stuff.
    I was going to say the same as Clint.
    If only by the poor woman's clothes, this looks like so many such murders carried out in 'the east'.

    What really gets me is the confidence with which so many events like this were photographed, often with smiling identifiable faces below the gallows. Not a moment's thought that the the nazi project might turn sour one day.

    ~A
     
  5. cash_13

    cash_13 Senior Member

    I just hope they got their comeuppance
     
  6. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Without doubt a scene from the Eastern Front where this type of behaviour from the master race was common in their treatment of the Slav races.

    All part of the policy which the Nazi termed "pacification".A leading exponent of these excesses was Erich von dem Bach-Zelewski who "won his spurs"commanding an Einsatzgruppen in the early days of the campaign and then went on to be heavily involved in anti partisan operations where he earnt a Knight's Cross. His superiors described him as "very ruthless and efficient".Saw Hitler as Germany's only salvation to alter the misfortunes of the past.

    Have to say that the Wehrmacht also did not have clean hands either on the Eastern Front.

    Time and time again,personal photographs were taken of the murder of the "untermenchen" with little thought that the perpetrators would at some time in the future,be brought to book.
     
  7. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Hot air manufacturer

    Obviously Heer soldiers weren't at death camps, at least not officially.

    Not so obvious, we have discussed this in other threads under the Holocaust section.
     
  8. Heimbrent

    Heimbrent Well-Known Member

    Not so obvious, we have discussed this in other threads under the Holocaust section.

    Second. Heer soldiers as well were officially guarding concentration camps in the later years of the war.
     
  9. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    I have to agree with the previous comments. War crimes such as these were indefenceable.

    The problem was that there was an order from high absolving soldiers from any prosecution, by the German authorities, for such acts.

    This is one of the reasons why the soldiers can smile at the camera when such despicable acts were carried out.

    Those soldiers who had moral standards and openly protested were severely dealt with. Sometimes shot, imprisoned in a concentration camp or labour camp or placed in a Penal battalion.

    Regards
    Tom
     
  10. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Tom,

    I do not think there is an instance of a failure to carry out a superior's order, which could be interpretated as an war atrocity and which resulted in the subordinate being disciplined or worse.

    "Following orders" was always the defence offered by defendants and their counsel at the Nuremberg Trials and the other post war trials which followed.The rules of war were outlined in the Wehrmacht pay books and these were in accordance with the Geneva Convention and Law.In every case the defence counsel plea of the defendant only following orders was always thrown out.The presidence set at Nuremberg was that the defendant as an individual was responsible for his own conduct in his engagment with an enemy or its citizens.The defendant could not absolve his guilt behind illegal superior instructions.

    There was an exception in the case of the Eastern Front where Hitler did state that he would never talk action against the German Forces (Wehrmacht and SS) in their dealing with the Bolshevics and their political structure which in practice and interpretataion, encompassed the whole Slav races.As regards the Red Army, Russia was not a signatory to the Geneva Conventions, so as far as the Germans were concerned,the conflict was intended to be savage as necessary in order to achieve Hitler's genocide ambitions.

    However these acts were contrary to International Law and was the mechanism which led to the gallows or similar for many of those caught and brought to book.
     
    Za Rodinu likes this.
  11. Bob Guercio

    Bob Guercio Senior Member

    This is one of the reasons why the soldiers can smile at the camera when such despicable acts were carried out.



    I believe that, for the most part, atrocities such as hangings were performed either by the SS or by volunteers of the Wehrmacht.

    That being the case, smiles don't seem that extraordinary!

    Bob Guercio
     
  12. Elven6

    Elven6 Discharged

    Welcome to the forum,

    A few things,

    1. It doesn't seem to be a camp, to the left of the trees in the background that could be a fence or a telephone phone but the picture isn't very clear.
    2. Where was the caption taken from?
    3. It seems the man in the middle is smiling, the one on the left might be, can't tell the one on the right, the picture isn't very clear.

    Although I'm leaning towards the side that says they killed her, shouldn't we reserve judgment until more facts are in?
     
  13. brndirt1

    brndirt1 Senior Member

    Here is an interesting article on the "make-up" and command structure of the Einsatzgruppen.

    Full name, Einsatzgruppen des Sicherheitsdienstes und der Sicherheitspolizei (Operational Squads of the Security Service and the Security Police) is the task force of mobile killing units operated in German-occupied territories during World War II. The fundamental structure of the Einsatzgruppen was in place during the Anschluss , the incorporation of Austria into the Reich in March 1938. These were intelligence units of the police accompanying the invading army. They reappeared in the invasion of Czechoslovakia, in March 1939, and of Poland, on September 1 of that year. In the invasions of Austria and Czechoslovakia, the task of the Einsatzgruppen was to act as mobile offices of the SD (Sicherheitsdienst; Security Service), and the Sipo (Sicherheitspolizei; Security Police), which consisted of the Gestapo (Geheime Staatspolizei; Secret State Police) and the Kripo (Kriminalpolizei ; Criminal Police) until these organizations established their permanent offices. The Einsatzgruppen were immediately behind the advancing military units and assumed responsibility for the security of the political regime. In the Sudetenland, the Einsatzgruppen, in close cooperation with the advancing military forces, lost no time in uncovering and imprisoning the Marxist traitors and other enemies of the state in the liberated areas.

    In spring 1941, in contemplation of the coming assault upon the Soviet Union, the Einsatzgruppen were created as military units, but not to fight as soldiers. They were organized for murder. In his book, Masters of Death , Richard Rhodes describes how early in May 1941, the men who had been chosen as candidates for the Eastern Front Einsatzgruppen were assembled in the training school of the German border guards in Pretzsch (a town on the Elbe River, northeast of Leipzig), in the Saxony region.[5] They were not told what their assignment would be, but the commonalities offered a clue. Many of them had served in the SS (Schutzstaffel: Protective Squadron) detachments in Poland and preference was given to men who spoke Russian. Large contingents from the Berlin-Charlottenburg SS leadership school, as well as Gestapo and Kriminalpolizei were also assigned there. Some of them were passed on gratefully by their home regiments because they were considered too wild.

    The commanders of the Einsatzgruppen and the commanders of the Sonderkommando and Einsatzkommandos (sub-units of the Einsatzgruppen) were chosen by Himmler and Heydrich from a list compiled by the RSHA. Most of the handpicked leaders were lawyers. A few were physicians or educators and most had earned doctoral degrees. A reserve battalion of the regular Ordnungspolizei (Order Police), completed the Pretzsch roster. In addition to Sipo and SS officers, a support staff of drivers, translators, radio operators, and clerks was also assembled. They later came from all over Germany, though most were members of the SS.

    Much is from Richard Rhodes’; Masters of Death. As reproduced online at:

    Military History Online

    I think that photo most surely shows Einsatzgruppen members viewing the handiwork of either themselves, or others of their ilk.
     
  14. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Continuing with our discussion regarding "superior orders" referenced by war crimes defendant's defence as a reason for carrying out an illegal act.

    A case has just been highlighted reporting the war crimes crimes trial of one Karl Finkenrath, an Unteroffizier with the Pionier-Batailion 716, No 1 Companie (21st Panzer Group).His Companie commander,Hauptmann Leo Molter, survived the war and was able to refute allegations by Finkenrath at his trial that he had given instuctions that no POWs should be taken.

    Briefly the incident at Herouvillette on the morning of 6 June 1944, occurred at the stud farm, Ferme du Lieu Haras and covers the premediated killing of two No 6 Airbourne POWs by Finkenrath.There was also some evidence that he may have murdered three other No 6 Airborne POWs,making a total of five victims,all unknown and now buried with other battle casualties at Herovillette Communal Cemetery.

    Finkenrath gave the excuse that Molter had given the order to kill POWs as directed by the Hitler order of October 1942 which instructed that POWs from commando type operated should be shot at once.This was not accepted by the prosecution through its witnesses and Finkenrath went to the gallows at Hamlein Prison on 9 June 1948.

    Finkenrath had to answer for his own conduct but had Molter issued the order to killed POWs then Molter just as Finkenrath would have had to answer for his conduct to the British Army War Crimes Section.The case was brought about by the reporting of the incident by villagers who had witnessed Finkenrath's actions and particularly the evidence of the wife of a French POW,held in Germany,who worked on the farm.

    Finkenrath's who had served on the Russian Front and gained a Iron Cross Second Class was also later awarded a Iron Cross First Class for his action at nearby Sainte Honorine was proud of his involvement at the Ferme du Lieu Hara and reportedly bragged about his "exploit"

    For an in depth read of the proceedings,take a look at After the Battle No 145 "The Herouvillette Murders"
     
  15. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Although I'm leaning towards the side that says they killed her, shouldn't we reserve judgment until more facts are in?
    From where do you propose getting "more facts"?

    I doubt very much if this woman was killed by a Soviet hand, I am fairly sure she was killed by a German one. The 3 soldiers might not be smiling but they certainly arent upset by it. Their relaxed postures indicate that they are comfortable with the situation. So, that being the case, I would have little or no sympathy for their eventual fate.
     
  16. Stig O'Tracy

    Stig O'Tracy Senior Member

    Those soldiers who had moral standards and openly protested were severely dealt with. Sometimes shot, imprisoned in a concentration camp or labour camp or placed in a Penal battalion.

    Regards
    Tom

    According to Christopher R. Browning in "Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland", the idea that dissenters were dealt with harshly is in fact a fallacy. He claims that there is no record anywhere of a German soldier, Wehrmacht, SS, Police, whatever, being punished for refusing to participate in these crimes. Unfortunately I've lent my copy out so I can't quote it.

    Beyond this the book also reveals how some men stated that they could no longer continue to carry out these heinous duties and asked to be relieved and others knowing this, simply carried on.

    I believe that the facts are, sadly, that very few Germans refused to participate in these actions. I believe that this has a lot to do with the moral framework within which these persons grew up in but ultimately provided with the right excuse by those in command, most people can justify just about anything. The same remains true today anywhere in the world.
     
  17. Bob Guercio

    Bob Guercio Senior Member

    According to Christopher R. Browning in "Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland", the idea that dissenters were dealt with harshly is in fact a fallacy. He claims that there is no record anywhere of a German soldier, Wehrmacht, SS, Police, whatever, being punished for refusing to participate in these crimes. Unfortunately I've lent my copy out so I can't quote it.

    I believe that the facts are, sadly, that very few Germans refused to participate in these actions. I believe that this has a lot to do with the moral framework within which these persons grew up in but ultimately provided with the right excuse by those in command, most people can justify just about anything. The same remains true today anywhere in the world.

    I can confirm this regarding Battalion 101; however, I disagree regarding the reason. It had little to do with the moral framework that these fellows grew up in because they were ordinary people. Some were butchers, others were artists, etc., etc., etc. In other words, most were indistinguishable from your neighbors or very frighteningly, yourself!

    Two experiments have been conducted in the United States which shed light on this issue.

    In one experiment, college men were asked to participate in roleplaying. One group was designated as prison guards and the other group was designated as prisoners. Things really got out of hand in that the guards became overly nasty and sadistic and the prisoners became overly passive and simply went along with it. The experiment had to be stopped for the safety of the prisoners.

    In another experiment, the ostensible reason for the experiment was to judge whether or not pain helped people to remember. That was not the real reason for the experiment. The real reason was to determine how much pain a person was willing to inflict upon another when told by an authority figure that it was ok to do so.

    A actor was wired behind a closed door supposedly to undergo electric shock administered when the wrong answers were given. The real subject being tested was the administrator of the electric shock. Next to the administrator was another insider who was supposedly the highly educated and morally upright scientist.

    The actors receiving the "false" shocks expressed their pain as the shocks were increased. We are talking about hundreds of volts and horrifying screaming.

    The subjects being tested of course balked at increasing the electric levels. However, they were told that it was the way the experiment was designed and and that they were required to go on.

    Although an anguishing experience for most of the administrators of the shock, most went on as told by the authority figure.

    The soldiers in Reserve Police Battalion 101 killed because the authority figures in control told them that it was the right thing to do. They also went along with it because they were in the position of authority and, like the guards in the first experiment, they got carried away with their new found power.

    All of what I'm saying is certainly not a testimony to the morality and integrity of your average person in society. It does make me pause and ponder what I would be like in a similar situation. It should make all of us pause and ponder the same thing!

    Bob Guercio
     
  18. Steve G

    Steve G Senior Member

    According to Christopher R. Browning in "Ordinary Men: Reserve Police Battalion 101 and the Final Solution in Poland", the idea that dissenters were dealt with harshly is in fact a fallacy.

    Beyond this the book also reveals how some men stated that they could no longer continue to carry out these heinous duties and asked to be relieved and others knowing this, simply carried on.


    Pge 2. " The remaining Jews - the women, children and elderly - were to be shot on the spot by the battalion. Having explained what awaited his men, Trapp then made an extraordinary offer: If any of the older men among them didn't feel up to the task that lay before him, he could step out. "

    That refers to the initial massacre carried out by our 'Ordinary Men'. That pretty much sets the scene for the rest of it. I too remember nothing else in the book referring to Anyone Ever being forced to comply. Several guys did indeed ask to be relieved of the duty ~ and were. Or else they simply hung back and made out they were being useful on something else. No body got in trouble for it.
     
  19. Bob Guercio

    Bob Guercio Senior Member

    .
    Or else they simply hung back and made out they were being useful on something else. No body got in trouble for it.

    Some rationalized what they were doing in the most bizarre manner.

    One soldier made it his business to only kill children after their parents had already been shot. They then rationalized that killing these children was more humane than letting them live on without their parents or anybody to care for them!!!!!

    Bob Guercio
     
  20. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Some rationalized what they were doing in the most bizarre manner.

    One soldier made it his business to only kill children after their parents had already been shot. They then rationalized that killing these children was more humane than letting them live on without their parents or anybody to care for them!!!!!

    Bob Guercio
    Bob, have you a source for this?
     

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