1.SS-Panzer-Division (LSSAH) War Crimes (Memorandum)

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In the early days of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP), the leadership realized that a bodyguard unit composed of reliable men was needed. Ernst Julius Günther Röhm (Nov 28 1887 – July 1 1934), a German military officer, a founding member of the NSDAP, a close friend and early ally of Adolf Hitler formed a guard formation from the 19.Granatwerfer-Kompanie. This formation evolved rapidly and became the Sturmabteilung) (SA). In 1923, Hitler ordered the creation of a small separate bodyguard dedicated to his service rather than a suspect mass of the party, such as the SA. Originally the unit was composed of a handful of trusty men like Rudolf Hess, Joseph Berchtold, Emil Maurice, Erhard Heiden, Ulrich Graf, Bruno Gesche, Sepp Dietrich, Christian Webber, Karl Fiehler, Walter Buch and Hermann Fobke commanded by Julius Schreck and Joseph Berchtold. This group was designated the Stabswache, the Staff Guard. The unit was issued unique badges, Schreck resurrected the use of the Totenkopf (skull) as the unit’s insignia, a symbol various elite forces had used in the past, including specialized assault troops of Imperial Germany in World War I who used Hutier infiltration tactics, but at this point the Staff Guard was still under the control of the SA. Later that year, the unit was renamed Stosstrupp Hitler (Shock Troop) and placed under the command of Julius Schreck. The unit never numbered more than 20 members. On November 9 1923, the Stosstrupp, along with the SA and other NSDAP paramilitary units, took part in the abortive Beer Hall Putsch in Munich. In the aftermath of the putsch, Hitler was imprisoned and the NSDAP and all associated formations, including the Stosstrupp, were officially disbanded.
During this period, the mid-1920s, violence remained a large part of the Bavaria politics and Hitler became quickly a potential target. In 1925, he ordered the formation of a new bodyguard unit, the Schutzkommando (protection command). The unit was renamed the Sturmstaffel (assault squadron) and in November was renamed the Schutzstaffel, abbreviated to SS. In 1933, the SS had grown from a small bodyguard unit to a formation of over 50,000 men. The decision was made to form a new bodyguard unit, again called the Stabswache, which was mostly made up of men from the 1.SS-Standarte. In 1933 this unit was placed under the command of Josef ‘Sepp’ Dietrich who selected 117 men to form the SS-Stabswache Berlin on March 17 and this unit replaced the army guards at the Reich Chancellery. Eleven men from the first company of 117 went on to win the Knights Cross, and forty of them were awarded the German Cross in gold for bravery. Later in 1933, two further training units were formed : SS-Sonderkommando Zossen on May 10, and a second unit, designated SS-Sonderkommando Jüterbog on July 8. These were the only SS units to receive military training at that time. On September 3 1933 the two Sonderkommando merged into the SS-Sonderkommando Berlin under Dietrich’s command. In November 1933, on the 10th anniversary of the Beer Hall Putsch, the Sonderkommando took part in the rally and memorial service for the NSDAP members who had been killed during the putsch. During the ceremony, the members of the Sonderkommando swore personal allegiance to Hitler. At the conclusion the unit received a new title, Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (LAH).


On April 13 1934, Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler ordered the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (LAH) to be renamed Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH). Himmler inserted the SS initials into the name to make it clear that the unit was independent from the SA or army. The LSSAH was considered a National Socialist unit, which eventually grew into an elite Panzer division of the Waffen-SS. Although nominally under Himmler, Dietrich was the real commander and handled day-to-day administration. Later, in 1934, Stabschef-SA Ernst Röhm continued to push for greater political influence for his already powerful SA. Hitler decided that the SA had to be eliminated as an independent political force and ordered the LSSAH to prepare for the action. The LSSAH formed two companies under the control of Jürgen Wagner and Otto Reich, these formations were moved to Munich on June 30. Hitler ordered all SA leaders to attend a meeting at the Hanselbauer Hotel in Bad Wiessee, near Munich.

Hitler along with Sepp Dietrich and a unit from the Leibstandarte traveled to Bad Wiessee to personally oversee Röhm’s arrest on June 30. Later, at about 1700, Dietrich received orders from Hitler for the Leibstandarte to form an execution squad and go to Stadelheim prison where certain SA leaders were being held. There in the prison courtyard, the Leibstandarte firing squad shot five SA generals and an SA colonel. Additional alleged traitors were shot in Berlin by a unit of the Leibstandarte. On July 1, Hitler finally agreed with Göring and Himmler that Röhm should be executed. In what the Nazis called the Röhm Putsch, but otherwise came to be known as the Night of the Long Knives, companies of the LSSAH, together with the Gestapo and Göring’s Landespolizeigruppe, performed Death Squad actions. At least 85, but most likely no less than twice that number of people, were executed without trial over the next few days.

SS-Schutz-Staffel-Appell of the Group East of the SS in Berlin Stabschef Hauptmann Ernst Röhm, (right) Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler, (center) Gruppenführer of the Group East of the SS Kurt Daluege, (left) Photo in Lager at Döberitz, August 1933
Hitler and Obergruppenführer Sepp Dietrich visit the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, Berlin-Lichterfelde.

This action succeeded in effectively decapitating the SA and removing Röhm’s threat to Hitler’s leadership. In recognition of their actions, both the LSSAH and the Landespolizeigruppe General Göring were expanded to regimental size and motorized. In addition, the SS became an independent organization, no longer part of the SA. Thereafter, as the SS swelled with new recruits, the strict recruitment regulations for the LSSAH meant that only those deemed sufficiently Aryan—as well as being physically fit—would be admitted. The LSSAH provided the honor guard at many of the Nuremberg Rallies, and in 1935 took part in the reoccupation of the Saarland. On 6 June 1935, the LSSAH officially adopted a field-grey uniform to identify itself more with the army which wore a similar uniform.

The LSSAH was later in the vanguard of the march into Austria as part of the Anschluss, and in 1938 the unit took part in the occupation of the Sudetenland. By 1939, the LSSAH was a full infantry regiment with three infantry battalions, an artillery battalion, and anti-tank, reconnaissance and engineer sub-units. Soon after its involvement in the annexation of Bohemia and Moravia, the LSSAH was redesignated “Infanterie-Regiment Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (mot.)”. When Hitler ordered the formation of an SS division in mid-1939, the Leibstandarte was designated to form its own unit, unlike the other Standarten of the SS-Verfügungstruppe (SS-VT) (SS-Standarte Deutschland, SS-Standarte Germania, and SS-Standarte Der Führer). The Polish crisis of August 1939 put these plans on hold, and the LSSAH was ordered to join XIII. Armeekorps, a part of Army Group South, which was preparing for the attack on Poland.

The 1.SS-Panzer-Division (LSSAH) enter the War
1.SS-Panzer-Division Known War Crimes during WW-2

September 1939, Poland

SS-Obermusikmeister Hermann Müller-John ordered 50 civilians, several of them Jews, shot at Błonie, Poland in September 1939. Generalleutnant Joachim Lemelsen, commander of 29. Infanterie-Division (mot) reports of these murders to his superiors and General Walter von Reichenau, commander of 10. Armee orders the arrest of Müller-John. A few days later Adolf Hitler places the SS troops under seperate SS juristiction at the request of Heinrich Himmler and the investigation into the killings is dropped.

September 1939, Poland

34 civilians were killed in Torzeniec by soldiers from the Pionierzug under command of SS-Obersturmführer Christian Hansen.

September 1939, Poland

Soldiers from LSSAH killed several civilians in Bolesławiec in the early days of the invasion of Poland and numerous such atrocities happened where soldiers from the unit advanced.

September 1939, Poland

Soldiers from Infanterie-Regiment 95 of the 17. Infanterie-Division and Leibstandarte killed close to 200 civilians in Złoczew, the reason for this massacre is not known. It was investigated post-war by both Poland and West German authorities but no clear motive was found (Sept 3/4 1939). Generalmajor Herbert Loch, commander of 17. Infanterie-Division that operated closely with LSSAH during the invasion of Poland complained about the LSSAH and their wild firing and tendency to reflexively set villages alight as they passed through them.

May 1940, France

On 28 May 1940 80 British POWs from the 48th Division were killed at Wormhout by soldiers from the 2nd Battalion commanded by SS-Hauptsturmführer Wilhelm Mohnke.

March 1942, Russia

Six soldiers of the LSSAH were captured by Soviet troops in Taganrog in October 1941, then tortured and murdered. After the bodies were located in March 1942 an order was issued that all Soviet soldiers captured during following three days be shot, an estimated 4000 were killed.

November 1942, Germany

Vehicles from LSSAH (most likely from SS-Wach-Bataillon 1) were used in the rounding up of Jewish factory workers in Berlin during November 1942.

March 1943, Ukraine

During the recapture of Kharkov in March 1943 LSSAH is accused of killing some 700 wounded Soviet soldiers in the 1st Army Marshalling Hospital but it should be noted that it is unclear it this massacre is more than just an allegation.

September 1943, Italy

Soldiers of LSSAH were involved in the killing of 22 Italian Jews in the area of Lago Maggiore in September 1943. Five soldiers were put on trial for these crimes post-war.

September 1943, Italy

On 19 September 1943 the Italian town of Boves was shelled by troops commanded by Joachim Peiper and 34 civilians killed in retaliation for the capture of two Waffen-SS officers.

August 1944, France

In Tavaux, France, 30 August 1944 soldiers from I./SS-Pz.Gren.Rgt.25 (of 12. SS-Panzer-Division Hitlerjugend) together with soldiers from LSSAH killed 21 civilians.

March 1945, Germany

A soldier of LAH was sentenced to five years in prison post-war for the shooting of two escaped Soviet POWs near Oberlind, Germany, March 1945.

Atrocities Locations & Units

The following is the order of battle per specific crime location, omitting atrocity generalization, such as convictions of ranking commanders for overall responsibility. Peiper is also excluded, inasmuch as another section of this study deals with him.

(December 17 1944) – Honsfeld (Belgium)

2.SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regt;
3.SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Bn;
12.SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Co (2. Plat);
1.SS-Panzer-Pioneer-Bn;
2.SS-Panzer-Pioneer-Co (2. Plat);
1.SS-Panzer-Pioneer-Bn;
3.SS-Panzer-Pioneer-Co (2. Plat)

Honsfeld-December-1944-001

(December 17 1944) – Bullingen (Belgium)

2.SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regt;
3.SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Bn;
12.SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Co;
1.SS-Panzer-Pioneer-Bn;
3.SS-Panzer-Pioneer-Bn (2. Plat)

(December 17 1944) – Baugnez (Belgium)

1.SS-Pz-Regt – 1.SS-Pz-Bn – 1.SS-Pz-Co;
2.SS-Pz-Co;
6.SS-Pz-Co (2. Plat);
7.SS-Pz-Co (1. Plat);
7.SS-Pz-Co (2. Plat);
7.SS-Pz-Co (3. Plat);
2.SS-Pz-Gren-Regt;
1.SS-Pz-Pioneer-Bn (3. Co);
2.SS-Pz-Pioneer-Plat;
3.SS-Pz-Pioneer-Plat;
1.SS-Pz-Regt (9.SS-Pz-Pioneer Co)

Baugnez-16

(December 17 1944) – Ligneuville (Belgium)

1.SS-Pz-Regt – 1.SS-Pz-Bn

Ligneuville-December-1944-001

(December 18 1944) – Stavelot (Belgium)

1.SS-Pz-Regt – 1.SS-Pz-Bn – 1.SS-Pz-Co (1. Plat);
6.SS-Pz-Co (2. Plat);
1.SS-Pz-Rcn-Co;
2.SS-Pz-Rcn-Co

Stavelot-December-1944-001

(December 18 1944) – La Gleize (Belgium)(1)

2.SS-Pz-Gren-Regt, 3.SS-Pz-Gren-Bn, 11.SS-Pz-Gren-Co (1. Plat);
2.SS-Pz-Gren-Regt, 3.SS-Pz-Gren-Bn, 11.SS-Pz-Gren-Co (3. Plat);
2.SS-Pz-Gren-Regt, 3.SS-Pz-Gren-Bn, 11.SS-Pz-Gren-Co (4. Plat)

(December 19, 20, 21, 22 1944) – La Gleize (Belgium)(2)

1.SS-Pz-Regt, 1.SS-Pz-Bn;
1.SS-Pz-Co (1. Plat);
2.SS-Pz-Co;
2.SS-Pz-Plat;
2.SS-Pz-Gren-Regt, 3.SS-Pz-Gren-Bn (10. Co);
2.SS-Pz-Gren-Regt, 3.SS-Pz-Gren-Bn, 11. Co (2. Plat);
2.SS-Pz-Gren-Regt, 3.SS-Pz-Gren-Bn, 11. Co (4. Plat);
2.SS-Pz-Gren-Regt, 3.SS-Pz-Gren-Bn, 12. Co (1.Plat);
2.SS-Pz-Gren-Regt, 3.SS-Pz-Gren-Bn, 12. Co (2.Plat);
3.SS-Pz-Pioneer-Bn (1. Plat);
1.SS-Pz-Regt (9.SS-Pioneer Co);
1.SS-Pioneer-Plat

Illustration

(December 28 1944) – Cheneux (Belgium)

2.SS-Pz-Gren-Regt (3. Bn);
9.SS-Pz-Gren-Co;
11.SS-Pz-Gren-Co

Illustrion-2

(December 19 1944) – Stoumont (Belgium)

1.SS-Pz-Regt, HQs Co (Radio Plat);
1.SS-Pz-Bn (2. Co);
1.SS-Pz-Bn (HQs Section);
1.SS-Pz-Bn (2. Plat);
1.SS-Pz-Bn (3. Plat);
2.SS-Pz-Gren-Regt, 3. Bn, 11. Co (4. Plat);
1.SS-Pz-Pi-Bn (3. Co);
1.SS-Pz Pi-Bn, 3. Co (HQs Plat);
1.SS-Pz-Pi-Bn, 3. Co (2. Plat)

(December 20 1944) – Wanne (Belgium)

1.SS-Pz-Regt, 1. Bn, 1. Co (2. Plat);
6.SS-Pz-Co

(Dec 1944 / Jan 1945) – Petit-Thier (Belgium)

1.SS-Pz-Regt (HQs Co)

Routes and Atrocity Incidents – Narratives – Route Description

Units of the Kampfgruppe Peiper proceed generally on the following itinerary : from the forest around Blankenheim, Germany, on December 16 1944, to Dahlem, Germany, to Hallschlag, Germany, to Scheid, Germany, to Losheim, Germany, then into Belgium during the night of the 16 to 17 December 1944 to Lanzerath, to Honsfeld, which was reached by the point at approximately 0700 December 17 1944. The next town was Büllingen which was reached about 1100, December 17 1944, then to Schopen and to Thirimont which was reached by the point about noon December 17 1944. The Armored Force got to the Five Points Crossroads, Baugnez, which was reached at about 1400 the same day, then to Ligneuville and then to Stavelot which was reached at about 2200. In the morning of December 18 1944 at about 1000 Stavelot was attacked and the Kampfgruppe proceeded to the next village of Trois Ponts, then to La Gleize, to Cheneux and to Stoumont on December 19 1944 and back to La Gleize.

Honsfeld

Kampfgruppe Peiper proceeded without any incidents of interest from the Blankeheim area to the town of Honsfeld in Belgium. American troops assigned to various units of the 612-TDB were located at this area. In the early morning of December 17 1944, the Germans attacked the various positions occupied by the Americans. In one instance a house containing 18 enlisted men and four officers was surrounded by troops of the 1.SS-Panzer-Division and was in the process of being destroyed by 88-MM guns when a white flag was displayed from a windows and firing from the both side ceased. At about 0800 or in the morning of December 17 in the vicinity of Honsfeld, members of the 3.SS-Panzer-Company saw 6 to 10 American Prisoners of War’s standing in the front of a house with their arms raised in surrender.

Bullingen

Short before the 3.SS-Panzer-Company arrived at the Army small airfield near Büllingen on December 17 1944, six or eight unarmed surrendered American prisoners of war were seen walking along the road toward the rear of the Kampfgruppe. Between the airfield and Büllingen the crew of a half-track belonging to the 3.SS-Panzer-Company fired into two separate groups, each consisting from 5 to 8 unarmed and surrendered American prisoners of war. Other groups were shot by other 3.SS-Panzer-Company men, in the Büllingen vicinity. An American PW, a flight officer was shot to death near Büllingen after he had been interrogated by accused Preus, commander of the 10.SS-Panzer-Company. In Büllingen, the commander of the 1.SS-Panzer-Company, mentioned to 8-10 unarmed Americans, who were shot. Two American PW’s were shot by the member of the 10.SS-Panzer-Company about 0800 on December 17 1944. In Büllingen, Rieder, of the 9.SS-Panzer-Pioneer-Company shot a woman (Frau Anton Jousten). About a kilometer beyond Büllingen, in the direction of Thirimont, 3.SS-Panzer-Company men shot 6-8 American PWs.

(Note From Gunter) In the extra-judicial sworn statement dated June 26 1946 signed by the mayor registrar of the Town of Bullingen it is certified that Mrs. Anton Jousten died in Bullingen on December 18 1944 (the date at which the body was found) and that the list in the registrar’s office contained no other case of death of unknown causes during 1944. In the extra-judicial sworn statement of Mr Jousten, the husband of Mrs Jousten, Anton Jousten stated that his wife was killed on December 16 1944 or December 17 1944 by American Artillery fire while she was outside her house attempting to flee from combat. He also stated that her body wore the marks indicating that the death was caused by the explosion of an Artillery shell. In this extra-judicial sworn statement from Anton Jousten, the exact wording for the last sentence is the death was caused by the explosion of a granate. Because the word “shell” doesn’t exist in German (shell as an artillery shell), the word in German used is “granate”, the War Crime Investigation Team as well as the War Crime Court did jump from the German term “granate” to the American term “Grenade”. In fact, when Anton Jousten sated that his wife was killed by a “granate” he was meaning a “shell”. This just to correct the original text from the archive.

Baugnez (Five Points Crossroads)

Elements of Kampfgruppe Peiper arrived at the 5 roads intersection (Five Points Crossroads) in Baugnez, between Malmedy and Ligneuvile, between 1200 and 1400, December 17 1944. The Crossroads is located about four kilometers southeast of Malmedy at a point where one road leads down to Malmedy, another to Hedomont, another to Waimes and another to Ligneuville. Elements of Kampfgruppe Peiper captured personnel of the American 285-FAOB. German armored vehicles, a tank and half-tracks where moved into position to fire upon the Americans. German armored vehicles proceeded along the road opposite this group of American Prisoners. This unwanted shooting of surrendered and unarmed prisoners of war was carried out by element of various units of the Kampfgruppe Peiper.

Ligneuville

After leaving the Crossroads the German column resumed its advance toward Ligneuville. A this place, about 1600, December 17 1944, 8 American prisoners of war were shot by personnel of the 9.SS-Panzer-Company.

Ligneuville to Stavelot

A troop carrier and personnel guarded 15 American Prisoners of War. According to reports, they shot the Prisoners.

Stavelot

On December 21 1944 when certain units of the Kampfgruppe Peiper were engaged by American Tanks, accused Knittel gave order to shoot 8 unarmed and surrendered American Prisoners. This took place at the edge of the woods near a single house located near the Bridge over the Amblèbe River, 3 kilometers west of Stavelot. Gustav Knittel, was Major and in charge of the 1.SS-Recon-Bn. Units of Kampfgruppe Peiper continued their advance to Stavelot and reached there December 18 1944. Some Belgian civilians were fired upon by one of 4 Tanks parked on the roads leading to Hospital. On the outskirts, on the evening of December 18 1944, two civilians were shot by members of the 6.SS-Panzer-Company. Still on December 18, on the edge of Stavelot on the road to La Gleize, personnel from the vehicle of the commander of the 1.SS-Panzer-Company, fired upon a woman. On December 19 1944, Units of Kampfgruppe Peiper shot other Belgian Civilians.

Cheneux

Some units of Kampfgruppe Peiper proceeded to Cheneux and vicinity where they were subjected to a very several air attack. American Prisoners were shot a few meters from the vehicle in which the commanding officer of the Kampfgruppe Peiper was riding. On the evening of December 18 1944, 30 to 40 American were collected on the outskirts, and German personnel from five Tanks and half-track fired upon them.

La Gleize

Among the elements of the Kampfgruppe Peiper entering the town about 1500 on December 17 1944, were units of the 11.SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Company, 9.SS-Panzer-Pioneer-Company and 3.SS-Panzer-Pioneer-Company. American unarmed and surrendered prisoners of war were shot at the town church. During the period of December 18 to December 23 1944, other units of the Kampfgruppe Peiper entered La Gleize, departed therefor, and returned thereto. American prisoners were frequently killed by units of Kampfgruppe Peiper during these 6 days. A pasture in the vicinity of the school house was the scene of some above things. Some shooting were carried out with the approval of accused Peiper.

Stoumont

On the morning of December 19 1944, after various units of the Kampfgruppe Peiper had left Ligneuville, Stavelot and La Gleize, the column arrived in Stoumont and shooting took place. While a Fallschirmjäger was escorting 7 prisoners of war to the rear of the German lines, elements of the 11.SS-Panzer-Company took then over and shot them. On the same day (December 19 1944) elements of the 3.SS-Panzer-Pioneer-Company shot also Prisoners of war. Elements of the 9.SS-Panzer-Company were saw with Prisoners of war. On December 19 1944, 15 to 20 Prisoners of war were killed by the crew of a Panther at the point next to a house which was thought to be the CP of SS-Sturmbannfuehrer Peiper. Also 3 others Prisoners were killed in Peiper’s presence. Elements of the 2.SS-Panzer-Company also killed men in Stoumont. 15 to 25 American prisoners were guarded by German paratroopers when fired upon by crews of several German Tanks.

An interview pointed this fact out : While some of us were walking American prisoners to the rear, these SS started shooting like hell on the Prisoners and they even wounded one of us. We was about to call the others Fallschirmjäger and ready to shoot back at the SS when the fire ceased.

At about 1400 on December 19 1944, elements of the 2.SS-Panzer-Company reached the most westerly point attained during the offensive, approximately 2 kilometers west of Stoumont. There, Machine Gunners of 2 Tanks fired at some 15 unarmed prisoners of war.

Wanne

On December 20 1944 and/or December 21 1944, some elements of the Kampfgruppe Peiper were in Wanne. They were units of the 1.SS-Panzer-Regiment, 7.SS-Panzer-Company.

Lutrebois

On December 31 1944, certain units of the 9.SS-Panzer-Company were in that town.

Trois Ponts

Civilians and 11 American Paratroopers were shot to death. No identification of the units (German) was given.

Petit-Thier

Accused Peiper was in his HQs on the 10 or 13 January 1945 in a castle near the town. SS Sturmbahnfuehrer Kurt Sickel was with him.

Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-J28589,_Kriegsgefangene_amerikanische_Soldaten

SS-Obersturmbannführer Joachim Peiper, Atrocity Trial Testimony
(Note from Gunter : This entire original translation is nothing else than a mess. It is such a bad work that I got several times lost in the text I was typing for the readers. There is not way to release such a kind of text and I will have to correct the entire testimony and the entire report according to common sens and simple military activity. Remember that I am working with a very bad xerox of the already translated testimony (as usual). So I will have to retype the entire text but first, re-translate it from English to German then back to English to get the real testimony or at least to have the correct sentence that Peiper wrote in this period of time.)

He was convicted in 1946 as a participant in the Malmédy, Belgium, Massacre, 17-20 December 1944, and his 81-page direct testimony, plus the cross and redirect, explained some tactical operations of Kampfgruppe Peiper. Because he was a defendant, his remarks need evaluations. They were more detailed in some respects than the three Peiper interviews possessed by the Foreign Studies Branch, OCMH, thus of probable value. The following extracts of the tactical data will be connected into as orderly a sequence as possible, but interrogation was not always chronological.

A – Direct Examination
by Lt Col John S. Dwinell, Assistant Defense Counsel
(Note from Gunter – this is the EUCMH corrected translation.)

Blankenheim Forest, December 14
We were called for a Regimental Conference at 1600, CP in the Blankenheim Forest. Attending were :

CG 12.Volks-Grenadier-Division, Generalmajor Gerhardt Engels
CO 1.Panzer-Battalion, SS-Sturmbannführer Werner Poetschke
CO 2.Panzer-Battalion, SS-Obersturmbannführer Heinz von Westernhagen
– (Commander Heavy Tank Battalion – Tiger – .501)
CO 3.Panzer-Battalion, Sturmbannführer Josef Diefenthal
– (2.Panzer.Regiment attached)
Adjutant and Signal Officer
– 2.Artillery.Battalion & Flak Battalion

The attack order of the 1.SS-Panzer-Division was read. Then, subsequently, I had a conference about purely tactical matters in which I explained that we had to make an attack in a terrain unsuitable for tanks, especially for the Mark V Panthers and the Mark VI Tigers, that the only chance of success depended upon speed, surprise and relentless commitment of person and material. I explained the basic thought to form a spearhead (Aufklärung Abteilung) which would consist of the 1.Panzer-Battalion, the 3.Panzer-Grenadier-Battalion, Panzer-Flak and Panzer-Pioneer. Composed in such a manner, it should be suitable because of its speed, armor and fire power to solve all coming problems.

This group should without regard advance, should not pay attention at unimportant enemy goals not booty not prisoners of war, and the task of this group should be finished then if only one single Mark IV Panzer was to reach the Meuse River even without a crew inside. That was clear to me and I carried it thought and I explained it because of the very difficult terrain and because of the regrouping of the enemy this groups should be entirely rubbed and that it would then depend that the Mark VI Tigers Battalion would be sent behind in a closed orderly march in order to after the 1.Battalion were rubbed out, take over the heavy fighting itself. And that was according to my judgment the area of the slopes of the Ardennes into the area of the Meuse.

In other words, the 1.Battalion received a very desperate task, which I explained very clearly to the officers. Ammunition was to be used sparsely because of re-supply. We had only one tankful of fuel in each tank because I could not figure on reinforcement and had to depend to supplement my vehicle by enemy fuel. As to the point, its decisive part was the march order. Bad narrow roads would make an order of march change later, therefore the composition was carefully planned. I’ve talked over two hours with the commanders about this. The entire band of march (Kampfgruppe) was about 25 Km long. Because of the fact that the broadcast was very limited, due to the bad terrain features, I had to choose a place for myself almost in the center if I wanted to have an essential point of inference. Divided column into section. SS-Sturmbannführer Werner Poetschke commanded the spearhead of the group, consisting of his 1.Panzer-Battalion, the 3.Panzer-Grenadier-Battalion, the 9.Panzer-Pioneer-Company and the Regimental Flak Company.

December 15

I.SS-Panzer-Corps conference on December 15 with SS-Obergruppenführer Hermann Priess. Present also was SS-Obersturmbannführer Otto Skorzeny who discussed the Operation Greiff and the plan of his Panzer-Brigade 150, whose CO, SS-Obersturmbannführer Willi Hardieck, which was to work in conjunction with Peiper’s Kampfgruppe Peiper meanwhile accomplishing his own engagement for a kind of obscur mission. Pieper had a long discussion with Hardieck about the misson. Another Regimental conference on the evening, December 15, Regimental order largely based upon divisional, finished at about midnight.

December 16

The march began on December 16 1944, about 0600 in the morning to 1200 noon. I fell out with my group at about 1600. But the bad roads conditions and the immense number of vehicles that was compressed in that area, together with the group of Skorzeny, which apparently had not had very much training, the traffic on the road proved to be of chaotic extent with the entire 1.SS-Panzer-Division, the 12.Volks-Gernadier-Division, the 3.Fallschirmjäerger-Division. The movement was entirely stopped at Scheidt and road jams prevented the engineers from getting through to repair a blown up bridge. Entire Artillery of the 12.VGD had to change positions to the front, and being horse-drawn, there was a terrible heap of Tiger tanks on the road and four legged mules. Peiper and his commanders personally directed traffic, and since the bridge was not completed on time, we had to have a detour built, by reason of which I could only start off with being twelve hours late.

First we reached the town of Losheim (Germany) in the darkness at about 1700 on December 16. Losheim had been taken by the 12.VGD. Traffic jam; exceptionally dark night and the town was under American Artillery fire.

Next town : contrary to my original orders according to which I was supposed to proceed along the main highway, I received a radio order to take route by way of Lanzerath (Belgium). Minefields impeded. To the best of my recollection, I therefore lost three tanks and five half-tracks on the way from Losheim to Lanzerath. We arrived in Lanzerath at about midnight, I had a meeting with Oberst von Hoffmann at a Café in Lanzerath, and I received a radio order to embark elements of the 3.Fallschimjäger-Division on our tanks. I ordered von Hoffmann to prepare a battalion for an attack along the Lanzerath-Honsfeld road, acting as his flank defense.

December 17 1944 : At about 0400, we attacked with tanks, motorized infantry and foot infantry towards the forest. Contrary to the reports received from the Paratroopers, the forest was freed of enemy troops. It was under severe artillery barrage. At Dawn, we surprisingly entered Honsfeld. (Questioned about combat conditions there, an American Recon unit was stationed in the town.) The vehicles were standing in the front of all the doors of all the houses in town and there were plenty of weapons around, particularly, Armored Cars, Tanks, Tanks Destroyers and AT guns, but the troops were not at their weapons or in their vehicles. All the troops were inside and asleep. Hardly any fighting. First moving spearheads led by Preuss merely shot at some houses and the town was passed without any serious resistance. Peiper was with the spearhead. His own command group which was to march behind Poetschke’s Group remained way behind and he stayed with the spearhead to take action more rapidly, to encourage troops, and to evaluate the results of the reconnaissance performed by the unit Knittel and the unit under Hardieck, both of which were supposed to pass by me. The Fallschirmjäger Battalion, under SS-Obersturmbannführer Paul Tauber, was left behind in Honsfeld, due to orders misunderstanding.

Beyond Honsfeld : the spearhead filled in approximately one kilometer west of Honsfeld. Peiper stopped; he was in Poetschke’s tank and / or in Diefenthal’s vehicle, and in the lead. Continued on the road he had originally planned but testimony explained : I first had had orders to march to Heppenbach from Honsfeld; on account of the obviously poor road conditions I decided to go by way of Bullingen. Bullingen itself was assigned to the 12.SS-Panzer-Division by the operational order. Since I heard the noise of combat which was due to the 12.SS-Panzer-Division comparatively far to the rear and up northeast, I thought it might be possible to pass trough the town of Bullingen without causing a traffic jam together with the 12.Panzer. We continued along the main road to Bullingen. Small Airdrome on the left, just outside Bullingen, at which were 12 or 13 American liaison planes, propellers moving, ready to take-off. Crews, surprised, hid in hedgerows, fired upon Peiper’s force. Fire from town also. Our leading vehicle strafed with Machine Gun and Artillery destroying planes. Time about 0900 to 0930 on December 17. Peiper went into Bullingen about 0930. Captured fuel dump, vehicles left Bullingen at full speed in order of refueling, along a road to the southwest. American Artillery helped to accelerate the departure movements.

About 3 kilometers from Bullingen (Morscheck), at a fork, Peiper ordered a short break to allow the entire Kampfgruppe to regroup. Leading vehicle, Preuss, lost contact with rear of the column because he continued along the road Peiper originally ordered him on, namely southwest. But since down there in the next town there was one bridge and those were particular – points of particular danger for us. I decided at this road fork to choose the road into Moderscheid by way of the forest, instead, particularly, since this resulted in time saving and was a short cut and also toke us away from an unexpected direction.

We moved from Möderscheid to Schoppen, then Odenval toward Thirimont, about noon on December 17. Peiper indicated that his whole Kampfgruppe was not with him, and the identity of the force was not clear from the testimony, but he rode Diefenthal’s vehicle at least some between Odenval and Thirimont. Stopped Jeep driver who was to repair a telephone line and learned that the American troops had given up Malmédy and were retreating in a westerly and southwesterly direction. No combat at this location. But at about that time I suddenly heard my cannons and machines guns open fire. I therefore realized that the leading vehicles of the group had hit the main road from Malmédy to St Vith and since at the moment I was completely alone with the jeep driver, we drove off to the spearhead. The column behind me was detached since the pieces of road between this road fork and Möderscheid was exceptionally difficult. About here, a road a kilometer east of Baugnez (Bagatelle), Peiper met his armored spearhead.

    At the east end of Malmédy on the highway N-23 (today N-62) leading to St Vith (Roadblock Avenue Monbijou – 291-ECB/99-IBS) one American convoy leaving the area and heading to St Vith (Baker Battery 285-FAOB) was stopped by Lt Col David Pergrin, CO of the 291-ECB. Pergrin had one company of engineers available to him. He had no idea of the extent of the enemy’s strength, but one of his own jeep patrols had warned him that a German armored column was approaching the area to the southeast of Malmédy (Bagatelle – Baugnez). He therefore warned the jeep’s passengers, Capt Roger L. Mills (HQ Bat. 285-FAOB) and Lt Virgil Lary, not to proceed in that direction, and advised them to turn around and go to St Vith using another way. The artillery officers did not listen. Ignoring Pergrin’s warning, the battery proceeded on its way. At about 1300, Mills and Lary’s column approached the crossroads at Baugnez. There they met a US MP, Pvt Homer Ford whose mission was to ensure military traffic made the correct turn at the crossroads. A few minutes earlier he had directed elements of the US 7-AD towards St Vith, and he now directed the leading vehicle of the 285-FAOB column to turn towards Ligneuville. As the 10th vehicle passed the crossroads, firing were heard on the rear.

    On January 13, US troops found 66 members of Baker-285-FAOB; 3 from HQs Bat. 285-FAOB; 4 from the 32-AIB; 2 from the 200-FAB; 2 from the 546-Ambulance Bn; 4 from the 575-Ambulance Co; 1 from the 86-ECB.

About five tanks and about the same number of half-tracks were standing in front of me and were shooting with all weapons at their disposal in a southwesterly direction at a range of about 500 meters. This was the road leading south from the Malmédy crossroads. This was about 1300 to 1330, December 17. Peiper saw personally an American truck convoy (285-FAOB) and ordered a cease fire several times which finally ended about 2 minutes later. Annoyed at having his armored spearhead held up, so much time already being lost. Also, Peiper was annoyed at having these beautiful trucks which were needed so badly all shot up. Peiper ordered the column to drive on at a great speed. He had Poetschke radioing to division that enemy was leaving Malmédy, retreating toward south and southwest, and that we had reached the main road south of Malmédy. Peiper mounted Diefenthal’s vehicle and followed the others already moving towards the cross roads. The road leading south from the Malmédy crossroads, from beginning of the forest was pretty well blocked by the American destroyed vehicles. One Panther pushed them off the road. Peiper and Diefenthal reached the Crossroads at Baugnez at about 1330.

Peiper continued his road and drove into Ligneuville, arriving shortly after 1400. He ordered Diefenthal to clean out the town with his grenadier troops. A Sherman knocked out the leading tank in the column (Mark V Panther SS-Untersturmführer Arndt Fischer) and a following Panther knocked out the Sherman. Peiper remained in Ligneuville for about 45 minutes. Burning ammo were exploding everywhere. He bandaged Arndt Fisher, the adjutant of the 1st Battalion. Poetscke arrived on foot. Peiper was informed that a high echelon American Command Post had been located in the Hotel (Hotel des Ardennes) here which according to the testimony of the innkeeper of the restaurant already had been disturbed at their dinner. A strong tank column was also supposed to be immediately toward our front. Peiper changed the marche order of the spearhead, bringing 1.Panzer-Company from rear to take over the lead. The Group continued then to Stavelot.

The estimated time of the arrival of the Kampfgruppe in the outskirt of Stavelot (Vaulx Richard) was between 2000 and 2100, December 17. The Group had at once attempted to take the town in one rapid attack. That, however, proved impossible because of infantry troops which were available were not strong enough and because the tanks had no chance to come into action along the street. The terrain was extraordinary unfavorable, slopped down very much toward the left and an hair pin curve was right outside the town so that everybody passing by this curve was knocked by several American tanks and Tank Destroyers (526-AIR & 825-TDB) which were located behind roadblock at the edge of the town. The first tank to give it a try was SS-Hauptsturmführer Krenser’s Panther. The Mark V was knocked out and Krenser, CO of the 1.Company, seriously wounded, had to be replaced by SS-Obersturmführer Hennecke. The second to try the American defenses was the Mark VI Tiger (#222) from SS-Oberscharführer Kurt Sowa. The 222 got also knocked out and had to be abandoned at the bottom of the road leading to the Amblève bridge. My own attacking infantry remained at the edge of the town and suffered severe casualties and had to dig in. Officers with me were Poetschke, Diefenthal, Nueske, Gruhle and one officer of the Skorzeny Group. We took Stavelot in the morning of December 18.

When we penetrated the town, to many civilians shot at us from the windows and openings in the roofs. The only goal that I was looking for was the bridge near Trois-Ponts. I therefore had not time to spend on those civilians and I continued driving on although I knew that the resistance in town had not been entirely broken. We established an aid station for the many wounded, number not specified. Left behind were the CO of the 1.Company and the CO of the 11.Panzer-Grenadier-Company, but the latter escaped at night. In the meantime violent resistance had been reopened in town consisting of newly arriver American soldiers and civilians. With the half of a few tanks of mine which followed behind some infantry we succeeded in the counter attack to get at least all our wounded out of Stavelot.

We drove from Stavelot towards Trois-Ponts at great speed. In that town we were standing below the railroad bridge and received rather sever infantry fire from the bridge across the Salm River further down the road. Of a group of 7 to 12 PWs one who was brought over to Peiper’s vehicle we learned that these soldiers were part of an Engineer Battalion and that they were ordered to stop our advance by demolition.

Shortly after leaving Trois-Ponts, von Westerhagen arrived (CO 2.Panzer-Battalion, Heavy Tiger Detachment 501). I asked him about the situation in his battalion and about the casualties. Von Westerhagen referred to American PWs shooting at Ligneuville, but no tactical information was reported in Peiper’s testimony about Tigers’ action.

(Question : were there any attack of the 501 Heavy Group through Trois-Ponts later ?) Yes ! As to artillery about two batteries of the battalion assigned to the Kampfgruppe drove though Trois-Ponts. And there was a Flak Battalion there. (The blown up bridge impediment ?) Yes, my road of advance from Trois-Ponts up west could not be maintained and I had to find another crossing somewhere. I decided to take route by way of La Gleize to cross the Amblève River southwest of La Gleize in order to get back on to the main road in the southwest. This was December 18.

Peiper moved to La Gleize. (Where there any American forces there ?) No, La Gleize wasn’t taken. Belgian civilians were hiding in cellars. Peiper and his group left La Gleize in the southwest direction and came to the bridge across the Amblève (Froidcour). He saw some persons rushing around the bridge, and since he had to expect that this bridge too would be blown right in the front of his nose, the spearhead stopped and opened fire. No order was given; natural reaction. The tank that fired was about 400 meters from the bridge, Peiper himself about 450 meters. Visibility was satisfactory; no effort to attempt identify the peoples. Peiper arrived on the bridge on a bicycle. Then, on the other side of the bridge, my column was attacked by an heavy American air raid.

Kampfgruppe Peiper spotted early that day by an Observation L-4, the IX Tactical Air Command had dispatched the 365th Fighter Group reinforced by a Squadron from from each, the 366th Fighter Group and the 404th Fighter Group to attack the Kampfgruppe Peiper everywhere and along the entire length of the column (about 30 kilometers). During the action around the Amblève bridge at Froidcour, one P-47 was shot down by the German Wirbelwinds and crashed in the outskirts of Francorchamps.

The road on the other side of the bridge takes a very sharp curve at a small bunker (still there today) then goes up to Cheneux. The tank spearheading the column was blown to pieces by a direct hit from a bomb right there. It was therefore not possible to pass by the wreck for a while. We made desperate attempts to pull back towards the road but nevertheless lost at least two and a half hours. I then ordered Diefenthal to proceed at once in the same direction at a great speed to reach the main road and to prevent by all means the blowing of the next bridge which was near Neucy. We proceeded then to Cheneux about 1600, December 18.

The Kampfgruppe went to Cheneux. No American forces there. At the bridge near Cheneux I was reached for the first time by my Command Group and I mounted a radio vehicle of this group and I received a report of all radio messages that has come in from my communications officer which, of course, had not reached me before then. Responding to other witnesses’ testimony that Americans had been killed in La Gleize and just before Cheneux was entered, Peiper said that was impossible because there were any American soldiers at all at that time in those villages.

Peiper passed trough Cheneux. After darkness fell we again reached the main road which we had panned to continue on from Trois-Ponts and just outside Neucy another bridge was blown in the front of our noses. I then ordered Diefenthal to start two combat bridge reconnaissance patrols, namely, on the north of the main road, the other south. The patrol south of the road found only one small bridge and got into Werbomont. The reconnaissance patrol on the north side of the road (Group Preuss) was trapped into an ambush by American troops on the other side of the river and the leader of this patrol was the only one to come back. The capacity of the bridge which he had used was not high enough for our heavy vehicles. I therefore had to decide to turn the whole column around in order to proceed west on the road located further north near La Gleize and Stoumont, my plans being to re-cross the Amblève bridge west of Stoumont and thus finally being able to reach the main road again. I arrived in La Gleize for the second time about midnight, December 18.

Peiper proceeded immediately to reconnoiter Stoumont. The results of the reconnaissance were that heavy enemy concentrations were in Stoumont. Upon that, Peiper planned and prepared an attack in the early morning hours. Contrary to my first plan I was not able to attack Stoumont at dawn because there was a heavy fog. The attack began at 0900. The terrain was very unfavorable. I was hardly able to make use of my tanks. The enemy had dominating positions. The attack itself was studded with severe crises and in one of these crises the tanks of the Battalion Poetschke attacking on the right flank proceeded to my rear so I gave Poetschke the order to take a hand in there at once. Poetschke himself left his tank took a hold if a rocket launcher, went over to every tank and threatened every commander to shoot him down at once if he would go back one more meter. In that matter the backward movement of this flank was stopped while at the same time I organized everything that was laying in the ditch, including Company Rumpf, from an attack on the town which made the decision. About 30 PWs were brought back from the main enemy line of defense which continued around the edge of the town. Upon I gave order to herd them on to La Gleize at once.

During an exchange of questions and answer concerning the PWs aspect, Peiper said he was in La Gleize at about 1230 with Poetschke and Knittel since at the time mentioned (1000-1100) I was definitely still occupied with the attack at Stoumont and not in La Gleize. (Conference) : Knittel said that at this time, only about two-third of the battalion had arrived in La Gleize and that the rest of it was lost somewhere towards the rear because the enemy had completely taken Stavelot again and that his vehicle situation would not continue into a westerly direction. Peiper then ordered him to turn around at once, to clean up Stavelot and to ascertain whether our main route of supply which went through Stavelot would be secure. Knittle asked for some tanks to accomplish this mission but I could not do that. I had to send him away. I knew that this mission wasn’t a nice one for him. At that time, the Commander of the 2.Battalion of the Panzer Grenadier Regiment (apparently this new force was from the 2.Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment, whose 3.Panzer-Grenadier-Battalion, under Diefenthal, had been a part of Kampfgruppe Peiper) reported to me. SS-Sturmbannführer Herbert Schnelle, who had just passed Stavelot made reports about the situation there and put his battalion under me. Peiper said that Stoumont was taken on December 19 at 1100. Prosecution read testimony of four witnesses who said PW’s were shot in the Stoumont about 0700 to 0800 on December 19, but Peiper emphasized : at this time it was barely dawn at seven o’clock. I already described that after dawn a heavy fog prevented me from attacking and that I did not start to jump off on the attack before nine o’clock.

The engagement in Stoumont Continued : After the first prisoners were brought back from the enemy line of resistances, and my attacking infantry had disappeared in the town, I drove promptly into the town with a jeep. Since violent firing was still going on there I stopped at the first house on the left side of the road. An American AT gun was standing next to that house, as was a knocked out and burning Panther, so I assumed that the clearing of the town would take a while yet. I planned to establish a message center in this house at first. Some of the officers of my staff as well as Poetschke, Westerhagen and Neuske arrived at my place, as did my communications officer. Conversation with an American Medic, at the same time I ordered that the Medic would be taken to the Aid Station, since we could use him, and then I went to an American AAA position which was also located near the house in order to determine whether these weapons were still of use. When I returned, a severe artillery barrage started, which forced me to take cover. Ordered adjutant to establish CP at a distance because of the artillery was zeroed in too well at that point. With and in Poetschke’s jeep, we drove to Stoumont, met Capt Diefenthal in the town western edge, and I ordered him to follow the escaping enemy at once and to see if all vehicles would not stop under any condition but rather increase their speed. We then followed the attacking spearhead and met it again at the railroad station, which was several kilometers west of the town proper. I walked to the first tank which was behind a sharp right-hand turn under severe American AT fire. On the right, that is, on the north end of the woods, more enemy infantry was located and a lot of firing was done. I met Diefenthal and 1/Lt Christ (CO 2.SS-Panzer-Company) in the ditch, had a short conference with a map. By that time it had become quite definite that due to our fuel situation we would no longer be able to attack further. I therefore had to abandon my intention to capture the next bridge, and therefor ordered to hold the position which we had achieved until further notices.

About 1200, with Poetschke, I returned to the CP in Stoumont, which in the meantime had been set up by the adjutant in the large castle located between Stoumont and La Gleize (Chateau de Froidcour – December 19). I ordered the CP to be taken out of the castle and be established into a small house located directly on the road Stoumont La Gleize, since wounded were already laying in the castle and since I didn’t want to establish the CP under the flag of the Red Cross. Then I continued to drive on to La Gleize with Poetschke, after ascertaining whether any radio messages had come in. Met Capt Schnelle, CO of the 2.Battalion of the 2.SS-Panzer-Regiment. I then returned to the CP and planned the defense. I placed Poetschke in charge of Stoumont, Westerhagen in charge of La Gleize and temporally, Wolf of the Flak Battalion in charge of Cheneux.

What was the situation in Stavelot at this time ? I had not received any message from Stavelot at this time, but was of the opinion that troops which were following us should not have any trouble to break that resistance, particularly since a Panther of the 1.Battalion arrived in the course of the afternoon, which manned only by a driver alone because all the crew had become casualties. This man also reported about the condition in Stavelot to me. He said that he had gotten out of his Panther several times, had fought his way through with a machine pistol, but otherwise it was still possible to get through.

That happened on December 20 ? On December 20, the conditions became much more strained. I was out of communications with the Division, then supply line had not been cleared either. Reconnaissance patrols which were sent out in the direction of Stavelot returned without performing their task. Furthermore, Recon patrols of mine could notice new concentrations north of La Gleize. In the afternoon, heavy attacks from the east were made in Stoumont, Cheneux was attacked from the southwest, and about 45 enemy tanks passed by us going east towards Stavelot. Through Intelligence and PWs interrogation, Peiper ascertained that he was surrounded by the US 36th Infantry Division, the US 3rd Armored Division and the US 82nd Airborne Division. The conditions in Stoumont were particularly difficult because it was no longer possible to fight back the enemy which had broken through, and the enemy was in control of the western part of the town from then on. Peiper was in the CP of SS-Obersturmführer Franz Sievers the CO of the 3.Panzer-Pioneer-Company, in Stoumont on the afternoon of December 20.

Did you give up Stoumont ? During the night of December 20/21, I ordered a counter attack in Stoumont when we had regained the positions we had lost earlier. In the course of this, two officers as well as I do, believe that about 35 men were captured in the castle-like building in the western part of Stoumont. Combat in this building was particularly severe. Fights took place for every individual room which were pointed out to them by the infantry inside. Our positions in Stoumont became much more serious on December 21, and I had to consider giving up. In the early afternoon, the road, at about 100 meters of the CP, about half way between Stoumont and La Gleize, was cut by American troops. Threes had been demolished there and there were mines hidden in between the trees. The danger of Stoumont being cut off became obvious. I saw clearly that the enemy had now perceived my undefended northern flank, which which had been represented by the large forest between the two towns, and I had to expect that stronger American forces would follow through these troops which had cut the road. This place, where the place was cut, was eliminated again with all available messengers, liaison officers and later part of the Preuss Company. We planned the evacuation of the main aid station inside the Chateau de Froidcour. All slightly wounded were taken to La Gleize, about 50 more severely wounded and unable to be transported were left behind with 15 American Medics. Since I faced the possibility of being surrounded simultaneously in Stoumont, in La Gleize and in Cheneux, I decided to withdraw to La Gleize with all my forces, while however, still attempting to keep control of the bridge southwest of La Gleize, since I had not yet given up hopes of troops following us from behind. At dusk of December 21, the units withdrew from Stoumont to La Gleize.

Interrogation concerned a Lt Col McGown, captured by Diefenthal’s 3.Panzer-Grenadier-Battalion. Discussed exchange of PWs and wounded with McGown. (Lt Col Harold D. McGown, CO, 2nd Battalion, 119th Infantry Division, 30th Infantry Division).

Asked about the exchange arrangement, Peiper replied : I might perhaps be permitted to ask something which belong here. Our positions in La Gleize had become very difficult. The town itself consists of a few houses only. It is surrounded by mountains and offers very excellent artillery observation points to the enemy. Furthermore, to the north and west the forest is very close to the town and therefore offers very good lines of approach to infantry. In view of the great enemy superiority, it was only a matter of days that the whole town would be shot to rubble. It was hardly possible to move in the streets. All squares of the streets of the town were under direct machine gun and tank destroyer fire. Connected with that was a very great increase in our casualty rate. The town hardly had any cellars. The few cellars which were available were used for the prisoners and wounded exclusively, and the prisoners represented a terrific burden to me at that time, but it happened constantly that the guards who were standing outside the cellars in which the prisoners were kept, ran away during the artillery fire.

In the evening of December 21, while inspecting the lines of combat I saw a number of Americans – I think there about eight – lying dead on the edge of the town. I wasn’t able to make any investigation since and firing was going on very lively. I continued on my way to Poetschke’s CP and asked him whether he knew anything about those American soldiers I has seen out there. And he said, Yes, they had been shot in course of an attempt to escape during the afternoon. During December 22, on the noon, the enemy attacked with very strong infantry and very strong tanks concentrations. They had penetrated the outermost houses. The whole town was filled with fog and the impression one had was that the infantry men were in front of our doors. I Jumped out of my cellar with a machine pistol while my adjutant began burning the secret matter documents. At that occasion I saw the whole town full of brown figures but could not decide where these were, the attackers or the escaping prisoners. In connection with this attack, Poetschke related the incident mentioned above. Until that time I had the intention of defending the town until the last man, even if no aid would come.

About noon on December 23, I received a mangled radio message from the Division from which I gathered that the Kampfgruppe which had been sent to my relief was not moving forward any more and that, furthermore, higher headquarters had the which that I return. I thereupon made the preparations for a break. I called McGown over in order to talk over the matter of the prisoners and casualties. I made a written agreement with him on these subjects. All the PWs were to be left under an anti-tank unit captain who had to give this agreement to the Americans reaching the town. A German doctor was also to be left, a 2/Lt Dr. Dittmann. Major McGown, was however, accepted, and was to accompany Peiper, who in later days would exchange McGown for the left behind German wounded.

Wounded and Prisoners of War were left, when we broke out of La Gleize at about 0100, December 24.

Peiper personally got to Wanne about 0300 in the morning of December 25, slightly wounded. He had a violent heart attack and was taken down there unconscious. Wounded while breaking through the American main line of resistance which was precisely west of the Salm River. Asked about sleep he said : I did not sleep for nine days during the offensive. He then was bandaged and slept at the Regimental Aid Station (Dr. Sickel).

In the morning of December 26, I was ordered to my Division CP. I had to report about what happened in the operation which had been concluded to my division commander in presence of the commanding general, General Preiss. The Division CP was located in a little castle about ten kilometers west of Wanne (on the eastern outskirts) as there until noon. We drove then to Blanche Fontaine, and set up a CP in the Chateau in Petit-Thier on December 26.

Direct testimony concluded with a discussion on availability to the Prosecution the next day of the notes Peiper used in testimony.

Cross-examination by Prosecutor Lt Col Burton E. Ellis

Although Peiper’s Direct testimony to defense counsel needed some evaluation, that dealing with tactical matters generally reliable, surely. An exception however, mais well have been hours of attack whose connection with atrocity times was obvious, e.g., Stoumont. Cross-examination sought or did bring out discrepancies, some with tactical implications, (pp. 1967-2021). These will be extracted with references provided to the direct extract pages, e.g. (#2.P) Recross-Examination pp. 2532-2547.

Cross: Cross-examination.
Direct:Direct-
Freising : Investigation, Malmédy cae. E.C.B. File N° 624, Examination of prisoner of war, 25, 26 August 1945, in Freising, Germany. This is not to be confused with the Hechler historical interview in September. It was a sworn statement. During a telephone conversation on June 24 1952, Col Ellis explained to the writer that a Freising, Peiper drew upon his memory, lacked knowledge of what the prosecutor knew or did not know, and Ellis felt the tactical data recorded at Freising generally was factual. Later, during the trial, Peiper was on the defensive, and attempted to disassociate himself from atrocities. One such means was to name attack hours or time of his presence at variance with other witnesses.

Honsfeld and La Gleize

As to Major Taubert and his Parachute Battalions– In Direct, Peiper indicated the Taubert Group participated in the Honsfeld action, but was left there due to orders misunderstanding– that is Taubert said he had to await regimental orders. In cross, the Freising statement was read : I ordered him to immediately mount all his paratroopers on my vehicles, to advance with me at top speed to take Büllingen. Tauber required Division orders, and Peiper, angrily told him to stay in Honsfeld. In Cross, Peiper added he had forgotten to mention in Freising : I found out that I had a company of paratroopers with me for the first time in La Gleize while attacking Stoumont.

Büllingen

In Direct, Peiper said he entered it about 2100 or 2130. In Cross, he was uncertain as to 2000 or 2100.

Baugnez

Both Direct and Cross were too complicated, pertained primarily to atrocity aspect. Suffice it to say Peiper was there.

Ligneuville

Same as Baugnez, except his Direct was likely acceptable for tactical matters with two exceptions. Arrival time was noon, not 1400, according to Cross and Freising, but Peiper would not agree to that. Second exception : A Sherman tank was knocked out, but by whom or how was not clear.

Stavelot

Arrival, but not entry, time of both Direct and cross was about 2000 or 2100, December 17. Cross added these tactical details : Peiper did not go into Stavelot upon arrival. It was impossible to take the town. The whole town was full of American vehicles and a very large number of columns were passing the town from the north to northwest. With the weapons at our disposal, we fired into the town and attempted at least to disturb the traffic of these columns. Then an American column attacked the road, but I can say with certainty whether this was in the evening, or, the early morning hours. This attack was conducted by American infantry to our left flank. I have already described yesterday how the terrain was much higher on our left. We were in a closed formation on the road at the time of this attack and we defended against the attack by directing our fire from the weapons on our vehicles to our left — the direction of the attack. That attack was at night or in the early morning hours. It is possible that it was getting night already. His Direct did not indicate a time of his own attack, but the Cross estimated about 0800, and he did not know his Freising answer as to that time. He spent the night in Diefenthal’s vehicle, then in the morning before his attack, had a conference in a house next to the river, about 800-1000 meters southeast of Stavelot.

During Cross, the following Freising statement was read in response to a query as to the time he started out on the morning of December 18 : I would like to say the following first : during the night I committed an armored group – that is to say a weakened panzer company, which had the mission of reaching Trois-Ponts by way of Wannerenval and Aisomont. During the night, I only received one me from this company which notified me that they were running into severe terrain difficulties. Also on December 18, at 0600, I started the attack in Stavelot. At this time much demolition could be seen in Stavelot, especially three large gas dumps. The infantry advanced to the outskirts of the city, but they were stopped because of a heavy trap that had been erected in the outskirts of the city, behind which Sherman tanks and AT weapons were standing. Beside this, we were drawing artillery and AT fire from the northern flank. Because we had to take the bridge at Stavelot at any cost, before it was destroyed, I now had to advance at all costs. I gave the order to three Panthers to take a running start and at top speed crashes down on to the tank trap. Asked : Now, is that answer correct ? Answer : In the main, that answer is correct.

La Gleize (first time) and Cheneux

Details of the Direct should be compared with the following of the Cross : Peiper just rode through, which might have taken about 3 minutes. The middle part and the end of my column didn’t go through La Gleize at all, since I had already turned around at the time when they reached La Gleize and I ordered that that part of the column following would be stopped. At what time did you reach Cheneux ? I had an air attack outside Cheneux; this was about 1230, in my estimate. The air attack delayed us for about two to two and half hours, as I have mentioned. In other words, that means that we arrived at Cheneux at about 1530 or 1600. He was sure !

Stoumont

Stoumont :- Direct testimony was that although (December 19) Peiper planned a dawn attack, fog, delayed until 0900, December 19. Cross strove to make Peiper admit the attack and capture of the PWs was 0600-0800. Cross read Direct which Peiper said was correct. Then, when Peiper denied the 0600-0800 hours, Cross read the following statement :

    After my reconnaissance had given me a clear picture of the enemy situation in Stoumont. I assembled for the attack at approximately 0600 on the morning of December 19. The troops that I had with me at that time was a grand conglomeration and mixture of all the units that I had with me at that time. I had tanks from my own regiment, panzer grenadiers from the 2.Regiment, an AAA unit of the Luftwaffe, an artillery battalion from our own division artillery and at least one reinforced company of Fallschirmjäger, which were mounted on my tanks during the whole advance. I had at the most 6 tanks (Mark VI Tiger) from the 2.Panzer-Battalion, and because the speed with which we were advancing after Stavelot, they were unable to keep up with us. The attack on Stoumont was a difficult one because I couldn’t attack with an extended armored front and the leading vehicles could only fight from the road. Enemy resistance was great and was being constantly fed by troops coming from the north and the west. This was the first time that I realized that strengthened American opposition was in the making. After about 2 hours of combat, the town was taken by my tanks. We captured approximately 200 American soldiers. The beaten enemy was followed for approximately 5000 meters and then we had to stop because we didn’t have a drop of gasoline left. At this time, I tried to take up communication with my division by radio to ask them what steps had been taken as far as Stavelot was concerned and when I could figure on supplies coming on to me.

    (Question) Is that answer correct?
    (Answer) No!

    N.B – Despite the negative answer, maybe both that Freising statement – except for the attack hour, and the Direct about Stoumont, were rather reliable descriptions of the tactical situation, as distinct from atrocity angle. The former prosecutor, Col Burton F. Ellis, in a telephone conversation of June 24 1952, pointed out the Freising statement tended to be factual as to operational subjects, because it was well before the trial, and Peiper was not so much on the defensive. It may be noted that the Cross seemed to be concerned only with the attack time, to prove Peiper was a participant. Maybe the American story can verify or not some of both the Direct and Freising statements.

    Direct had brought out Peiper conferred in La Gleize about 1230 on December 19 with the 1.SS-Panzer-Recon-Battalion, Knittel, who reported that the enemy had completely taken Stavelot again, and Peiper had sent Knittel back to retake the town. The statement was read during Cross and Peiper claimed he had not said completely taken, but we had serious difficulties with the enemy at Stavelot. Peiper said that a translation error in the Direct testimony had been made, adding that was his only change. There was further reading of a Freising statement, which contained the gist of the tactical matters, but placed the conference hour as 1000. In a word, these references to a La Gleize conference on Stavelot were part of the prosecution’s effort to implicite Peiper in the Stoumont atrocity, by means of establishing his movements to the hour. Peiper was obviously in the named towns, the precise hour debated by him and the prosecution.

    SS-Brigadeführer Fritz Ludwig Karl Kraemer (CoS 6.SS-Panzer-Army)

    The following extracts or information were from his testimony during the Malmédy Massacres Trial in Dachau, Germany, June 1946.

    A. He gave me many details of the formation of the 6.SS-Panzer-Army prior the counter offensive, and other Ardennes data. This may supplement other data from him e.g. historical interviews and papers sent to Colonel S.L.A. Marschall. This folder of Kraemer’s testimony can be obtained, doubtless, from Col Burton E. Ellis.

    B. Deactivation of Kampfgruppe Peiper. Direct Examination by Defense, pp. 1862, 6.SS-Panzer-Army, participated in the Ardennes offensive from December 16 1944 until approximately January 20 1945. Then : the Headquarters were, together with the 1. and the 2.SS-Panzer-Corps, moved by train beginning on January 18. They were committed into action in Hungary early March. 1.SS-Panzer-Corps. 1.SS-Panzer-Corps Sector : Corps and Divisions were changed very frequently during the action. The 1.SS-Panzer-Corps together with the 1.SS-Panzer-Division (LSSAH) and the 12.SS-Panzer-Division (HJ) was relieved on December 28 1944, and they were sent to the 5.Panzer-Army in time between December 27 and 30. The the accused Dietrich and also General Mödel found out that the Ordnance Company of the 1.SS-Panzer-Division had remained behind in the forest — in other words, Saint-Vith (Belgium). That was not known to the Army, and that occurred upon the instigation of the Division. I did not know the number of men, I only knew that 10 or 12 tanks were repaired there.

    Redirect Examination by Prosecution.

    You said on direct examination that the 1.SS-Panzer-Regiment was withdrew from the offensive about December 28 1944 if I recall correctly?
    That is not correct, I did not say it this way.
    What did you say then?
    I stated that the 1.SS-Panzer-Division was transferred to the 5.SS-Panzer-Army on December 27 or 28, in the beginning of January 1945, I found out that the damaged 1.SS-Panzer-Regiment did not got to the 5.SS-Panzer-Army, but the Tanks had to remain behind in the woods east of Saint-Vith. I further told you that the 1.SS-Panzer-Division was transferred to Hungary on January 20 1945.
    Therefore the 1.SS-Panzer-Regiment was still in Belgium up to and including January 13 1945. Is that correct?
    Yes that is correct.

    Redirect Examination by Defense.

    From the Regiment of Peiper did only the Ordnance Company or the whole Regiment remain behind?
    No, the entire Regiment was arranged in the forest – remained in the forest east of Saint-Vith. This Regiment – this Division had sent along the 5. (doubtless meant the 6.) SS-Panzer-Pioneer-Army, one Panzer Battalion, Regimental units for instruction, an Armored Pioneer Company, and probably also parts of the single Company. east of Saint-Vith were parts of the Regimental staff, parts of the Stabs Company, and those parts of one Panzer Battalion that could not be committed any more. Furthermore, this Ordnance Company what had been in this forest.
    Defense stated : The witness stated before that all the units listed were sent to the 5.Panzer-Army.
    Prosecution replied : that is correct.
    No further questions, and Kraemer retired from stand.

    Malmédy Trial Testimony, SS 2/Lt Kurt Kramm
    He was assistant adjutant of the 1.Panzer-Battalion, 1.SS-Panzer-Regiment, (LSSAH). He spoke English.

    Do you know the element of the 1.SS-Panzer-Regiment, primarily referred to as Kampfgruppe Peiper,that participated in this Offensive?
    Yes, and they were : 1.SS-Panzer-Regiment with the Headquarters Company, the 1.SS-Panzer-Battalion under the command of Poetschke, the 9.SS-Panzer-Pioneer-Company under the command of Rumpf, the AAA Company of the 1.SS-Panzer-Regiment under the command of Vogel, the 3.SS-Panzer-Battalion of the 2.SS-Panzer-Regiment of the LSSAH under Diefenthal, the 3.SS-Panzer-Pioneer-Battalion LSSAH under Sievers, the 3.SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Company of the 2.SS-Panzer-Grenadier-Regiment, the Independent 501.Company (King Tigers), one AAA Detachment of the Luftwaffe and Fallschirmjäger Battalion (2BV). These are all the units of the Kampfgruppe.
    As to reconnaissance units : Only such reconnaissance units as were found within the units themselves. These were equipped only with light vehicles without armor.
    Do you know whether there is a connection between the Recon Battalion commanded by Knittel and the Combat group commanded by Peiper?
    There was undoubtedly some connection but just what the points of contact were, I don’t know.
    Route of March : Kramm traced it, indicating hours of arrival in the various towns of the Spearhead and the midst of the column, all in English. This is not extracted for 2 reasons : 1. The route traced he traced was that reflected on a map titled Route of Advance Kampfgruppe Peiper contained elsewhere is this study. 2. Hours were disputed by the Prosecution and Defendants as to coincidence of arrival time and atrocity occurrence.

    Order of march at Blankenheim, December 16 1944, 0200. That is the actual order not that necessarily specified by order : were SS units.

    Point Platoon (Spearhead) Obersturmfuehrer Werner Sternebeck, Commanding
    10.SS-Pz-Gren-Co, Obersturmfuehrer Georg Preuss Commanding
    Element of the 12.SS-Pz-Gren-Co with canon SPW’s
    1.SS-Pz-Co
    11.SS-Pz-Gren-Co
    6.SS-Pz-Co

    Main Part, 9.SS-Pz-Pioneer-Co Obersturmfuehrer Erich Rumpf Commanding
    7.SS-Pz-Co Hauptsturmfuehrer Oskar Klingelhoefer Commanding.
    Main Part, AAA Co of 1.SS-Pz-Regt.
    3.Pz-Pioneer-Co Obersturmfuehrer Franz Sievers Commanding
    13.SS-Pz-Gren-Co, 2.SS-Pz-Gren-Regt
    501.Heavy-Tank-Bn (Tigers)
    AAA Bn (Luftwaffe)

    (Below) Added July 21 2017

    Order of march, at Lanzerath, December 17

    Point Platoon, Obersturmfuehrer Werner Sternebeck, consisting of two Mark IV, Panzer 4.
    Tanks of the 10.SS-Pz-Gren-Co, Obersturmfuehrer Georg Preuss Commanding, with part of the 12.SS-Pz-Gren-Co with Armor SPWs.
    Commander, 3.Pz-Bn with Commander 1.SS-Pz-Regt Oberstrumbannfuehrer Josef Diefenthal. (N.B. Confused titles. Maybe he meant these three principal officers : Major (Sturmbannfuehrer) Werner Poetschke Commanding 1.SS-Pz-Bn, 1.SS-Pz-Regt: Major (Sturmbannfuehrer) Joachim Peiper Josef Diefenthal, Commanding 3.SS-Pz-Gren-Bn, 2.SS-Pz-Gren-Regt.

    6.SS-Pz-Co Untersturmfuehrer Hans Steininger, 1.Platoon, Leader, Commanding because the Company Commander, Obersturmfuehrer Benoni Junker was sick.
    11.SS-Pz-Gren-Co Obersturmfuehrer Heinz Tomhardt, Commanding
    7.SS-Pz-Gren-Co Hauptsturmfuehrer Oskar Kingelhoefer Commanding
    Maint part 9.SS-Pz-Pioneer-Co
    13.Inf-Howitzer-Co, 2.SS-Pz-Gren-Regt.
    AAA Co, 1.SS-Pz-Regt
    1.SS-Pz-Co, Oberstrumfuehrer Kerl Kremser Commanding
    2.SS-Pz-Co, Oberstrumfuehrer Fritz Christ Commanding
    501.Heavy-Tank-Bn (King Tigers)
    .
    AAA Battalion (Luftwaffe)

    Order of march changes later. Forenoon of December 17, 1.SS-Pz-Co bypassed the companies in front of them and reached the point with the whole Armored Column in Ligneuville. ON the morning of December 18, the 6.SS-Pz-Co, the 7.SS-Pz-Co and the 3.SS-Pz-Pioneer-Co sent on special mission to the south to search another ridge over the Salm River. They returned late during the night when the Kampfgruppe was already in La Gleize. Of the 7.SS-Pz-Co, only the Commander Klingelhoefer returned to the Kampfgruppe, the other tanks of the company stayed ahead in Stavelot.

    American opposition : First part of offensive facing the 80th Infantry Division. Later, the 30th Infantry Division. Kramm was captured on December 25. Tank type of 1.SS-Pz-Bn : Mark V Panthers 1.SS-Pz-Co and 2.SS-Pz-Co; Mark VI Tigers, 6.SS-Pz-Co and 7.SS-Pz-Co.

    Kramm’s records : Defense, during Cross, said he seemed to possess and admirable memory, and asked if he kept a diary. He kept one, but not hour-to-hour. He said : I only made entries when important matters occurred and I had to make entries into the combat daily journal of the battalion. He burned it before capture on December 25. Although he was in other campaigns including Russia, he was not an officer, but being one and the adjutant , he had the journal duty. This explanation was given for his memory of dates, formations, etc.

    1.SS-Pz-Bn Adjutants : 2/Lt (Untersturmfuehrer) Arndt Fisher was Adjutant until when wounded on December 17. 2/Lt (Untersturmfuehrer) Kurt Kramm was Adjutant provisionally until 2/Lt (Untersturmfuehrer) Rolf Rolard Reiser arrived from Germany on December 19.

    501.Heavy-Tank-Battalion

    Its armour was the Mark VI, the Tiger Tank. Its commander was Lt Col (Oberstrumbannfuehrer) Von Westerhagen. At least as of and for the operations December 16-22 1944 of Kampfgruppe Peiper, it was a unit, but not organic. While it was a separate battalion, it was attached to the Kampfgruppe and commanded by Von Westerhagen. This officer was the commander of the organic, but apparently non-operational 2.SS-Pz-Bn of the 1.SS-Pz-Gren-Regt. Witnesses during the trial for the Malmédy Massacres referred to their organization as the 501.Heavy-Tank-Battalion and not the 2.SS-Pz-Bn.

    Malmédy trial testimony of CO, 3.SS-Pz-Co, Heinz Birschein

    Battalion officers as of December 15 1944 were Hauptsturmfuehrer Mobelius, Feller, Amselgruber, Wessel and Oberstrumfuehrer Lukasium. Commander was Von Westerhagen. Atended Battalion conference on December 15, and received orders. The Battalion had the mission to drive behind the 1.Battalion, and after we cam out of the hilly terrain we were to drive ahead to the Meuse River. Route of march did not take to the Malmédy Crossroads, but the column was in Engelsdorf (Ligneuville). Von Westerhagen drove behind the 2.SS-Pz-Co which was the spearhead. Drove from Engenwald to Thirimont, were rested 3 hours, then to Ligneuville.

    our Battalion caught up with the rest of the Kampfgruppe on or about December 18, in the vicinity of La Gleize and Cheneux. Is that correct?
    We were in Cheneux and the order reached us that we should stop to drive back to La Gleize because of the lack of fuel, and await further orders there.
    He said that he reached Ligneuville at about 0900 December 18 and recalled a hill in the down. He was obviously in Ligneuville with his company, but the date and the hour were debated due to the atrocity implications. No action mentioned.

    Malmédy trial testimony of 2/Lt Heinz Buchner, 1.SS-Pz-Co

    At noon, December 17, about 400 meters in front of the entrance of Stavelot, when you are coming on the road from Lodomez to Stavelot, you stopped there because your tank was out of fuel. You was fired upon by AT gun, but did not mention firing himself. Towards the evening of December 19, King Tiger and several Mark IV Panthers attacked the bridge and the entrance of the town of Stavelot. The attack was broken and the tanks retired in the direction of Wanne. The bridge was blown of about an hour later, but did not know how. Apparently he and his Tiger were at the Stavelot approach byt remained.

    Malmédy trial testimony of Franz Wagner

    Member of the Battalion he personally was in La Gleize during the night of December 18/19 – night of December 23. He guarded Prisoners of War. No mention of tank action, or of his tank if any.

    Malmédy trial testimony of Capt Rolf Mobius

    Member of the 501.Heavy-Tank-Battalion, reached La Gleize on December 19, late afternoon. Peiper instructed Von Westerhagen to appoint an officer to handle the welfare of the PWs, who was not Mobius. He had no PWs duty himself. Battalion : he said, passed by Crossroads at night. He was riding with Battalion into Engelsdorf (Ligneuville). No Mention of tactical action. Testimony dealt with crimes aspect.

    Malmédy trial investigation statement of Edmund Zeger

    Interrogated during the screening of suspects November 1945, he was a mechanic of the 501.Heavy-Tank-Battalion. He claimed there were 14 tanks from his company, but only 2 were actually with Kampfgruppe Peiper because the other 12 had motor trouble along the way. He repaired them and arrived at Engelsdrog (Ligneuville) on December 20.

    Added July 22 2017

    The Malmedy Massacre Investigation

    The following report was presented to the Committee on Armed Services by the subcommittee chairman, Senator Raymond E. Baldwin, at the committee meeting on Oct 13. The report was unanimously approved by the committee and Senator Baldwin thereupon presented it to the Senate on Oct 14, 1949.

    Scope on Investigation
    On Mar 29, 1949, a subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee, consisting of :

    Senators Raymond E. Baldwin (chairman)
    Estes Kefauver
    Lester O. Hunt

    was appointed to consider Senate Resolution 42. This resolution was introduced for the purpose of securing consideration of certain charges which had been made concerning the conduct of the prosecution in the Malmedy atrocity case and to effectuate a thorough study of the court procedures and post-trial reviews of the case. It must be clearly understood that the function of this subcommittee is a legislative one only. It is not the function of this subcommittee, therefore, to retry the cases, to act as a board of appeals or reviewing authority, or to make any recommendations concerning the sentences. The subcommittee has, however, found it necessary to fully review the investigative and trial procedure in order to make its recommendations. The investigation automatically divided itself into specific phases; the first dealing with the charges of physical mistreatment and duress on the part of the War Crimes Investigation personnel; the second covering those matters of law and legal procedure which should be examined in an effort to determine their propriety and the degree to which they might be improved to meet future requirements. As the investigation proceeded, a third phase evolved which has caused considerable concern and which deals with the motivation behind the current efforts to discredit American military government in general, and using the war crimes procedures in particular, as a part of that plan. During the conduct of the investigations, the subcommittee and its staff held hearings extending over a period of several months, examined 108 witnesses, and independently, as well as through other agencies, of the Government, conducted careful investigations into certain of the matters germane to the subject. It should be pointed out that witnesses representing every phase of this problem were heard, including :

    persons who were imprisoned at Schwabisch Hall,
    their attorneys,
    members of the investigating team,
    members of the court who tried the cases,
    the reviewing officers who reviewed the record of trial,
    religious leaders,
    other interested parties.

    Every witness who was suggested to the subcommittee, or whom it discovered through its own efforts, was heard and carefully examined by the members of the subcommittee, other interested Senators, and the subcommittee staff. All affidavits submitted to the committee have been translated and studied. It is felt that the record is complete and adequate to support the findings and conclusions in this respect. An important part of the investigation was the conducting of a complete physical examination of many of those persons who claimed physical mistreatment, some of whom alleged they received permanent injuries of a nature capable of accurate determination. These examinations were conducted by a staff of outstanding doctors and dentists from the Public Health Service of the United States. Advice and assistance were also requested from the American Bar Association and other groups with particular knowledge in the field of law and military courts and commissions.

    What were the Malmedy Atrocities ?

    In the minds of a great many persons, the Malmedy atrocities are limited to those connected with the Malmedy crossroads (Five Point – Baugnez) incident which, in fact, is only a part of the charges preferred against the German SS troopers in this particular case. The atrocities with which the accused in the Malmedy case were charged were part of a series committed at several localities in Belgium, starting on Dec 16, 1944, and lasting until approximately Jan 13, 1945. They occurred during the so-called Battle of the Bulge and were committed by the organization known as Kampfgruppe Peiper, essentially the 1.-SS-Panzer-Regiment commanded by SS-Obersturmbahnfuehrer Joachim Peiper. All the members of this combat team, and particularly those involved in the Malmedy trial were members of the Waffen SS organization. The regiment had had a long and notorious military record on both the western and eastern fronts. On the eastern front, one of the battalions of the Kampfgruppe Peiper, while commanded by Peiper, earned the nickname of Blow Torch Battalion after burning two villages and killing all the inhabitants thereof. Peiper had at one time been an adjutant to SS-Reichfuehrer Heinrich Himmler. The prisoners under investigation were for the most part hardened veterans. Basically, the atrocities which were committed at 12 places throughout Belgium consisted, according to accounts of different witnesses, of the killing of approximately 350 unarmed American prisoners of war, after they had surrendered, and 100 Belgian civilians.

    Development of Pre-Trial Investigation

    Concurrently with the defeat of the Germans in the so-called Battle of the Bulge, investigations were started concerning the massacre of American prisoners of war. This preliminary work resulted in a determination that the Malmedy massacre had in all probability been perpetrated by personnel of the Kampfgruppe Peiper, who were scattered throughout prison camps, hospitals, and labor detachments in Germany, Austria, the liberated countries, and even the United States. Conditions in the prison camps, however, were such that after interrogation, those interrogated were able to rejoin their comrades and all soon knew exactly what information the investigators desired. It became clear that the suspects could not be properly interrogated until facilities were available which would prevent them from communicating with each other before and during and after interrogation. According to the evidence submitted to the subcommittee, it was during this period that it became known that prior to the beginning of the Ardenne offensive, the SS troops were sworn to secrecy regarding any orders they had received concerning the killing of prisoners of war. In accordance with the plan for further investigation of this case, all the members of the Kampfgruppe Peiper were transferred to the internment camp at Zuffenhausen. They were initially there housed in a single barracks where it was still impossible to maintain any security of communication between the accused. During this time it was learned that SS Oberstrumbahnfuehrer Peiper gave instructions to blame the Malmedy massacre on Sturmbahnfuehrer Werner Poetchke, who had been killed in Austria during the last days of the war. These orders were carefully followed by those under investigation. Accordingly, further steps were deemed to be necessary, and those prisoners who were still suspect were evacuated to an interrogation center at Schwabisch Hall, where they were housed in an up-to-date German prison, but where during investigation they were kept in cells by themselves. Initially there were over 400 of these prisoners evacuated to Schwabisch Hall, and from time to time others were transferred to the prison, up to and including the latter part of March 1946. It was during this period of interrogation at Schwabisch Hall that the alleged mistreatment of prisoners took place.

    Findings and Conclusions

    For the purposes of this report, the matters under discussion are separated according to the three phases of the investigation set out above, i. e.: matters of duress during the pretrial investigation; trial and review procedures; the manner in which current situation has been agitated.

    1. Matters of duress during pretrial investigation

    During 1948 and 1949 charges were made which caused considerable publicity concerning the treatment of these SS prisoners at Schwabisch Hall. The prisoners were confined at Schwabisch Hall from Dec 1945 to Apr 1946 and the pretrial investigations occurred then. In Apr 1946 the pretrial investigations having been completed the prisoners were removed to Dachau. There their trial began on May 16 and continued until Jul 16. Shortly after the defense counsel began to work on the case at Dachau, they prepared a questionnaire for distribution to the accused, which contained, among other things, questions concerning any physical abuses duress. The subcommittee made every effort to secure the original of these executed questionnaires but they were apparently destroyed when the case was over. As a result of information furnished on these questionnaires and statements that had been made concerning duress, the defense counsel before trial, through their chief counsel, Col Willis M. Everett reported the matter to the Third Army judge advocate in charge of war crimes. Col Everett later conferred with the deputy theater judge advocate general for war crimes who ordered an investigation to be conducted at once by Lt Col Edwin J. Carpenter, who testified before the subcommittee. During his investigation which was completed before the trial, between 20 and 30 of the accused who made the most serious charges of duress were examined. According to Col Carpenter’s testimony before the subcommittee, which was confirmed by independent testimony given by the interpreter used by him at that time, only four of this group stated that anyone had abused them physically. These four did not claim physical abuse in connection with securing confessions, but rather punchings and pushing by guards while being moved from one cell to another. However, during his investigation, considerable emphasis was placed on the use of so-called mock trials, solitary confinement, and mention was made of the use of hoods, and insults.

    The investigating officer in this case, Col Carpenter, and the deputy theater judge advocate for war crimes Col Claude B. Mickelwaite, to whom these charges were made stated to the subcommittee that they felt the seriousness of the matters reported by the defense counsel were not established and therefore were not of particular import, but that the use of some of the tricks, and in particular the mock trials had been established, and should be explained to the court at the start of the trial so that it could weigh evidence introduced in the light of the accusations made by the accused. At the time of the trial 9 of the 74 accused took the stand in their own behalf. Of this number, 3 alleged physical mistreatment. The court was thereby placed on notice of the charges of physical mistreatment made by those who took the stand in their own behalf, and apparently did not feel that it was of such importance as to require any further investigation or study. Some 16 months after conviction practically every one of the accused began to submit affidavits repudiating their former confessions and alleging aggravated duress of all types.

    The word ‘confession’ has been used to describe the documents secured from the prisoners. These were in fact, in large part, statements which described places, dates, and events in which the signer took part or witnessed the acts and conduct of other accused.

    These affidavits were secured by German attorneys, particularly Dr. Eugen Leer, a defense counsel at the trial, who is the most active attorney in this case at the present time. These affidavits were later used by Col W. M. Everett in his petition to the Supreme Court for a writ of habeas corpus in this case. In addition, affidavits to such matters were, in a few cases, submitted by others who were at Schwabisch Hall but who were not defendants in the many of these affidavits were so lurid in their claims as to shock even the most calloused reader. The subcommittee accordingly has gone to great lengths to attempt to establish the facts as they pertain to these matters. Before proceeding with an item-by-item discussion of the types of duress alleged by various persons, it is necessary to describe in some detail the prison at Schwabisch Hall and its method of operation.

    The prison is located in the heart of a thriving and prosperous city of approximately 25,000 population and is a modern stone-and-concrete prison for civil prisoners. Since it is located at the foot of a hill, it is possible for persons living next to the prison, on the higher ground, to look down into the prison yard, and on quiet nights to hear sounds from within the prison enclosure.

    The prison was taken over by the United States authorities primarily for use as an internment center for political prisoners. However, when it was decided to concentrate the Malmedy suspects at this point, a portion of the prison was set aside for the housing and interrogation of these men. They were separated completely from the political prisoners, with the exception of a few of the internees who performed routine prison duties. These few gained some knowledge of the handling of the Malmedy suspects, but were forbidden to speak to them. The administration of Schwabisch Hall prison was under the control of the Seventh Army and there was a detachment stationed at the prison for this purpose. This group was headed by a Capt John T. Evans, who testified before the subcommittee and who described in detail the normal prison administration. His organization was responsible for the housing, guarding, feeding, clothing, medical care, well-being, and all other matters pertaining to the prisoners. The men who conducted the interrogation were members of a war crime investigating team sent down to the prison from the War Crimes Branch through Third Army Headquarters. They had no responsibility other than to prepare the case for trial and no control over the administrative functions of the prison. There was a considerable difference in the method in which the Malmedy suspects and the political prisoners were handled. The medical care of the Malmedy prisoners was charged to an American medical detachment stationed at the prison, with necessary hospitalization being handled in nearby United States Army hospitals. According to the testimony given the subcommittee, all such medical matters were handled by American medical personnel, and only a few of the dental cases were treated by a German civilian dentist, who came into the prison periodically for the purpose of treating the internees. As to the manner of providing dental care, there is considerable variance in the testimony introduced before the subcommittee, and it will be discussed in detail later in this report. The internees were cared for by German medical personnel who were interned in the prison or who were brought in from the outside.

    KG-Knittel-Kaiserbaracke

    BOB-German-02

    The interrogation team, consisting of approximately 12 members, set up offices in one wing of the prison. They were primarily on the second floor, and in this same wing there were cells used for interrogation as well as for the administrative activities of the in addition there were five cells which in design and construction were different from the normal cells found throughout the prison. The subcommittee checked many of the prison cells. The normal ones, without exception, were well-lighted, adequate in size for two or more occupants, had toilets and were on a central heating plant with radiators that apparently were working during the time the prison was occupied by the Malmedy suspects. These cells were of solid construction with a solid door containing a small peephole through which the occupant could be seen and heard. Loud conversation or noise within the cells could be heard by occupants of other cells, and, of course, if they called through the windows it could be heard pretty generally throughout the prison. The five cells referred to, which were located immediately adjacent to the cells used for interrogation, differed in that they had smaller windows which were higher in the room and therefore did not give as much light. The cells were adequate, as far as size was concerned, for one or two occupants. They all had flush toilets. However, there was an interior iron grille immediately inside the main door which separated the prisoner from the door itself.

    Food could be, and according to testimony before the subcommittee was, passed to the prisoners through an aperture in the steel grille at the lower part of the grille on the right-hand side as the cells were entered. It was in these five cells that prisoners were retained during certain phases of their interrogation. They have been labeled by various persons as death cells, dark cells, and solitary confinement cells. From the standpoint of physical confinement, there is no evidence before the subcommittee to indicate that these cells were any worse than are to be found in any normal prison. However, there is much conflicting testimony as to their use. Members of the interrogation team, testifying before the subcommittee, stated that no one was confined in these cells for longer than 2 or 3 days at a time, during which they received normal treatment and rations. Other statement, have been made to the effect that prisoners were kept in the special cells for weeks on and, some alleged, without food. Others said they were fed but stayed there for long periods. In that connection it should be pointed out that there are only five such cells and several hundred suspects were screened during a period of 4 months.

    The bulk of the Malmedy suspects were housed in a cell block in a wing of the prison which was separated from the interrogation cells by a courtyard. Immediately adjacent to this wing, in which most of the Malmedy prisoners were housed, was a separate building which contained, on the second floor, a hospital dispensary used mainly for the political internees. The ground floor contained the prison kitchen. Up until the time individuals under interrogation for the Malmedy crimes had completed their interrogation, they were moved through this courtyard and between other points, with a black hood over their heads in order to insure security insofar as their knowing who else was under interrogation.

    Honsfeld-Belgium-0001

    Testimony
    SS Standartenfuehrer Joachim Peiper
    1.-SS-Panzer-Division – LSSAH

    I, SS Standartenfuehrer Joachim Peiper, make the following statement under oath, after being duly sworn. During the Winter Offensive (Battle of the Bulge), in Dec 1944, I was SS Obersturmbahnfuehrer and Commander in charge of the Armored Corps (1.-SS-Panzer-Division LSSAH). I, myself, was notified only very late about this particulars of the coming campaign, and I could not influence the preparation of the offensive. About Dec 12 1944, in the vicinity of Köln a meeting with the Fuehrer took place at which all the commanders down to Division commanders participated. I did not participate at this meeting. I do not know what orders were issued there. Only I know that the Fuehrer made a three hours address. Until Dec 10 1944, I had not the slightest idea in which direction our offensive would take place. On Dec 14 1944, I was ordered to the Division Command Post which was located in Blankenheim, where I had a short conversation with the Division’s Commander Oberfuehrer Wilhelm Mönke.

    Identified Murders

    #01 : Scharfuehrer Bersin Valentin

    Nationality : German
    Age : 25 (May 1945)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS March 1940 to May 1945
    Military Status : Sergeant, Tank Commander, 1.-Pzr-Co, 1.-Pzr-Bn, 1.-SS-Pzr-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Finfings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petition : A Petition for Clemency was filed by the accused’s mother Kathe Bersin on August 30 1946.

    Evidence for Prosecution : (Wanne) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that either 19 or 20 December 1944 when the tank commanded by himself was in Wanne, Belgium, he received an order from SS-2/Lt Heubeck, his commanding officer, to take two men of the crews of two tanks and round up all male civilians over sixteen years of age who were able to bear arms and have them shot. The accused stated that he remonstrated against this order; but when SS-Heubeck insisted upon it, he passed the order on the two members of his own crew and to SS-Sergeant Pflueger who assigned two men from his own crew to help carry on this mission. Although the accused was not present at the execution of the order, he later heard from some soldiers that two Belgian male civilians had been shot. On the evening on the same day he reported SS-Heubeck ‘Orders Executed’, Belgian civilians have been shot. This statement is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Kotzur, SS-Trettin, SS-Clotten, SS-Brecht; and by testimony of SS-Schneider, SS-Hermroulle, SS-Milbers and SS-Englebert. Kotzur stated that the two civilians were shot almost in the immediate presence of the accused.

    Recommendations : That the findings and the sentence be approved.

    #02 : Scharfuehrer Bode Friedel

    Nationality : German
    Age : 23 (May 46)
    Civilian Status : Married
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS October 1943 to May 1945
    Military Status : Sergeant, Group Leader, 2.-Plat, 3.-Pzr-Pio-Co, 1.-Pzr-Pio-Bn
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : A Petition for Clemency was filed by the Evangelic Luther Parish, Lohne, Westphalia on August 2 1946; by the accused’s wife Helene Bode on August 6 1946; byt the accused’s mother Anna Schnabel-Bode on August 4 1946, by Georg Vetter on August 3 1946; by August Samson on August 2 1946.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Bullingen) SS-Hofmann asserted in his extra-judicial sworn statement that on December 17 1944, when the column was about 1000 meters from Bullingen, he saw the crews of the accused’s and two other troop carriers fire into a group of 12 or 14 American POWs who where marching, to the rear, unarmed and with their hands raised overhead. Some of the Americans fell to the ground.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Baugnez) Between 1300 and 1400, December 17 1944, SS-Jackel, according to his extra-judicial sworn statement and the extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Hofmann and SS-Wasenberger, saw the accused and his troop carrier at the Crossroads. His vehicle was parked by a pasture in which stood 60 to 80 unarmed surrendered American POWs. After these prisoners had been fire upon, the accused and others were seen moving about in the pasture shooting those prisoners who appeared still alive.

    Recommendations : That the findings and the sentence be approved.

    #03 : Marcel Boltz

    This accused was withdrawn from the trial.

    #04 : Rottenfuehrer Braun Willy

    Nationality : German
    Age : 28 (May 1945)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS February 1944 to December 1944
    Military Status : Private First Class, Machine Gunner, 4.-Plat, 11.-Pzr-Gren-Co, 3.-Pzr-Gren-Bn, 2.-Pzr-Gren-Regt.
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Life Imprisonment
    Petitions : No Petition for Clemency were Filed.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Stoumont) This accused, in his extra-judicial sworn statement, related that on the morning of December 19 1944 in the vicinity of Stoumont seven American POWs were turned over to SS-Sergeant Schumacher, commander of the troop carrier of which he was a crew member. SS-Schumacher ordered the entire crew to dismount with hand weapons and kill the prisoners. In conformity with this order the crew dismounted and, including the accused who was using a fast firing rifle, shot the prisoners. This is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Friedrichs.

    Recommendations : That’s the findings and the sentence be approved, but that the sentence be reduced to imprisonment to 15 years, commencing July 16 1945

    #05 : Scharfuehrer Briesemeister Kurt

    Nationality : German
    Age : 24 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS September 1944 to May 1945
    Military Status : Sergeant, Tank Commander, 1.-Plat, 1.-Pzr-Co, 1.-Pzr-Bn, 1.-SS-Pzr-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : Petition for Clemency were filed by the accused’s mother Emma Briesemeister, October 7 1945 and by the accused’s sister Anneliese Briesemeister, August 30 1945

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Baugnez) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he arrived at the Crossroads about 1530, December 17 1944. With the aid of his crew members he dismantled a Machine Gun from his tank and fired about 60 to 80 shots into the unarmed and surrendered American POWs who were lying prostrate in the pasture. The accused further stated that he shot at six or seven other American POWs when they ran out of a barn after it has been set afire by his men. The barn was located on the edge of the the pasture where the dead prisoners were lying. SS-Plohmann testified that he saw the accused’s tank about 40 meters from the Crossroads between 1400 and 1500, December 17 1944. On December 24 1944, the witness the accused make the statement that he had shot an American at the house near the Crossroad; that the accused said he went among the American POWs lying near the corner and finished off with his pistol the one who were not actually dead; and he said that he had fired on a house near the Crossroads in which he had found firearms.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Stavelot) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that in the vicinity of Stavelot on the night of 18-19 December 1944, he entered a house and to his surprise an American soldier opened the door for him. After a short exchange of words he shot the soldier in the chest with a pistol. He did not believe the American was a POW.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Baugnez) SS-Lieber testified that the accused was not at the Crossroads when he arrived at 1400 or 1430 December 17 1944 but that the did arrive one half hour later, explaining that he had had motor trouble.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and the Sentence be approved.

    #06 : Scharfuehrer Willy von Chamier

    Nationality : German
    Age : 24 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS September 1940 to May 1945

    Military Status : Sergeant, Machine Gunner, 9.-Pzr-Pio-Co, 1.-SS-Pzr-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Life Imprisonment
    Petitions : No Petition for Clemency were Filed

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Baugnez) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he arrived at the Crossroads about noon December 17 1944. Upon specific order of his company commander, SS-Rumpf, he opened fire upon 90 American unarmed and surrendered POWs. The accused fired six shots at those prisoners with his Mauser K-98 Carbine.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and the Sentence be approved.

    #07 : Obersturmfuehrer Christ Friedrich

    Nationality : German
    Age : 26 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS April 1939 to May 1945
    Military Status : 1/Lt, Commander, 2.-Pzr-Co, 1.-Pzr-Bn, 1.-SS-Pzr-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : Petition for Clemency were filed by Dr. Hans Hartkorn, January 16 1947 and Mrs Bruhn, July 21 1946

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Instructions to Subordinates) The accused in his extra-judicial worn statement that on December 15 1944 he repeated the talk of SS-Poetschke to his company to the effect that the impending offensive was a decisive one; that the troops were to behave toward the enemy so that panic and terror would precede them and discourage the enemy from resisting; and that no prisoners were to be taken. The fact that this talk was given by the accused to his company on December 15 1944 is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Mikolashen, SS-Ritzer, SS-Skyperski and SS-Werner.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Baugnez) SS-Rumpf, in his extra-judicial sworn statement stated that he arriver at the Crossroads about noon December 17 1944 and that about five minutes after his arrival the accused requested a few men for a detail which apparently was for the shooting of POWs. SS-Reghel, stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that at the Crossroads the accused gave an order to shoot surrendered and unarmed American POWs.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (La Gleize) One witness testified that at La Gleize, the accused ordered the shooting of about 30 American POWs. This incident is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Ritzer who stated that at La Gleize he recognized the accused’s voice giving an order to take 20 to 30 surrendered and unarmed American POWs into a pasture to bump them off. SS-Ritzer also stated therein he did not see the accused at this time nor did he actually see the prisoners shot, but he know that the guards marched off with the prisoners. Later, he talked with a messenger who showed him an American watch which the messenger said had been taken from an American POW who was shot by the accused.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Stoumont) SS-Mikolaschen stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that many shooting of POWs took place at Stoumont on December 19 1944 upon orders f a platoon leader who had received over the radio an order from the accused to shoot POWs. This is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Werner. A witness testified that 12 to 18 unarmed and surrendered POWs standing in the front of a grocery store in Stoumont were fired upon from the turret’s machine gun from the accused’s tank.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and the Sentence be approved

    #08 : Oberscharfuehrer Roman Clotten

    Nationality : German
    Age : 25 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS October 1939 to May 1945
    Military Status : S/Sergeant, Tank Commander, 2.-Plat, 7.-Pzr-Co, 1.-Pzr-Bn, 1.-SS-Pzr Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : 10 years commencing July 16 1946
    Petitions : No Petition for Clemency were filed

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Baugnez) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that on the march to the Crossroads his tank and that from SS-Siptrott stayed close together because each tank had mechanical difficulty. Both tank arrived at the Crossroads at the same time. While at the Crossroads, a member of the accused’s tank crew, SS-Bock, took a Machine Pistol and fired into a group of unarmed and surrendered American POWs. SS-Bock fired a second time, about five or seven shots from his Machine Pistol before the accused told SS-Bock to stop. This is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Siptrott and his gunner SS-Fleps, to the extent that the tank of the accused and SS-Siptrott remained together during the march to the Crossroads, arrived and stopped there at the same time and that SS-Fleps fired into the POWs.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and the Sentence be approved

    #09 : Obersturmfuehrer Manfred Coblenz

    Nationality : German
    Age : 25 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS October 1939 to December 1944
    Military Status : 1/Lt, Company Commander, 2.-Rcn-Co, 1.-SS-Pzr-Rcn-Bn
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Life imprisonment
    Petitions : No Petition for Clemency were filed.

    Instructions to Subordinates : The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he passed on his platoon leader and troops in his company SS-Knittel’s battalion order which included an instruction directing that in compelling emergencies POWs could be shot.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Stavelot) The accused further stated therein that while in Stavelot on December 21 1944, one of his platoon leaders, SS-1/Lt-Siebert, reported that he had some American POWs shot because he could not spare any personnel to guard prisoners. SS-Mahl, a Pvt in the Pioneer Battalion, Headquarters Company, 1.-Panzer-Reconnaissance-Battalion, testified that he saw the accused and other officers outside Stavelot engaged in a conversation. SS-Wolf (Sergeant) took some American POWs, about 6 or 8 in number, to the woods after these officers had pointed to them during the conversation. Immediately after they entered the woods, the witness heard 5 or 6 bursts from a machine pistol and when he next saw SS-Wolf again, half an hour later, he was alone. The same witness, SS-Mahl, testified that in a village near Stavelot, he saw the accused and two others standing near a shed. Later, he heard that civilians were shot in that shed. However, when asked to identify the accused he identified SS-Sickel. Another witness, SS-Gartner, testified that he saw a number of dead civilians in a village near Stavelot and that members of the 2.-SS-Reconnaissance-Company commanded by the accused was present in the village at that time.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved.

    #10 : Sturmbannfuehrer Josef Diefenthal

    Nationality : German
    Age : 30 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Married
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS October 1935 to May 1945
    Military Status : Major, Commander 3.-Pzr-Gren-Bn, 2.-Pzr-Gren-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : Petitions for Clemency were filled by the accused’s wife Madga Diefenthal, on July 23 1946, on September 23 1946, on September 30 1946, on November 1 1946 and February 17 1947; by Rudolf Rayer on October 7 1946; by Martin Zimmermann on February 10 1946; by Karl-Heinz Schmidt on December 12 1946; by Karl-Heinz Flacke on December 16 1946; by Thomas Esser on November 2 1946; by Richard Langer on October 3 1946.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Instructions to Subordinates) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he passed on to his officers the substance of a regimental order which directed on account of the decisive importance of the offensive, the fight was to be reckless, that a wave of fright and terror precede the attacking troops, and that the enemy resistance had to be broken by terror. This is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Preuss, Commander of the 10.-SS-Pzr-Gren-Co, in the accused’s battalion, in which it was added that no prisoners of war were to be taken. The extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Tomhardt, Commander of the 11.-SS-Pzr-Gren-Co in the accused’s battalion, confirms confirm the fact that the order stated that no prisoners were to be taken.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Baugnez) The accused was identified by SS-Eckmann in his extra-judicial sworn statement as being at the Crossroads at the time of the shooting of unarmed and surrendered American POWs about 1400, December 17 1944. An officer wearing a yellow leather jacket was seen at the Crossroads about the time of the shooting and according to the extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Hofmann and SS-Sprenger. Assenmacher testified that he saw the accused at the Crossroads about this time and that he wore a yellow leather jacket.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Cheneux) SS-Zwigart stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he shot an unarmed and surrendered American soldier in the presence of, and apparently with the consent and the approval of the accused. The incident occurred about 1600, December 18 1944. The victim was the driver of a jeep which had been disabled. This shooting incident is corroborated in the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Friedrichs and the testimony of Assenmacher and Rinck, all of whom were present at the time of the incident and put the location as near Cheneux.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved.

    #11 : Obergruppenfuehrer u. General der Waffen SS Josef (Sepp) Dietrich

    Nationality : German
    Age 54 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS February 1933to May 1945
    Military Status : General, Army Commander, 6.SS-Panzer-Army
    Plea : Not Guitly
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Life Imprisonment
    Petitions : No Clemency Petition were filed but two letters were received (1) Egber Bruckner, July 1946 and (2) from a ‘German Cosmopolitan’, 26 >July 1946, both letters protesting the action of the Court in giving the accused a Sentence of Life Imprisonment instead of a Death Sentence.

    Evidences for Prosecution – Instructions to Subordinates : The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that preceding the Ardennes Offensive, he issued an Army Order of the Day directing that the troops be preceded by a wave of terror and fright, that no human inhibitions were to be shown and that every resistance was to be broken by terror but did not order that POWs should be shot. SS-Peiper stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he was nearly certain that the Army Orders of the Day contained express directions that POWs were to be shot when local conditions of combat required it. SS-Gruhle stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that the Army Orders of the Day directed that the fight was to be conducted stubbornly and with no regard for Allied POWs who were to be shot if necessary in very compelling situations.

    Recommendations : That the Findings and Sentence be approved.

    #12 : Rottenfuehrer Fritz Eckmann

    Nationality : German
    Age : 21 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS March 1943 to May 1945
    Military Status : Pfc, Radio Operator, 1.-Plat, 1.-Pzr-Co, 1.-SS-Pzr-Bn, 1.-SS-Pzr-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : A Petition for Clemency was filed on August 9 1946 by the accused’s mother, Luise Eckmann

    Evidence for Prosecution : (Baugnez) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that at the Crossroads about 1300 to 1400 December 17 1944 he observed 70 to 100 unarmed and surrendered American POWs gathered together in a field near the Crossroads; that he received an order from his tank commander to bump off the prisoners of war; that he fired two bursts with his machine gun in the group of prisoners and they dropped to the ground; and that he strafed some prisoners who were still standing after the initial bursts.

    Evidence for Prosecution :
    (La Gleize) The accused further stated therein that on December 20 1944 between 1100 and 1200 two German soldiers brought seven unarmed American POWs to the tank in which he was serving as Radio Operator; that the POWs were then taken some 20 meters in front of the tank, lined up in two rows with their back to the tank; that SS-Scotz, the tank commander, then ordered SS-Karler, who was the machine gunner on SS-Scotz’s tank, to bump the prisoners off. SS-Karler then killed these seven American prisoners. With respect to the incident, another witness, SS-Plohmann, testified that the accused said, the next day, – well we bumped those fellows off and some of them have not been dead and they had been morning and screaming.

    Recommendation : The the Findings and Sentence be disapproved.

    #13 : Untersturmfuehrer Arndt Fischer

    Nationality : German
    Age : 23 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS February 1939 to May 1945
    Military Status : 2/Lt, Adjutant, 1.-Pzr-Bn, 1.-SS-Panzer-Regiment
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : 15 years commencing July 16 1946
    Petitions : No Petition for Clemency were filed.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Instructions to Subordinates) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that at the company commanders’ meeting (1. Panzer Battalion) held at the regimental command post on December 15 1944, he received from SS-Peiper’s Adjutant SS-Gruhle, a written regimental order which, among other things, said that a wave of fear and terror was to precede the troops and that prisoners of war were to be shot where military necessity absolutely required it. The accused caused this regimental order to be typed into a battalion order, receipt of which was acknowledged by the signatures of the company officers at the end of the meeting. SS-Christ, SS-Junker and SS-Klingelhoefer, company commanders of the 1.-SS-Panzer-Battalion, stated in their extra-judicial sworn statements that they received such order at the meeting and SS-Klingelhoefer stated that he acknowledged by his signature receipt thereof.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved.

    #14 : Rottenfuehrer Georg Fleps

    Nationality : Rumanian
    Age : 23 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS July 1943 to May 1945
    Military Status : Pfc, Assistant Gunner, 3.-Plat, 7.-Pzr-Co, 1.-Pzr-Bn, 1.-SS-Pzr-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions for Clemency : Petitions for Clemency were filed by Protestant Fraternity A.B. Michelsberg-Cisnadioara, Rumania, December 29 1946; by Kloss A. December 29 1946; by Parson Otto Schreiner, November 24 1946; by the accused’s mother Anna Fleps, September 13 1946 and October 16 1946; by Coman Bratu and Gh. Balasonu, June 19 1947; by Colonel Simionescu Alexander, Commanding Officer of the District of Hermannstadt and Major Petculescu Johann, Chief of the Bureau 2, Evid. Cont. Vatra of the District of Hermannstadt, June 25 1947.

    Evidences for Prosecution :
    (Baugnez) The accused stated in is extra-judicial sworn statement that he was at the Crossroads on December 17 1944 and saw approximately 80 unarmed and surrendered American POWs standing in a field with their hands raised. The accused admitted that he fired the first shot at the Crossroads from his pistol at one of the American prisoners and later shot at two others. Lary, an American lieutenant who was present at the Crossroads identified the accused as one who fired the 2 first pistol shots into the group of American POWs, one of whom was hit. SS-Loehmann testified that the accused said that he fired several shots into the prisoners. SS-Reicke testified that the accused admitted shooting into the prisoners.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved but that the Sentence of Death by Hanging be commuted to Life Imprisonment.

    #15 : Sturmann Heinz Friedrichs

    Nationality : German
    Age : 19 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS April 1944 to December 1944
    Military Status : Pvt, Driver of a Personnel Carrier, 4.-Plat, 11.-Pzr-Gren-Co, 3.-Pzr-Gren-Bn, 2.-SS-Pzr-Gren-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Life Imprisonment
    Petitions : A Petition for Clemency was filed by the accused’s parents, Heinrich and Margarete Friedrichs, December 12 1946

    Evidences for Prosecution :
    (Stoumont) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that in the vicinity of Stoumont during the morning of December 19 1944, seven unarmed and surrendered American POWs were turned over by a paratrooper (Fallschirmjäger) to SS-Sergeant Schumacher who ordered the entire crew in the vehicle including the accused to dismount and shot the prisoners. The accused admitted that he shot at two of these American soldiers, firing two bursts of seven or eight shots each with his machine pistol. The circumstances of the shooting are corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Braun.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and the Sentence be approved but that the Sentence of Life Imprisonment be reduced to 10 Years commencing July 16 1946.

    #16 : Sturmann Fritz Gebauer

    Nationality : German
    Age : 18 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS August 1944 to December 1944
    Military Status : Pvt, Rifleman, 4.-Plat, 11.-Pzr-Gren-Co, 3.-Pzr-Gren-Bn, 2.-SS-Pzr-Gren-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Life Imprisonment
    Petitions for Clemency : No Petitions for Clemency were filed.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Cheneux) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he was at the edge of the town of Cheneux about 1900 to 2000, December 18 1944. His group reached a house on the left side of the road, opposite which stood 4 or 5 tanks, and directly in front of which stood 30 to 40 unarmed and surrendered American POWs. The entire group, with the exception of SS-Rauh but including the accused proceeded to fire at these prisoners. The accused aimed at one of the Americans and fired 5 shots at him. This man was hit, slumped to the ground and did not move anymore. SS-Rauh, a member of the crew of the vehicle of the same as the accused corroborated the statement of the accused exept that he place the time between 1800 and 1900.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (La Gleize) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he was in La Gleize on December 18 1944 and at about 1700, the personnel carrier in which he was riding stopped in front of a wall surrounding a Church. In front of this wall stood about 15 unarmed and surrendered American POWs. The accused and others from his vehicle fired at the prisoners. The accused fired a K.98 German Carbine at one man hitting him about 4 times in the neck. His saw this prisoner of war slump to the ground and neither move nor groan thereafter. This is corroborated by all pertinent details of SS-Rau.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved but reduced to 10 years imprisonment commencing July 16 1945.

    #17 : Sturmann Heinz Gödicke (Godecke)

    Nationality : German
    Age : 18 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS August 1944 to May 1945
    Military Status : Pvt, Radio Operator, 1.-Plat, 11.-Pzr-Gren-Co, 3.-Pzr-Gren-Bn, 2.-SS-Pzr-Gren-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Life Imprisonment
    Petitions for Clemency : A Petition for Clemency was filed by the accused’s mother, Anna Gödicke,August 10 1946

    Evidences for Prosecution : (La Gleize) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that about 1500 to 1600, December 18 1944, while in La Gleize, the crew of the vehicle in which he was riding stopped in the middle of the street near a church in the front of which was a stone wall. Before the stone wall stood 25 to 30 unarmed and surrendered American POWs. The accused shot at the prisoners 3 times with his rifle. Other members of the crew as well as crews of other vehicles, also fired at the prisoners. The prisoners fell to the ground and were not seen to mover nor any moaning heard. This incident is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Hecht to the extent of 15 prisoners and SS-Richter to the extent of 10 to 15 prisoners.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and the Sentence be approved but that the Sentence be reduced to 10 years imprisonment commencing July 16 1945.

    #18 : Unterscharfuehrer Ernst Goldschmidt

    Nationality : Germany
    Age : 26 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS April 1940 to May 1945
    Military Status : Cpl, Personnel Carrier Driver, 2.-Plat, 1.-Pzr-Pio-Co, 1.-SS-Pzr-Pio-Bn
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : No Petitions for Clemency were filed

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Honsfeld) SS-Hofmann stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that on December 17 1944, between 0700 and 0800, after he had gone trough Honsfeld and made a right turn at the outskirts of the town in the direction of Büllingen, he observed 2 houses. In the front of one were 8 to 10 American POWs standing with their hands above their heads in a sign of surrender. SS-Beutner was seen with a machine pistol slung over his shoulder standing beside his parked vehicle which was next the house. The accused who was driver of SS-Beutner personnel carrier, was seen with his machine pistol in his hand. A little farther up the road, SS-Hofmann saw the bodies of 15 to 20 American POWs in a field on the left side of the road directly opposite ss-Beutner’s personnel carrier. These were lying close together without any weapons. This account of SS-Hofmann is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Neve, except that SS-Neve did not remember seeing the accused near SS-Beutner’s vehicle. SS-Sprenger, SS-Jakel and SS-Boltz : SS-Sprenger and SS-Boltz also stated that shortly after the incident, SS-Hammerer said to SS-Sprenger that the 15 American POWs to the left were shot from the accused’s vehicle.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Bullingen) SS-Sprenger stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that in January 1945, the accused told him while they were in Eschweiller (Germany) that he and others had shot the American POWs in the field in Bullingen

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Baugnez) The accused was named as one of those who fired into the American POWS in the field next to the Crossroads on December 17 1944, extra-judicial sworn statements from SS-Sprenger, SS-Hofmann, SS-Neve, SS-Schaefer.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Stoumont) SS-Jaeckel stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he saw the accused in Stoumont on December 19 1944. SS-Delbert and then accused were in the field shooting 4 American POWs who were unarmed and surrendered. These Americans were not making any attempt to escape nor did they do anything to provoke the shooting. The accused and SS-Delbert fired into them as they were standing approximately 7 meters from the Americans. The shooting was carried out with machine pistols. SS-Hofmann stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that the accused and SS-Ottinger entered a shed in Stoumont. Later, both pistol and machine pistol fire were heard. The accused and SS-Ottinger were asked what was the reason for the shooting and SS-Ottinger replied that they had fired on one American who appeared to be dead but rolled over. SS-Ottinger was armed with a pistol, the accused with a machine pistol.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved.

    #19 : Hauptsturmfuehrer Hans Gruhle

    Nationality : German
    Age : 26 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS October 1939 to May 1945
    Military Status : Capt, Adjutant, 1.-SS-Pzr-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : 20 years commencing July 16 1945
    Petitions : No Petitions for Clemency were filed

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Instructions to subordinates) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he received the Army Order of the Day on December 15 1944 from SS-Peiper. He then read the order to the commanders belonging to the Kamfgruppe Peiper. The army Order of the Day substantially that the fight was to be conduct stubbornly with no regard for prisoners of war. Prisoners were to be shot, if necessary, in very compelling situations. SS-Peiper stated in his extra-judicial sworn statements that upon his order, the accused drew a regimental order incorporating SS-Dietrich’s Army Order of the Day. SS-Peiper stated that he was nearly certain that it was expressly stated in this order that prisoners of war were to be shot where the local conditions of combat required it. SS-Fisher, Adjutant 1.-SS-Panzer-Battalion stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that the regimental order he received from the accused and which he had issued for battalion order contained a statement that wave of fear and terror was to precede the troops and that prisoners of war were to be shot where military necessity absolutely required. These statements attachments regarding the content of this order are supported by the extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Junker and SS-Klingelhoefer.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved.

    #20 : Unterscharfuehrer Max Hammerer

    Nationality : German
    Age : 21 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS April 1943 to December 1944
    Military Status : Cpl, Messenger, 2.-Plat, 3.-Pzr-Pio-Co, 1.-SS-Pzr-Pio-Bn
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : Petitions for Clemency were filed by the Examination Bord of the Reich Railroad Repair Shop on August 1 1946; by the Members of the Locomotive Section of the Reich Railroad Repair Shop on August 1 1946; by the Munich Police on August 26 1946; by 32 fellows workers at the Reichbahn on September 16 1946; by Mrs Fritz Schackelmeier on October 2 1946; by Mrs Klara Korfmachar on October 2 1946

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Honsfeld) SS-Hofmann in his extra-judicial sworn statement stated that he passed trough Honsfeld between 0700 and 0800, December 17 1944 and, upon reaching the outskirts of the town at a point where the road makes a right turn in the direction of Bullingen he saw SS-Beutner’s personnel carrier parked on the right side of the road near 2 houses. Somme American artillery pieces were between the 2 houses. The accused was a member of SS-Beutner’s crew and along with SS-Beutner and the driver SS-Goldschmidt was standing in the front of the vehicle armed with machine pistols. SS-Hofmann saw 8 to 10 American POWs standing in the front of one house with hands raised in a sign of surrender. Across the road, he saw 10 to 15 American soldiers laying in a field too close together to have been shot in combat. This statement is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Jackel, except that Jackel stated that the accused was sitting in SS-Beutner’s personnel carrier armed with a rifle. SS-Boltz in his extra-judicial sworn statement stated that after he had passed the point where the 15 to 20 dead American POWs were such lying on the left side of the road, he heard SS-Sprenger ask the accused if whether those prisoners had be shot by members of SS-Beutner’s crew. The accused replied Yes they were bumped off.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Baugnez) The accused was identified as one of those participating in the firing of American Prisoners of War in the early afternoon of December 17 1944 by the extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Jackel, SS-Sprenger and SS-Hofmann. The accused admitted in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he was present at the Crossroads when prisoners of war were shot.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (La Gleize) SS-Sprenger stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that in the evening of December 21 1944 in La Gleize he was told by SS-Losenski that the accused and others shot 9 American POWs near the Schoolhouse. On December 22 1944, SS-Goldschmidt told him that the accused participated in the shooting of 15 American POWs in back of the Schoolhouse.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Stoumont) The accused admitted in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he killed and American POW in a Castle near Stoumont on December 20 1944. The American was lying in the hallway of the Castle with the lower part of his body buried in debris. The accused fired 2 shots, one in the head and one in the heart. SS-Hofmann stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that in Stoumont on December 19 1944, he saw the accused and an unidentified Paratrooper (Fallschirmjäger) pass by with 2 American POWs. Shortly thereafter SS-Hofmann heard 2 or 3 bursts of machine pistol fire, 8 to 10 rounds each, following which he saw the accused and the Paratrooper return by the same road without the 2 POWs.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and the Sentence be approved but the Sentence of Death by Hanging be commuted to Life Imprisonment.

    BOB-German-01

    M-1917-01

    #21 : Unterscharfuehrer Armin Hecht

    Nationality : German
    Age : 21 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organization : Waffen SS October 1944 to May 1945
    Military Status : Cpl, Personnel Carrier Driver, 1.-Plat, 11.-Pzr-Gren-Co, 3.-Pzr-Gren-Bn, 2.-SS-Pzr-Gren-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Life Imprisonment
    Petitions : Petitions for Clemency were filed by the accused’s father Herbert Hecht, October 19 1946 and 14 March 1947; by the Evangelical-Lutheran clergyman, Mugge, on March 4 1947; by the Vicar of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Liltitz, on October 26 1946.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (La Gleize) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that at La Gleize in the afternoon of December 18 1944, the vehicle in which he was riding stopped on the road near a Church which was surrounded by a wall. In front of the wall stood 15 American POWs who were unarmed and surrendered. SS-Sergeant Klipp, the commander of the vehicle, ordered the entire crew to shoot at those prisoners of war. The accused aimed at one of the prisoner with his Belgian pistol and fired five shots at him, and saw him slumping to the ground. This shooting is corroborated by SS-Godicke to the extent of 10 prisoners of war and by SS-Richter to the extent of 10 to 15 prisoners of war, in their extra-judicial sworn statements.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved, but that the Sentence be reduced to imprisonment for 15 years, commencing on July 16 1946.

    #22 : Sturmscharfuehrer Willy Heinz Hendell

    Nationality : German
    Age : 30 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS May 1934 to May 1945
    Military Status : M/Sgt, Platoon Leader, 2.-Plat, 11.-Pzr-Gren-Co, 3.-Pzr-Gren-Bn, 2.-SS-Pzr-Gren-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : Petitions for Clemency were filed by Werner Siegel on February 26 1947 and by Paul Linon on January 6 1947.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Instructions for Subordinates) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that on the night of December 15 to 16 1944, SS-Tomhardt, delivered in a speech to the 11.-Panzer-Grenadier-Company, that no prisoners of war were to be taken and that the troops were to shoot at everything. Immediately thereafter the accused assembled his platoon, repeated this order and admonished his men to especially to distinguish themselves in the execution thereof. On the night of 16 to 17 December 1944, immediately after enemy contact was expected, the accused reported to members of his platoon the previous orders and added : ‘No prisoners will be taken. Everything that comes in front of your barrel will be mowed down. The 2.-Plat must distinguish itself’. These statements by the accused are corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Siegmund and SS-Stock as well as the testimony of SS-Heinrich. SS-Siegmund stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he would have not shot the prisoners of war on the road from La Gleize to Stoumont on December 20 1944 had he not recalled the speeches of SS-Tomhardt and the accused.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved.

    #23 : Untersturmfuehrer Hans Hennecke

    Nationality : German
    Age : 23 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS November 1939 to May 1945
    Military Status : 2/Lt, Platoon Leader, 1.-Plat, 1.-Pzr-Co, 1.-Pzr-Bn, 1.-SS-Pzr-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : Petitions of Clemency were filed by the accused on January 21 1947; by the accused’s fiancée, Gundel Kohmeier on December 1 and December 30 1946; by an Uncle of the accused, Henrique Lemcke, on September 26 1946 and an Aunt of the accused, Mrs Helene Strak, on July 25 1946.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Instructions to Subordinates) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that in the afternoon of December 15 1944, in the Blanckenheim Forest (Germany), the company commander, SS-Kremser, spoke at the entire company and, among others things, said : ‘Think of the bombing attacks; Think of your Parents, your Brothers your Sisters; It will be one reckless drive; We must give no quarter; No Prisoners of War are to be taken.’ SS-Kremser had the tank commanders and the platoon leaders assembled around the campfire and told them to repeat SS-Peiper’s exactly to their men. Upon returning to his crew the accused repeated to his men SS-Kremser’s order concerning the shooting of Prisoners of War. This is corroborated to the extent that prisoners of war should not be taken in the extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Briesemeister as well as of SS-Eckmann.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Baugnez) SS-Eckmann stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he saw the accused at the Crossroads between 1300 and 1400, December 17 1944, when the shooting of American unarmed and surrendered prisoners of war assembled in the pasture toke place.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Stavelot) SS-Koehler, SS-Schneider and SS-Hofmann testified that the accused assumed command of the 1.-SS-Panzer-Company on December 18 1944 at Stavelot when the company commander, SS-Kremser, was wounded. After the accused took over the command of the company, his tank passed 4 or 5 women who were watching the tank pass. The accused’s radio operator opened fire on these women hitting 2 or 3 of them. The accused’s radio operator then turned the machine gun to the other side of the road and opened fire on some women standing there. The accused did not give the radio operator a ‘cease fire’ order. The civilians had not engaged in any hostile actions to provoke the shooting. The accused explained his failure to issue a ‘cease fire’ order by stating that it was against the general orders issued by SS-Kremser before the beginning of the offensive. The machine gunning of the civilians is corroborated by 2 Witnesses. SS-Eckmann in is extra-judicial sworn statement corroborates the accused’s statement concerning the shooting of the women in Stavelot.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (La Gleize) SS-Rumpf stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that in La Gleize the accused came to him with a message in the effect that SS-Peiper had ordered that some American POWs had to be shot and that SS-Rumpf was to provide the shooting detail. Pursuant to this message SS-Rumpf furnished a shooting detail. The accused in his extra-judicial sworn statement corroborated SS-Rumpf’s statement and added that the sergeant in charge of the execution detail reported that they had shot a lot of prisoners of war. SS-Hofmann testified that the shooting of American POWs in La Gleize was reported to the accused.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and the Sentence be approved.

    #24 : Scharfuehrer Hans Hillig

    Nationality : German
    Age : 24 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS February 1940 to April 1945
    Military Status : Sgt, Personnel Carrier Driver, Communications Platoon, Headquarters Company, 1.-SS-Panzer-Regiment
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : 10 years commencing July 16 1946
    Petitions : No Petitions for Clemency were filed.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Stoumont) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that in the afternoon of December 19 1944 while he was parked beside a house in the edge of Stoumont, SS-Peiper ordered him to bring for interrogation an American prisoner of war who was guarded by a member of the personnel carrier of the accused. The accused took the prisoner to SS-Peiper who talked to him in a foreign language (English). The prisoner only answered the first question asked by SS-Peiper and when SS-Peiper continued talking to him, the prisoner remained mute only making a snort answer at the end of this interview. SS-Peiper shouted to the accused to shot the man. The accused took his machine pistol and fired a shot into the prisoner who immediately collapsed. As the prisoner lay on the ground shot him once more in the temple and then returned to SS-Peiper to reported the execution of the order. SS-Gruhle stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that a soldier of the regimental headquarters company shot a captured American soldier upon the order of SS-Peiper after an interrogation that SS-Peire yielded no result. This incident is corroborated by SS-Ebeling and SS-Landfried.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved.

    #25 : Unterscharfuehrer Heinz Hofmann

    Nationality : German
    Age : 21 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS March 1943 to May 1945
    Military Status : Cpl, Gunner, 2.-Platoon, 2.-Pzr-Co, 1.-Pzr-Bn, 1.-SS-Panzer-Regiment
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Life Imprisonment
    Petitions : Petitions for Clemency were filed by an official Post Office at Bonbaden, Germany, December 4 1946; by the local office of the SPD, Bonbaden, December 4 1946; by the Police Station in Bonbaden, on December 4 1946; by the Protestant Pastorate in Bonbaden, on December 4 1946, by the family of the accused on December 3 1946; by the accused’s father, August Hofmann, on September 6 1946, November 12 1946 and November 20 1946; by the accused on August 5 1946 and September 22 1946; and Walther Koebler, on August 31 1946.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (La Gleize) On December 21 or 22, 1944, SS-Knappik ordered the accused and SS-Werner to go with him in a house in La Gleize to get 10 to 15 American POWs. The accused and SS-Werner participated in the shooting of these prisoners on order of SS-1/Sgt Knappik, the platoon leader and commander of the accused tank. These facts are brought out in the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Mickolascheck and SS-Werner members of the accused’s tank crew.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Stoumont) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that on the morning of December 19 1944 he entered Stoumont and as soon as he had taken up position there SS-Knappik, his tank commander, gave him an order to turn his tank turret to the left and fire at a group of men standing in front. The accused looked in that direction and saw a group of 15 to 20 American POWs standing beside some Paratroopers (Fallschirmjäger). So far as the accused was able to see, these Americans were unarmed. He obeyed Knappik’s order and shot two or three bursts into them and saw the one that was hit slump to the ground. This is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Mickolaschek and SS-Werner.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved but that Sentence be reduced to 15 years imprisonment.

    #26 : Rottenfuehrer Joachim Hofmann

    Nationality : German
    Age : 19 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS October 1943 to May 1945
    Military Status : Pfc, Personnel Carrier Driver, 2.-Plat, 1.-Pzr-Pio-Co, 1.-SS-Pzr-Pio-Bn
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : Petitions of Clemency were filed by the accused’s father, Gustav Hofmann, August 13 1946; and Reverend Gepper, September 18 1946.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Baugnez) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that on December 17 1944, that he reached the Crossroads between 1300 and 1400. He saw 80 to 100 American unarmed and surrendered prisoners standing in a pasture south of a house and barn on the right side of the road leading south. Nearby stood a Mark IV tank and SS-Sgt-Beutner’s personnel carrier was on the left side of the road. As the accused passed this personnel carrier, SS-Sgt-Beutner told the crew to get their machine guns and men ready to bump off the prisoners. The accused then stopped his vehicle and got out. He stood on the rear end of the vehicle with SS-Neve. The accused was armed with a machine pistol. Before the firing started the crews of several vehicles were shouting : ‘bump them off’, ‘bump them off’. The accused fired 4 or 5 bursts, about 50 shots into the prisoners among whom were several medics.

    [Note from Gunter] The accused was armed with a machine pistol, either a MP-38 or MP-40. The accused shot 4 or 5 bursts, about 50 rounds. Question : How do you fire 50 shots with a gun that has only 32 bullets in the magazine ?

    These American prisoners were unarmed and surrendered, were standing with hands raised above their heads and were not making any attempts to escape. At the first volley, all the Americans in the field fell to the ground. After the firing of the machine gun had ceased, his group leader, SS-Sgt-Witkowski ordered the accused and others to get to the field and give mercy shots to those who were still alive. The accused and others entered then the field and saw 2 wounded Americans. The accused fired then 6 or 8 round into the heads of these two prisoners, killed them. This incident at the Crossroads is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Sprenger, SS-Jackel and SS-Neve.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Stoumont) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that around noon on December 19 1944 at Stoumont he was in the company of a Paratrooper (Fallschirmjäger) named Diehle, non-commissioned officer, and a lieutenant. Other Paratroopers were standing in the front of a house with 2 Americans prisoners of war. The Lieutenant ordered Diehle and the accused to shoot the prisoners. Pursuant to this order Diehle and the accused marched the 2 Americans, who were unarmed and with their hands raised in surrender, across the street where Diehle fired a bursts of 15 to 20 rounds from his machine pistol. Both Americans fell to the ground but were not dead. The accused then shot a burst of 3 or 4 rounds into the head of one of them with his machine pistol and Diehle continued shooting the other.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved but that the Sentence be reduced to 20 years imprisonment commencing July 16 1945.

    #27 : Oberscharfuehrer Hubert Huber

    Nationality : Austrian
    Age : 37 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organization : Waffen SS April 1938 to December 1944
    Military Status : S/Sgt, Tank Commander, 2.-Plat, 6.-Pzr-Co, 1.-Pzr-Bn, 1.-SS-Pzr-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : No Petitions for Clemency were filed.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Baugnez) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he arrived at the Crossroads about 1530 December 17 1944. He dismounted from his vehicle and saw what appeared to be the dead bodies of 2 American soldiers lying in the pasture on the right hand side of the road. However one of the bodies moved slightly pulling in his hand and head so it was apparent that he was only pretending to be dead. The accused then told this American to take off his jacket, his wrist watch and his overshoes. While the American was in the process of complying to this order the accused shot and killed him. At this time the American was unarmed and didn’t attempt to escape. This incident is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Hillig, the testimony of SS-Reiser, SS-Landfried, SS-Weiss. SS-Zimmerman testified that he identified the accused as being one of the men walking in the field and firing shots into the Americans prisoners of war who were lying on the ground. SS-Dethlefs testified that the accused said that he had dismounted from his tank at the Crossroads and walked the pasture to finish American who were still showing signs of life.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and the Sentence be approved.

    #28 : Rottenfuehrer Siegfried Jäkel (Jackel)

    Nationality : German
    Age : 19 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS December 1943 to May 1945
    Military Status : Pfc, Rifleman and Gunner, 2.-Plat, 3.-Pzr-Pio-Co, 1.-SS-Pzr-Pio-Bn
    Plea :Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : No Petitions for Clemency were filed.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Bullingen) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that when he was proceeding along the road near the airfield outside Bullingen he saw a group of 6 or 8 American prisoners of war walking on the road toward his vehicle. When the accused’s personnel carrier driven by SS-Hofmann (J) was some 10 to 15 meters from these Americans, his group leader, SS-Sgt-Witkowski, who was riding in the same vehicle said : ‘Ready ? bump ’em off’. The accused shot then 2 or 3 rounds from his pistol into these unarmed and surrendered American POWs. Other members of the crew fired and the 6 or 8 Americans fell to the ground. This incident is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Hofmann (J). Between the airfield and Bullingen, the men of the accused personnel carrier including the accused fired into 2 groups of Americans unarmed and surrendered POWs who were marching toward the road. Each of these groups of POWs numbered between 5 and 8 man. The accused further stated therein that about 1 kilometer or so beyond Bullingen, while traveling on a narrow dirt road, the crew of his vehicle shot another group of 6 to 8 American POWs. A little later, they again shot another group about the same size.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Baugnez) At the Crossroads between 1300 and 1400, December 17 1944, the accused, according to his extra-judicial sworn statement saw approximately 60 to 80 American POWs standing in the pasture. The accused personnel carrier was halted by SS-Beutner who spoke to SS-Sht-Witkowsi and told him that the American POWs were going to be shot. The men in the accused personnel carrier loaded their weapons and to be ready to fire at the prisoners. The accused further stated therein that after the command to fire was given they fired approximately 75 rounds from the front machine gun. The the accused went to the rear machine gun, loaded it and started firing into the prisoners. As soon as the first firing began all the Americans who were in the field fell to the ground. After the firing ceased, the accused walked among the prostrate Americans POWs who were lying in the field and shot 4 or 5 wounded victims with his pistol. He stated that he fired one shot into the heart of each wounded man he found. This incident is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Sprenger, SS-Hofmann (J) and SS-Neve.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved but that the Sentence be commuted to 20 years imprisonment commencing July 16 1946.

    #29 Obersturmfuehrer Benoni Junker

    Nationality : German
    Age : 25 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS January 1940 to December 1944
    Military Status : 1/Lt, Company Commander, 6.-Pzr-Co, 1.-Pzr-Bn, 1.-SS-Pzr-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions :Petitions for Clemency were filed by the accused’s brother Adolph Junker, undated; by the accused on August 20 1946 and October 24 1946; by Manfred Wagner on September 5 1946; Friedrich Kroyser on August 30 1946; by Werner Kestermann and Max Braun on August 20 1946; by Adolf Unterkirchen on August 26 1946; by Josef Janssen on September 6 1946; by Gert V. D. Zohlen on September 5 1946; by Eugenie Winckler on August 31 1946; by the accused’s mother Klara Junker on August 26 1946 and April 27 1947; by Agi Junker on July 31 1946 and Lt Col Burton F. Ellis, Trial Judge Advocate on July 27 1946.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Instructions to Subordinates) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that on December 15 1944 he attended a company commanders’ meeting at a battalion and regimental command post in a forester’s lodge in the Blankenheim Forest. Major Poetschke, battalion commander of the 1.-SS-Pzr-Bn, read a regimental order which in substance required the use of terror methods. After leaving this meeting [undreadable] if the military situation required it, prisoners of war were not to be taken. Following this meeting he went to his company and talked to his tank commanders. He told them that in the forthcoming battle terror methods were to be used to break enemy resistance and that where the military situation required it, prisoners of war were not to be taken. He further told his tank commanders [unreadable]. This statement of the accused is corroborated to the extent that no prisoners of war were to be taken by the testimony of [unreadable] these 3 SS-Soldiers were members of the accused’s company.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Baugnez) SS-Huber stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he killed an American prisoner of war at the Crossroad to impress his battalion commander SS-Poetschke and his company commander, the accused with the fact that he was a good soldier and obeyed their orders and shoot that came before their guns.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved but that the Sentence in Death by Hanging be commuted into Live Imprisonment.

    #30 : Rottenfuehrer Friedel Kies

    Nationality : German
    Age : 19 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS November 1943 to December 1944
    Military Status : Pfc, Machine Gunner, 2.-Plat, 3.-Pzr-Pio-Co, 1.-Pzr-Pio-Bn
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : Petitions of Clemency were filed by the accused’s father Richard Kies on September 29 1946; by the accused’s grandfather on September 22 1946; by the Burgermeister of Rahdereistedt on September 21 1946 and by W. Meyer on 21 September 1946.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Baugnez) SS-Hofmann (J) stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that at the Crossroads at about 1300 to 1400, December 17 1944, he saw the accused shooting in the prisoners who were marching along the road in the direction of the Crossroads (*)

    Note from Gunter : This statement has non-sens ! The unit which came into the Kampfgruppe Peiper column, the 285th Field Artillery Observation Battalion, came from Malmedy which reside at the bottom of the valey, Baugnez being the top of the hill. As you can see on the pictures taken this day, there is no American vehicle in sight around the Crossroads; neither on the road leading to Ligneuville, nor the road leading to Hedomont as well as the one leading to Waimes. The short combat between the 285-FAOB and the 1.-SS happened on the road leading down to Malmedy, where the US troops abandoned the fight and surrendered. They were of course marched to the pasture (about 200 meters distance). If someone would have shot at the American POWs at this moment they (the POWs) could escape into almost every directions with immediate cover from hedgerows all around, 4 different houses in four different directions. Beside this the stories about the shooting of the American POWs in the pasture at Baugnez is the story of the shooting of American POWs assembled (better said) parked all together in a single pasture. Not a look like OK Corral shooting.

    There were approximately 6 or 8 apparently unarmed and surrendered prisoners of war in this group. SS-Jakel stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he arrived at the Crossroads between 1300 and 1400, December 17 1944. He saw the accused at the front machine gun of SS-Bode’s vehicle at the time of the shooting. The accused admitted shooting prisoners at the Crossroads but stated that it was pursuant to the direct orders od SS-Sgt-Beutner.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Stoumont) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that about 1500, December 19 1944, he was in Stoumont on guard duty. SS-Sgt-Beutner ordered the accused to enter a house where he found an unarmed and surrendered American POW. SS-Beutner ordered the accused to lead the prisoner away adding : ‘you now what you have to do’. The accused then went to a place which was a few houses farther away and fired 4 or 5 shots into the unarmed American prisoner of war penetrating his head and his chest. The prisoner fell to the ground. A little later, on the same day as the accused passed by the command post of the 1.-Plat of the 3.-Pzr-Pio-Co, he met SS-Lt-Seitz who had 2 prisoners of war in his custody. SS-Seitz ordered the accused and another soldier to lead these 2 prisoners away and shot them. This order was carried out by the accused and the other man. The accused used his pistol and his companion a machine pistol. The prisoners fell instantly to the ground and were left lying there.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved but that the Sentence be commuted to Imprisonment for 20 years commencing July 16 1946.

    #31 : Sturmbannfuehrer Gustav Knittel

    Nationality : German
    Age : 31 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS September 1943 to May 1945
    Military Status : Major, Commander 1.-SS-Pzr-Rcn-Bn
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Life Imprisonment
    Petitions : Petitions of Clemency was filed by the accused on March 6 1947

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Instructions to Subordinates) The accused stated in his extra-judicial worn statement that on the night of December 15 1944 he assembled the company commanders subordinate to him for a conference at his command post near the railroad station at Glaadt. The accused set forth in the statement an outline of the matters discussed which included statements that the troops were to think of relatives suffering under the bomb terror when they were dealing with civilians; and that, if the military situation requested it in especially compelling situations, Allied prisoners were to be shot. The extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Coblenz corroborates the statement of the accused that in compelling emergencies prisoners of war could be shot.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Stavelot) In another pretrial non-sworn statement the accused stated that in the vicinity of Stavelot on December 21 1944, his unit was cut off in a very heavily wooded area and that a group of prisoners of war came out of the woods, led by 2 guards. After attempting in vain to find out their unit he ordered the prisoners to be shot. The unarmed and surrendered American POWs were then lined up behind a nearby house. About 5 minutes later the accused heard pistol shots and saw the 2 guards return, showing to the others gold rings they had obviously taken from the prisoners. The accused contented that this order to shot the prisoners was dictated by military necessity since his group was about to escape through the woods and thus was unable to take the prisoners along. The accused stated that the motive of revenge for the cunning shooting of a personnel carrier crew in the woods shortly before this incident played a subordinate part in the action he took.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved.

    #32 : Rottenfuehrer Georg Kotzur

    Nationality : German
    Age : 20 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS August 1944 to May 1945
    Military Status : Pfc, Radio Operator, 2.-Plat, 1.-Pzr-Co, 1.-Pzr-Bn, 1.-SS-Pzr-Regt
    Plea : Non Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Life Imprisonment
    Petitions : A Petition for Clemency was filed by the accused’s father Karl Kotzur on February 6 1947

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Wanne) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that about mid-afternoon on December 31 1944, at Wanne, Belgium, SS-Bersin came to the quarter in which the accused was residing and stated that every male civilian had to be shot. He gave the whole crew an order to search for and shoot male civilians. SS-Bersin pointed to the accused and told him to come along. When SS-Bersin and the accused went to a house, a man of approximately 40 to 50 years of age approached them with 2 caps in his hand. SS-Bersin asked him what kind of caps he had. When the man replied that they were forest wardens’ caps, SS-Bersin hit him and asked the accused to shot the man. The accused took the man down the street toward the church and into the cemetery, where he fired 2 shots into the man’s back. The civilian fell down with a cry and the accused got back to the street. According to the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Bersin, the accused led SS-Bersin and another soldier to an open square then into a house where there was a Belgian civilian about 50 years of age. The accused and the other man took the civilian out, but SS-Bersin did not know what they did with this man. Following this incident, SS-Bersin ordered the accused to shot another civilian who was coming toward him. The accused led this man to a farm approximately across the entrance of the cemetery and shot him once in the back. The victim yelled and fell to his knees. The accused pistol jammed. At that moment, SS-Trettin arrived with his pistol and the accused asked him to finish the civilian off. SS-trettin then shot the man and reported to the accused that the man was dead. The killing of this civilian is corroborated in the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Trettin.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved but that the Sentence be reduced to Imprisonment for 15 years commencing July 16 1946.

    #33 : Brigadefuehrer Fritz Kraemer

    Nationality : German
    Age : 45 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS September 1940 to May 1945
    Military Status : Brig Gen, Chief of Staff, 6.-SS-Panzer-Army
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : 10 years commencing July 16 1946
    Petitions : A Petition for Clemency was filed by the Chief Historian, US Army, European Theater of Operation, S.L.A. Marshal, undated.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Instructions to Subordinates) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that during the whole period of the Ardennes Offensive, December 16 1944 to January 20 1945, and also during its preparation, he was the Chief of Staff of the 6.-SS-Panzer-Army. In this capacity, he had to draft or prepare the orders which went to subordinates units after they were signed by the Army Commander SS-Dietriech. Thus, all orders originating from the 6.-SS-Pzr-Army had to go through his hands. Prior to the Ardennes Offensive, several orders went from the Army to Corps, including the I.-SS-Panzer-Corps under the Command of SS-Preiss. The largest order was the field order which contained all tactical and technical details. It consisted of about 30 typewritten pages and was distributed to the I.-SS-Pzr-Corps between December 6 and December 10 1944. There were a number of smaller orders issued. On about December 14 1944, an Army Order of the Day went to the I.-SS-Pzr-Corps to be read and made known immediately to the troops prior the Offensive. The field order and the Army Order of the Day were signed by SS-Dietrich in person. In the field order as well as in the Army Order of the Day, it was stated among other things that the Mass River had to be reached as quickly as possible. The Army Order of the Day stated that the units should not be concerned with prisoners of war. SS-Peiper stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he was nearly certain that it was expressly stated in the Army Order of the Day that prisoners of war should be shot when the conditions of combat required it. SS-Gruhle in his extra-judicial sworn statement corroborates the fact that the Army Order of the Day directed that Allied prisoners of war must be shot in very compelling situations.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and the Sentence be approved.

    #34 : Untersturmfuehrer Werner Kuhn

    Nationality : German
    Age : 26 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : November 1937 to May 1945
    Military Status : 2/Lt, Platoon Leader, 3.-Plat, 9.-SS-Pzr-Pio-Co, 1.-SS-Pzr-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : Petitions for Clemency were filed by Dr. Kleininger on May 14 1947; by the accused’s parents on April 17 1947; by the accused on April 10 1947 and July 20 1947; by the accused mother’s Melanie Kuhn on November 3 1946; by the Landesbischof of the Protestant Church in Thuringia on September 4 1946; by Dr. Ludwig Bock on August 20 1946; and the mayor of Saalfeld on August 13 1946.

    Evidences for Prosecution (Lutrebois) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that on the morning of December 21 1944, at Lutrebois, Belgium, he occuped a house in which there were Belgian civilians, one of whom was a young man of 25 to 30 years of age who wore a yellow scarf and was suspected of being a spy or a partisan. (Note : House of the family Colson) During this morning, the accused had asked this civilian (Note : Marcel Colson) twice to get him a bucket of water and was met twice with indifferent refusals. Later, a trooper came inside the room and said that some Belgian civilians were standing outside waiting to be shot. The accused remarked that the man with the yellow scarf should also be shot and the man accordingly led outside by the trooper. SS-Hoppel, a soldier assigned to the accused’s company testified that the accused gave an order to a Belgian civilian to bring a bucket of water and became angry when the civilian did not comply with his directions. The accused motioned to the civilian to follow him into the kitchen were he picked up and SS-Man. The 3 left the house and all was quiet for about 3 or 4 minutes. Then the accused came back and said that they had bumped him off. 2 witnesses testified that a guy named Marcel Colson was killed by a German who was identified as the accused.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and the Sentence be approved.

    #35 : Scharfuehrer Oscar Klingelhoefer

    Nationality : German
    Age : 28 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Married
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS May 1940 to May 1945
    Military Status : Sgt, Medic, 1.-Plat, 9.-SS-Pzr-Pio-Co, 1.-SS-Pzr-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : Petitions for Clemency were filled by the accused’s wife Ruth Klingelhoefer on August 3 1946, December 15 1946, February 13 1947; by Helmy Rensch on September 30 1946; Edith Burig on August 27 1946; by Edeltraut Nowack on August 27 1946, the accused mother-in-law Margarethe Bendixen on August 25 1946; the accused on August 17 1946; the accused’s mother Margarethe Klingelhoefer on August 3 1946 and Wilhelm Schumann on September 3 1946.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Instructions to Subordinates) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that on December 15 1944 he attended a meeting of the company commanders and that at this meeting SS-Poetschke, commander of the 1.-SS-Pzr-Bn, gave some orders in SS-Peiper’s presence one of them being that prisoners of war were not to be taken. SS-Peiper made the comment that situation can arise in which no prisoners or war can be taken.The company commanders were cautioned that the order was to be kept secret and were then dismissed from the meeting with the direction to pass the order on orally to their platoon leaders and through them to the troops. The accused passed this order on to his platoon leaders and reminded them of his secret character. The transmittal of the order that no prisoners of war were to be taken is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Muenkemer, SS-Rehagek and SS-Siptrott all of whom were assigned to the accused’s company. SS-Fleps, a member of the accused’s company stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that even before December 13 or 14 1944 the accused assembled the company in an inn and explained to them that a big offensive was just ahead; that they must fight cruelly in order to spread fright among the enemy; and that they were not to take prisoners. Again, in the evening of December 15 1944, the accused assemble the company and stated that they should take no prisoners of war. SS-Clotten, a member of the accused’s company, stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he learned of the attitude from the accused’s speech before the offensive.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Baugnez) SS-Ehrhardt, the accused’s tank driver, testified that the accused learned when he was in Ligneuville that members of his company fired at prisoners of war at the Crossroads and that the accused passed the Crossroads on December 17 1944 at 1300 while the prisoners of war were being assembled.

    Recommendation : that the Findings and the Sentence be approved but that the Sentence of Death by Hanging be commuted to Life Imprisonment.

    #36 : Scharfuehrer Erich Maute

    Nationality : German
    Age : 24 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS May 1940 to May 1945
    Military Status : Sgt, Medic, 1.-Plat, 9.-Pzr-Pio-Co, 1.-SS-Pzr-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : A Petition for Clemency was filed by the accused’s grandfather, Hermann Maute, on September 19 1945

    Evidences for Prosecution : (La Gleize) SS-Rumpf, commander of the 9.-SS-Panzer-Pioneer-Company, stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement, that on the night of December 21 December 1944b in La Gleize, SS-Hennecke instructed him to furnish a shooting detail as SS-Peiper had ordered some prisoners of war to be shot. SS-Rumpf went to the cellar of a house where some of his men and said that he needed some men to shot prisoners of war. The accused and 3 or 4 other men emerged from the cellar. SS-Rumpf ordered the accused who was the only sergeant in the group to take the men to the Church were he would receive instructions from someone in the 1.-SS-Pze-Co. SS-Hofmann (J) stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that on the evening of December 21 or 22 1944, in La Gleize, SS-Rumpf walked into the cellar of a house and asked for some men to shot prisoners of war. The accused and 3 or 4 other men of the same company left left with SS-Rumpf armed with pistols and machine guns. The accused returned in 20 or 30 minutes and said that they had ‘bumped off’ some prisoners. The formation of this shooting detail in La Gleize id corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Reiser and SS-Hennecke.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved.

    #37 : Rottenfuehrer Arnold Mikolaschek

    Nationality : German
    Age : 20 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS June 1943 to May 1945
    Military Status : Pfc, Radio Operator, 2.-Plat, 2.-Pzr-Co, 1.-Pzr-Bn, 1.-SS-Pzr-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Life Imprisonment
    Petitions : No Petition for Clemency was filed.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Stoumont) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that on the morning of December 19 1944, at Stoumont, he observed 12 to 15 apparently unarmed American prisoners of war standing with their hands behind their heads guarded by 2 or 3 German infantry soldiers. The accused fired 2 or 3 bursts from his machine gun into these prisoners of war. He saw the prisoners whom he had hit slump to the ground but he didn’t know which prisoners he had not hit, because SS-Hofmann was also firing. This killing is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Hofmann and SS-Werner. SS-Hueber testified that he saw 2 Americans fall to the ground as a result of the firing of the tank in which the accused was riding.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and the Sentence be approved but the sentence be reduced to 15 years Imprisonment commencing July 16 1946.

    #38 : Scharfuehrer Anton Motzheim

    Nationality : German
    Age : 22 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS April 1942 to May 1945
    Military Status : Sgt, Platoon Leader, 2.-Plat, 12.-Pzr-Gren-Co, 3.-Pzr-Gren-Bn, 2.-SS-Pzr-Gren-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : Petitions for Clemency were filed by the accused’s father Gehard Motzheim on June 12 1947 and August 30 1947; by Paul Potz on June 8 1947; by Bishop A.J. Muench on June 13 1947; by Theodore von Koler on September 11 1946 and August 24 1946; by the accused’s parent Gehard and Josefine Motzheim on August 21 1946; by H. Jacobs on August 20 1946; by Dr Nailis on August 20 1946 and the Bishopof Aachen, undated.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Honsfeld) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he entered Honsfeld on the morning of December 17 1944. The vehicle in which the accused was riding stopped and an American suddenly appeared with his hands extended to his sides but not over his head. The accused assumed that the American soldier wanted to surrender. He was about 5 to 8 meters from the American and did not see any weapon upon his person. Remembering the order SS-Sgt-Thiele, his company commander, not to take prisoners, the accused fired a burst of 3 or 4 shots with his machine pistol and the American slumped in a lifeless manner to the ground. SS-Siegmund stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that it was generally known that the accused shot prisoners of war.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved but that the Sentence be commuted to Imprisonment for 10 years commencing July 16 1946

    #39 : Untersturmfuehrer Erich Muenkemer

    Nationality : German
    Age : 25 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Married
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS June 1940 to May 1945
    Military Status : 2/Lt, Platoon Leader, 3.-Plat, 7.-Pzr-Co, 1.-Pzr-Bn, 1.-SS-Pzr-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : Petitions for Clemency were filed by Dr. Hans Hertkern on December 3 1946, by the accused’s wife Ilse Muenkemer on September 11 1946 and September 15 1946; by Ludwig Panzer on September 2 1946; by the accused’s mother Kunigunda Muenkemer on July 26 1946; by Georg Seelmann on September 1 1946; by Hans Lottes on September 5 1946; by A. Schmidt on September 1 1946; by Fritz Meusel on August 30 1946; by H. Fleischmann on August 27 1946; by Mr. Schwalb on August 20 1946 and J. Jolger on August 18 1946.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Instructions to Subordinates) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that on December 16 1944 he transmitted to his tank commanders the substance of the orders he had received on the same day from SS-Klingelhoefer, his company commander, that prisoners of war would be turned over by the troops who captured them and evacuated, but that situation could arise where prisoners of war were to be shot. SS-Geisberger testified that the accused’s instructions to is tank commander included instructions that no prisoners of war were to be taken. SS-Clotten stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he would have interfered with the shooting of American prisoners of war at the Crossroads by his tank crewman (SS-Bock) but for the orders of the accused, his platoon leader to the effect that he did not wish prisoners of war to be taken.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and the Sentence be approved but that the Sentence to Death by Hanging be commuted to Life Imprisonment.

    #40 : Rottenfuehrer Gustav Neve

    Nationality : German
    Age : 20 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS January 1943 to May 1945
    Military Status : Pfc, Personnel Carrier Driver, 2.-Plat, 3.-Pzr-Pio-Co, 1.-SS-Pzr-Pio-Bn
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : A Petition for Clemency was filed by the accused’s father on August 7 1946

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Baugnez) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that between 1300 and 1400, December 17 1944, he arrived at the Crossroads. After making a left turn into a southerly direction, he saw a house and a fence in a pasture in front of which SS-Beutner’s personnel carrier was parked. SS-Beutner gave a hand signal and the carrier in which the accused was riding stopped. About 80 to 100 unarmed and surrendered American prisoners of war were standing in the above-mentioned pasture. The accused dismounted and placed himself at the end of the vehicle with a fast firing rifle. About 15 minutes later, everyone opened fire with their weapons. The firing lasted for about 10 minutes and then, the accused and some others went into the pasture among the American soldiers who had fallen to the ground. Some were turning and twisting. The accused aimed at 8 or 10 of these men who were still alive and shot them. This account is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Hofmann (J); SS-Sprenger and also SS-Jackel.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and the Sentence be approved but that the Sentence of Death by Handing be commuted to 20 Imprisonment commencing July 16 1946.

    The Reality : Sad Signal Corps photo of Belgium residents of Stavelot carrying the body of a victim of Nazi atrocity killings in Stavelot and being placed in a common grave. Stavelot, Belgium, December 30 1944

    #41 : Sturmscharfuehrer Paul Hermann Ochmanh

    Nationality : German
    Age : 32 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS April 1936 to May 1945
    Military Status : M/Sgt, HQs Co, 1.-Pzr-Bn, 1.-SS-Pzr-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : No Petition for Clemency were filed

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Ligneuville) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that on December 17 1944, just before darkness set in he saw 8 American unarmed and surrendered prisoners of war standing of the right side of the road facing in a southerly direction, in front of a house just in the entrance of Ligneuville. The accused requested SS-Herings (Lt), 9.-Pzr-Pio-Co, who was standing nearby to furnish him a man to guard these prisoners. SS-Hering assigned SS-Suess to go with the accused and the 2 men led the prisoners across the road to a point about 100 meters along the road in the direction from which they had come near a cemetery. These prisoners were then killed by the accused and SS-Suess. The shooting of the prisoners is corroborated by the testimony of a civilian who lived a few meters from the place the incident occurred. The witness testified that the shooting took place about 1630 December 17 1944. Another witness who lived in the vicinity testified that 8 prisoners of war in American uniforms were killed in the locality and vicinity of the other witness’s house. The fact that the accused asked for and was assigned SS-Suess to help him shot the prisoners is corroborated by the testimony SS-Fransee, 9.-Pzr-Pio-Co, who was in the vehicle with SS-Herings at the time.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and the Sentence be approved.

    #42 : Obersturmbannfuehrer Joachim Peiper

    Nationality : German
    Age : 31 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Married
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS October 1934 to May 1946
    Military Status : Lt Col, Commander KG Peiper, Commander 1.-SS-Panzer-Regiment
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : Petitions for Clemency were filed by Dr. Eugen Leer on September 1 1947; by the accused’s father Waldemar Peiper on August 30 1946, January 8 1947 and July 14 1947 and by the accused’s wife Sigurd Peiper-Hinrichsen on November 23 1946.

    Evidences for Prosecution : In addition to the evidence hereinafter set for, reference is made to Section III, Summary of Evidences, supra.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Instructions to Subordinates) The accused stated in one of his extra-judicial sworn statements that the Army Orders of the Day provided that a wave of terror and fright was to precede the attacking troops; that the German soldiers was to recall the victims of the bombings terror and that the enemy resistance had to be broken by terror. The accused also stated that he was nearly certain that the Army Order of the Day expressly provided that prisoners of war were to be shot where the local conditions of combat required it. A regimental order was drawn by SS-Gruhle, his adjutant, based on information received from the division commander and from Army Order of the Day. The regimental order included substantially the same wording concerning prisoners of war as existed in the Army Order of the Day. The regimental order was transmitted to the battalion commanders. The extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Diefenthal; SS-Gruhle; SS-Sievers; SS-Hennecke; SS-Kingelhoefer; SS-Fisher and SS-Rumpf corroborate the portion of the statement by the accused regarding the contents and transmission of the regimental order.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Honsfeld) Elements of Kampfgruppe Peiper entered the town of Honsfeld, Belgium, early in the morning of December 17 1944. 2 EM, T/5 Morris and Pvt White of the 612th Tank Destroyer Battalion, US Army, stated in their extra-judicial sworn statements that they were in Honsfeld on the morning of December 17 1944. Just as it was getting daylight a German tank started firing at a house. Later, a group of American unarmed soldiers with their hands raised above their heads came out the house and approached the tank. As the group approached the tank the crew opened fire and all the men fell to the ground. After the first burst of fire the tank commander motioned to an ordered those still alive to surrender. Those who were not hit by the first burst again attempted to surrender and were shot down again as they approached. Another American, Sgt Wilson, stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he was with a group of American soldiers in a house in Honsfeld about 0800 December 17 1944. The lieutenant in charge of the Americans surrendered and the group was ordered out of the house and lined up in a row facing the house. A German corporal started shooting the Americans and after two had fallen to the ground, Sgt Wilson escaped by running across country.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Cheneux) SS-Zwigart stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that in Cheneux (La Gleize) the accused and SS-Diefenthal were sitting in Zwigart’s personnel carrier. Zwigart shot an American unarmed prisoner of war who had surrendered in the presence of the accused and under circumstances which obviously indicated Zwigart’s intention to the accused. The extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Diefenthal and SS-Friedrichs as well as the testimony of SS-Rineck, SS-Assenmacher and SS-Plohmann corroborate the foregoing incident in Cheneux.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (La Gleize) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that while in La Gleize, he had a conversation with SS-Poetschke, SS-Diefenthal and SS-Von Westerhagen concerning what was to be done with American prisoners of war if aid was not received and they had to fight to the finish. It was determined that prisoners would be shot. SS-Motzheim stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that upon arriving in La Gleize, he heard SS-Poetschke report to the accused the capture of 2 prisoners of war. The accused in an indifferent and disdainful manner said, as to the disposition of prisoners of war, ‘As Usual’. The accused ordered the formation of a detail for shooting prisoners of war at La Gleize according to the extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Rumpf, SS-Hennecke and SS-Reiser.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Stoumont) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that in Stoumont on December 19 1944, he gave SS-Hillig the order to shot an American prisoner of war. This is corroborated in the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Hillig, who carried out the order and killed the prisoner and by the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Gruhle who stated that he saw the body and he heard from the accused himself that the prisoner was shot on the accused’s order. This is also corroborated by the testimonies of SS-Landfried and SS-Ebeling. SS-Gruhle stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that the accused told him that he had ordered an American prisoner of war to be shot and killed after an unsuccessful interrogation. SS-Sprenger stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that at Stoumont, he saw SS-Sievers talking to the accused; that about a meter and a half away from the 2, were 3 surrendered American prisoners of wars with their hands raised above their heads and facing SS-Sievers and the accused; that SS-Sievers spoke with the accused then took out his pistol and killed the 3 American prisoners of war. These prisoners did nothing to provoke this shooting.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Petit-Thier) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that on January 10 1945, a small Castle in the neighborhood of Petit-Thier, an American prisoner of war suffering from 3rd degree frost bite was brought to the command post; that the prisoner was so near death that he looked like a mummy; that the regimental surgeon SS-Sickel suggested a mercy shot and the accused agreed. SS-Sickel stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he ordered SS-Wichmann to shoot the prisoner. SS-Wichmann stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he shot the prisoner. M. Gerardy testified that he found the corps of an American soldier near the Chapel in Petit-Thier.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and the Sentence be approved.

    #43 : Scharfuehrer Hans Pletz

    Nationality : German
    Age : 21 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS May 1943 to May 1945
    Military Status : Sgt, Tank Commander, 2.-Pzr-Co, 1.-Pzr-Bn, 1.-SS-Pzr-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Life Imprisonment
    Petitions : A Petition for Clemency was filed by the accused’s father, Hans Pletz on October 17 1946

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Stoumont) SS-Lessau testified that he was driving the tank of the Company Commander SS-Christ when he reached the center of Stoumont on the morning of December 19 1944. He observed a group of unarmed American prisoners of war, about 12 or 18 in number, standing in front of a grocery store located on the right side of the street. The prisoners had their hands above their heads facing the street. As the vehicle stopped in front of these prisoners of war, 3 to 5 shots were fired by the accused from the turret machine gun of the tank driven by the witness. There was no fighting going on there at this time. The witness did not see the effect of the shots. SS-Werner, also a member of the 2.-SS-Pzr-Co, stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that the tank he was driving entered in Stoumont at 0700, December 19 1944. While driving along the main street of Stoumont past a point in the center of the village he saw a group of 30 to 35 American prisoners of war on the right side of the street standing in single file facing him. The prisoners had their hands clasped behind their heads and had no weapons, SS-Werner’s reached a point about midway of the column of prisoners, machine gun fire from the tank behind him shot into the prisoners who were withing his view. He saw the half of the group withing his view fall to the ground. The tank immediately behind him was that of the Company Commander SS-Christ.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved but that the Sentence of Life Imprisonment be reduced to 15 years Imprisonment commencing July 16 1946.

    #44 : Hauptsturmfuehrer Georg Preuss

    Nationality : German
    Age : 26 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS April 1939 to May 1945
    Military Status : Captain, Commander 10.-Pzr-Gren-Co, 3.-Pzr-Gren-Bn, 2.-SS-Pzr-Gren-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : Petitions of Clemency were filed by the accused father Paul Preuss on July 17 1947 and by his fiancée Irmgard Rojek, undated.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Instructions to Subordinates) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that on the night of December 15 to 16 1944, he reported the speech to his company that he had heard at SS-Diefenthal’s Battalion Command Post, which included that enemy resistance was to be broken by terror and that no prisoners of war were to be taken. This is corroborated by the testimonies of SS-Von Elling and SS-Conrad, both of them were assigned to the accused company.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Bullingen) The accused also stated therein that in the afternoon od December 17 1944, SS-Berghaus brought an unarmed and surrendered American prisoner of war, a flier, while he was near Bullingen. He interrogated the prisoner of war and prepared to leave on a reconnaissance mission when SS-Berghaus asked what to do with that prisoner of war. The accused ordered SS-Berghaus to take the prisoner out and kill him. This was done and SS-Berghaus brought back to the accused a gold wedding ring and a pair of flight officer’s trouser. This killing of the flier is corroborated by the testimony of SS-Ronles and SS-Knoblock both of whom were assigned to then accused’s company? SS-Hubler, a Sergent in the 10.-SS-Pzr-Gren-Co, testified that as he was about to leave Bullingen, SS-Brecht, another member of the 10.-SS-Pzr-Gren-Co, came toward him with 2 American prisoners of war. SS-Brecht took them out to a field and killed them.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (La Gleize) SS-Siegmund stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that while in La Gleize on December 21 1944, near the Command Post of the accused, a Sergent of the 10.-SS-Pzr-Gren-Co well described except as to the name, told SS-Siegmund that 5 unarmed and surrendered American prisoners of war were to be shot by order of the accused. Pursuant to this order SS-Siegmund and others proceeded to kill the prisoners of war. SS-Stock stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that about 1030, December 22 1944, he was in La Gleize. A messenger came from the accused to SS-Schumacher (Sgt) telling him to report to the accused immediately. SS-Schumacher complied and returned in about 10 minutes later and said that there were 20 American prisoners of war to be shot on orders. He then used the expression “Masche Masche” which could only mean that the order came from the accused. An execution detail of 5 men, including SS-Stock, went to the Church yard where the 20 prisoners were lined up their backs to the inside of the wall surrounding the Church. The detail then shot the prisoners. SS-Rauch stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that at La Gleize on December 22 1944, SS-Dutschke came to SS-Rauh and told him that 7 or 8 American prisoners of war had just been brought in and that they had to be “Bumped Off”. In this connection, SS-Dutschke said “Mashe Mashe, it is time … that they be Bumped Off”. “Mashe Mashe” was the nickname for the accused and these prisoners of war were killed by members of the accused’s unit including SS-Rauh. (Note in a more common use in the General German way to act in war, “Mashe Mashe” is more an order which mean go ahead go ahead or move move.

    Recommendation : The the Findings and Sentence be approved.

    #45 : Obergruppenfuehrer Hermann Preiss

    Nationality : German
    Age : 44 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS, 1934 to December 1944
    Military Status : Lt Gen, Commanding General I.-SS Panzer Korps, 6.-SS Panzer Army
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : 20 years commencing July 26 1946
    Petitions : No Petition for Clemency was filed.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Instructions to Subordinates) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that in the afternoon of December 15 1944 he spoke at his Command Post in Schmidtheim (Germany) to the commanding officers of the advance elements and to the division commanders. His speech was very short. The Army Order of the Day from SS-Dietrich was published at this time and each commander was reminded briefly of his mission and his duty. SS-Peiper stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he was present at the time of this speech, that the accused mentioned the meeting with Adolf Hitler, and that upon the letter’s order the fight had to be with reckless brutality and hardness. He further stated that he believed the accused used the words as they were in the Army Order of the Day when he talked about the manner in which to treat the enemy and fight him. In another extra-judicial sworn statement SS-Peiper stated that the Army Order of the Day contained statements that troops were to be preceded by a wave of terror and fright and that prisoners of war were to be shot where local conditions required it.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved.

    #46 : Sturmmann Fritz Rau

    Nationality : German
    Age : 18 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS August 1944 to May 1945
    Military Status : Pvt, Rifleman, 4.-Plat, 11.-Pzr-Gren-Co, 3.-Pzr-Gren-Bn, 2.-SS-Pzr-Gren-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Life Imprisonment
    Petitions : Petitions for Clemency were filled by the accused’s half brother Rudolf on June 24 1947 and by Otto Walter on December 13 1946.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Cheneux) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he fired at the prisoners of war in Cheneux pursuant to the orders from his superior. This is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statement from SS-Gebauer.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (La Gleize) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he fired at the prisoners in La Gleize in obedience to orders of his superior. This is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statement from SS-Gebauer.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and the Sentence be approved but the Sentence be reduced to 15 years imprisonment commencing July 16 1946

    #47 : Unterscharfuehrer Theo Rauh

    Nationality : German
    Age : 27 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organization : Waffen SS April 1943 to December 1944
    Military Status : Cpl, Driver, 4.-Plat, 11.-Pzr-Gren-Co, 3.-Pzr-Gren-Bn, 2.-SS-Pzr-Gren-Regt
    Plea :Not Guilty
    Finding : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : Petitions for Clemency were filed by the accused’s parents Konrad and Anna Rauh on July 18 1946; Karl Thurn on July 22 1946 and August 12 1946; Joh. Eder on August 13 1946; Mr. Werner on August 12 1946; Haris Kraug and 14 other persons, undated; M. Arndt on August 12 1946.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (La Gleize) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that in La Gleize on December 22 1944 he was standing by his personnel carrier when SS-Dutschke (Cpl) told the accused and other soldiers nearby that 7 or 8 American Prisoners of war had just be brought in and that they had to be “Bumped Off”. SS-Dutschke added SS-Preuss, Commander of the 10.-SS-Pzr-Gren-Co, “It’s time for it”. After SS-Dutschke had spoken one man in the group made a proposal to “Bump Off” the prisoners or war as target practice. SS-Freimuth, SS-Siegmund, 2 or 3 other men from the 10.-SS-Pzr-Gren-Co and the accused shot at the American prisoners of war which were at a short distance in front of them. This incident is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Siegmund and SS-Freimuth. The accused and witnesses named above indicate by their extra-judicial sworn statements that upon being informed by SS-Dutschke, a Corporal, that the prisoners had been brought in, the enlisted man and noncommissioned officers present, after a exchange of light conversation, agreed upon the target practice. SS-Stock, in his extra-judicial sworn statement said that in La Gleize at about 1700 December 22 1944, he saw the shooting of 6 to 8 prisoners of war by drivers of the 10.-SS-Pzr-Gren-Co and 11.-SS-Pzr-Gren-Co and that the accused was one of those who participated in this shooting.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and the Sentence be approved.

    #48 Untersturmfuehrer Heinz Rehagel

    Nationality : German
    Age : 25 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Married
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS April 1943 to May 1945
    Military Status : 2/Lt, Platoon Leader, 1.-Platoon, 7.-Pzr-Co, 1.-Pzr-Bn, 1.-SS-Pzr-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : Petitions for Clemency were filed by Guenther Fechner on October 25 1946; the accused’s wife Barbara Rehagel on August 24 1946, September 24 1946 and October 20 1946; Elsbeth Kess undated; H. Voss on August 21 1946; the accused’s parents Mr. and Mrs. Gustav Rehagel and Walter Honneberg on August 18 1946 and September 30 1946; the accused on August 10 1946 and December 12 1946, and Heinrich Lens on August 21 1946.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Instructions to Subordinates) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that on December 16 1944 pursuant to orders of his company commander he told the men of his platoon among other things “Think of your relatives at home who perished in the bomb terror; we have total war and will not take prisoners”. The fact that the platoon was instructed not to take prisoners is corroborated by the testimonies of SS-Reicke, SS-Senroth and SS-Piper.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Baugnez) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he arrived at the Crossroads on December 17 1944 and he stopped at a distance of about 30 to 40 meters beyond the Crossroads. In a pasture near, to the right side of the road, he saw American prisoners of war standing with hands upraised. Upon a direct order from SS-Christ the accused shot at the prisoners with a Anti Aircraft Machine Gun. SS-Piper, a member of the accused’s platoon testified that the accused fired 20 to 30 shots at the prisoners of war at the Crossroads after he had talked to SS-Christ.

    Recommendation : The the Findings and Sentence be approved but that the Sentence of Death by Hanging be commuted to Life Imprisonment.

    #49 : Untersturmfuehrer Rolf Roland Reiser

    Nationality : Rumanian
    Age : 25 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS July 1942 to May 1945
    Military Status : 2/Lt, Adjutant,1.-Pzr-Bn, 1.-SS-Pzr-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : 10 Years commencing July 26 1946
    Petitions : Petitions for Clemency were filed by the accused’s mother Hermina Reiser on October 14 1946; the accused’s brother Herwart Reiser on December 1 1946 and Dr. Eugen Leer on March 26 1947.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (La Gleize) SS-Hennecke, Platoon Leader, 1.-SS-Panzer-Company stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that on December 22 1944 or December 23 1944 he was in his Command Post in the cellar of a house in La Gleize. The battalion Command Post of SS-Poetschke was in another small room in the same cellar. When SS-Hennecke answered a summons from the battalion Command Post he saw that there were present in the room SS-Peiper and the accused, as well as SS-Poetschke. SS-Peiper ordered SS-Hennecke to find SS-Rumpf and direct him to provide an execution detail to shot prisoners of war. After passing on this order to SS-Rumpf, SS-Hennecke reported to SS-Peiper. At this time, the accused ordered SS-Hennecke to provide from his own company an execution detail composed of a noncommissioned officer and a few men. SS-Hennecke selected a detail and explained the mission to the men. About 1 and a 1/2 hour later the ranking man on this detail SS-Piduh (Sgt) reported to SS-Hennecke that the detail had shot “a lot” of prisoners. The accused admitted in his extra-judicial sworn statement that it was possible that he had passed on an order from SS-Peiper that SS-Hennecke should form a shooting detail. He stated that he did not remember giving such an order.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved.

    #50 : Sturmann Wolfgang Richter

    Nationality : German
    Age : 20 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS, Pvt, 1.-Plat, 11.-Pzr-Gren-Co, 3.-Pzr-Gren-Bn, 2.-SS-Pzr-Gren-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Life Imprisonment
    Petitions : Petitions for Clemency were filed by the accused’s father Erich Richter, undated and by the accused’s parents Mr. and Mrs. Erich Richter on August 20 1946, August 25 1946, April 5 1947

    Evidences for Prosecution : (La Gleize) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that on December 18 1944 he entered the town of La Gleize in a personnel carrier with his Platoon Leader SS-Klipp (Sgt). He saw 10 to 15 American prisoners of war standing with their arms raised directly before a wall surrounding the Church. The vehicle stopped and SS-Klipp gave the whole crew ab order to “Bump Off” the prisoners. When the crew began firing, the accused shot 4 or 5 rounds from his Carbine into the chest of one of the prisoners. That prisoner after being shot fell to the ground and did not move or make any noise. This incident is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Godicke and SS-Hecht.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved but that the Sentence be commuted to 15 Years Imprisonment commencing July 26 1946.

    #51 : Max Rieder

    Nationality : Unknow
    Age : Unknown
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organization : Waffen SS
    Military Status : Unknown
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : No Petition for Clemency was filed

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Baugnez) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that in the early afternoon of December 17 1944 he reached the Crossroads at Baugnez. He stopped by a pasture where he saw a great number of American Prisoners of war who had been shot. Some of them, however, were still alive. After a short conversation between SS-Bode (Sgt) SS-Losenski (Pfc) and another Sgt, SS-Bode opened fire upon the prisoners who lay on the ground and showed signs of life. SS-Losenski pointed in the direction of one prisoner who was still alive and ordered the accused to give the man a mercy shot. Feeling compelled to carry out this order, the accused shot with his Carbine and was certain that death resulted to the prisoner because he did not move any longer. This is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Jackel.
    (Note from Gunter)Sorry but something is missing – right here – in this archive.

    #52 : Rottenfuehrer Rolf Ritzer

    Nationality : German
    Age : 22 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS March 1942 to May 1945
    Military Status : Pfc, Machine Gunner, 3.-Plat, 2.-Pzr-Co, 1.-Pzr-Bn, 1.-SS-Pzr-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Life Imprisonment
    Petitions : No Petition for Clemency was filed.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Stoumont) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that during the morning of December 19 1944 between 0700 and 0800, while in Stoumont, as a crew member of one of the tanks of the 2.-SS Panzer-Company, he saw a group of 10 to 15 American prisoners of was standing unarmed with their hands raised over their heads. His tank commander, SS-Breuschke (Sgt), at once gave an order to shot these prisoners of war. The accused fired 3 or 4 bursts with his machine gun and saw a number of these American prisoners of war slump to the ground as though they were fatally wounded. By the manner the American prisoners of war were lying, it appeared that they were dead. The accused further stated that about 1400, on the same day, when he was approximately 2 kilometers from Stoumont, he saw 15 unarmed and surrendered American prisoners of war. SS-Breuschke again gave the order to shot at these prisoners of war and the accused fired 4 bursts into the group until his machine gun jammed. These prisoners fell to the ground when they were hit and lay quietly; apparently they were all dead or badly wounded. As he shot he noticed tracer streaks from the tank behind go into the group of prisoners. The participation of the killing of prisoners of war in Stoumont and the killing of prisoners of war 2 kilometers outside Stoumont is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Szyperszki, the dribver of the accused’s tank.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved but the Sentence be reduced to 15 Years Imprisonment commencing July 16 1946.

    #53 : Scharfuehrer Axel Rodenburg

    Nationality : German
    Age : 21 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Unknown
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS, April 1942 to May 1945
    Military Status : Sgt, Personnel Carrier Driver, 2.-Plat, 12.-Pzr-Gren-Co, 3.-Pzr-Gren-Bn, 2.-SS-Pzr-Gren-Regt
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : A Petition for Clemency was filed by the accused’s mother, Lora Rodenburg on September 2 1946.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (La Gleize) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that during the afternoon of December 22 1944 or December 23 1944, he was in his Command Post in a house in La Gleize. He heard someone shout “Bum Them Off”. He then looked out of the windows and saw 3 American unarmed and surrendered prisoners of war walking along the side of the house. The prisoners were unarmed and had their hands raised. A German guard was walking 5 to 8 meters behind them. The accused armed his pistol, aimed at the middle prisoner and shot. His investigation revealed that the prisoner was killed. The occurence of this incident is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Schwambach and SS-Weis.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and Sentence be approved but the Sentence be commuted to 15 Years Imprisonment commencing July 16 1946.

    #54 : Obersturmfuehrer Erich Rumpf

    Nationality : German
    Age : 24 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Married
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS, September 1939 to May 1945
    Military Status : 1/Lt, Commander 9.-Pzr-Pio-Co, 1.-SS-Panzer-Regiment
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : Petitions for Clemency were filled by the Antifascist Democratic Committee of Bleicherode on October 7 1946; the accused’s wife Elly Rumpf on September 16 1946 and the accused’s parents Friedrich and Liedy Rumpf on July 23 1946.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Instructions to Subordinates) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that on December 13 1944 he read to his company a regimental order which stated, among other things, that a situation could arise that prisoners of war have to be shot and, if necessary, resistance was to be broken by terror. However, he did not give explicit order not to take prisoners of war nor did he add anything to the order in regard of the prisoners of war. The content of this order is corroborated by SS-Gruhle’s extra-judicial sworn statement.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Honsfeld) SS-Neve stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that during the morning of December 17 1944 just before he entered the town of Honsfeld, he passed a Personnel Carrier of the 9.-Panzer-Pioneer-Company. He saw a group of 10 to 12 American unarmed and surrendered prisoners of war on the left side of the road. Nearby was an officer of the 9.-Pzr-Pio-Co, whom he later designed as the accused. SS-Neve heard the accused say to 3 or 4 German soldiers “Go On Bump Them Off”.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Baugnez) SS-von-Chamier stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he saw the accused at the Crossroads in Baugnez. The accused shouted to SS-von-Chamier and the other men in his personnel carrier to get their weapons and follow him. The accused led them to a pasture where about 90 American unarmed and surrendered prisoners of war were standing. He then gave them the order to shot the prisoners. In compliance with the order they opened fire. This incident is corroborated with the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Rieder. The presence of the accused at the Crossroads in Baugnez in the afternoon of December 17 1944 is established by the extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Clotten; SS-Sprenger; SS-Hofmann (J); SS-Jakel and SS-Schaeffer.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (La Gleize) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that on December 21 1944 at La Gleize, SS-Peiper ordered him to select a detail to shot some prisoners of war. The accused went then to the cellar and designated SS-Maute (Sgt) and 3 or 4 others to compose the detail. He ordered them to go to the Church and shot some prisoners who were standing there. The accused does not recall if SS-Mate reported back to him. This incident is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Hennecke; SS-Hofmann (J); SS-Jakel; SS-Reider and SS-Neve.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and the Sentence be approved.

    #55 : Oberscharfuehrer Willi Schaefer

    Nationality : German
    Age : 25 (May 1946)
    Civilian Status : Married
    Nazi Organizations : Waffen SS, April 1940 to May 1945
    Military Status : S/Sgt, Group Leader, HQs Plat, 3.-Pzr-Pio-Co, 1.-SS-Pzr-Pio-Bn
    Plea : Not Guilty
    Findings : Guilty
    Sentence : Death by Hanging
    Petitions : Petitions for Clemency were filed by Dr. Otto Cratz on December 19 1946, June 26 1947 and September 9 1947; the accused’s wife Ruth Schaefer on May 8 1947; the accused’s parents Paul and Susanne Schaefer on March 22 1947; the accused’s sisters Elisabeth Schertz and Anni Horner on March 22 1947.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (La Gleize) SS-Sprenger stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that he was in the cellar of a house in La Gleize on December 22 1944 talking to a member of his company, SS-Goldschmidt, who told him that 15 American prisoners of war had been shot in the back of the Schoolhouse by the accused and others.

    Evidences for Prosecution : (Stoumont) The accused stated in his extra-judicial sworn statement that in the early morning hours of December 19 1944 in Stoumont, he was standing with his company commender SS-Sievers, when 2 apparently unarmed soldiers approached carrying a wounded German soldier. When the accused inquired has what should be done with the Americans, SS-Sievers answered that they should be shot. Thereupon, the accused passed on the order to SS-Sprenger, who took the Americans away and returned shortly with the report that he had executed the order. This incident is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statement of SS-Hofmann (J) and SS-Sprenger, both of whom were assigned to the accused company. The accused further stated that while they were in the same vicinity (Stoumont) 2 other Americans were seen carrying an wounded American soldier on an improved litter. Again, Sievers gave the accused the order to have the Americans killed. This time, the accused transmitted the order to and he went along with SS-Bilotschesky, SS-Greber and SS-Sprenger. While the accused was standing at the place of the shooting he saw the bodies of the 2 first Americans lying in the street. The accused remained at the place of shooting until he saw the 3 additional prisoners lying dead. The incident is corroborated by the extra-judicial sworn statements of SS-Neve and SS-Sprenger.

    Recommendation : That the Findings and the Sentence be approver.

    An image of the entirely devastated Crossroads at Baugnez Malmedy in the late Dec 1944 and an image of the Malmedy trial with some of these Waffen SS ‘heroic’ soldiers facing their deeds.

    #11 – SS Oberstgruppenführer Josef Sepp Dietrich, CG 6 SS Panzer Army, #33 – SS-Brigadeführer Fritz Kraemer, German Waffen-SS and Heer officer, DCO 6 SS Panzer Army, #45 – SS Brigadefuhrer und Generalmajor der Waffen SS Hermann Preiss, CO I SS-Panzer Corps Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler (LSSAH), #42 – SS Oberstrumbahnfuehrer Joachim Peiper, CO 1 SS Panzer Regiment (1 SS Panzer Division) Kampfgruppe Peiper



    Note finished yet – I’ll had more text every day

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