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Nuremberg Executions 1946 - What Happened to the Bodies?


Germany 1946 ▶ Generalfeldmarschall Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst Paulus - Nuremberg War Criminals Trial

052 Germany 1946 ▶ General Field Marshal Generalfeldmarschall Friedrich Wilhelm Ernst Paulus - Stalingrad Trial Nuremberg Nürnberg
German History Archive ▶
Subtitles: German, English, Russian

At first Paulus refused to collaborate with the Soviets. However, after the attempted assassination of Hitler on 20 July 1944, he became a vocal critic of the Nazi regime while in Soviet captivity, joining the Soviet-sponsored National Committee for a Free Germany appealing to Germans to surrender. He later acted as a witness for the prosecution at the Nuremberg Trials. He was allowed to move to the German Democratic Republic in 1953, two years before the repatriation of the remaining German POWs. During the Nuremberg Trials, Paulus was asked about the Stalingrad prisoners by a journalist. He told the journalist to tell the wives and mothers that their husbands and sons were well. Of the 91,000 German prisoners taken at Stalingrad, half had died on the march to Siberian prison camps, and nearly as many died in captivity; only about 6,000 survived and returned home. From 1953-56 he lived in Dresden, East Germany, where he worked as the civilian chief of the East German Military History Research Institute. In late 1956 he developed amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and became progressively weaker. He died within a few months, in Dresden, on 1 February 1957, 14 years and one day after his surrender at Stalingrad. As part of his last will and testament, his body was transported to Baden-Baden, West Germany, to be buried at the Hauptfriedhof (main cemetery) next to his wife, who had died eight years earlier in 1949, not having seen her husband since his departure for the Eastern Front in the summer of 1942.

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The hanging of Rudolf Hoess at Auschwitz


The site of the execution of Rudolf Höss quite close to his former office and the gas chamber in crematorium one at Auschwitz where he was commandant from 1940 - 1943.

In the last days of the war, Höss disguised himself evading arrest for close to a year. When he was captured by British troops on 11 March 1946, he was disguised as a farmer and called himself Franz Lang. His wife had told the British where he could be found. After being questioned by his captors, Höss confessed his real identity.

During the Nuremberg Trials, he appeared as a witness in the trials of Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Oswald Pohl, and the IG Farben corporation. On 25 May 1946, he was handed over to Polish authorities who tried him. Höss was sentenced to death on 2 April 1947. The sentence was carried out on 16 April 1946 on the site seen in this film.

Höss wrote his autobiography while awaiting execution.

Four days before he was hanged, Höss sent a message to the state prosecutor, including these comments:

My conscience compels me to make the following declaration. In the solitude of my prison cell I have come to the bitter recognition that I have sinned gravely against humanity. As Commandant of Auschwitz I was responsible for carrying out part of the cruel plans of the Third Reich for human destruction. In so doing I have inflicted terrible wounds on humanity. I caused unspeakable suffering for the Polish people in particular. I am to pay for this with my life. May the Lord God forgive what I have done.

16th October 1946 - The End Of The Nazis (1946)

Title reads: October 16th 1946.

Nuremberg, Germany.

Aftermath of executions of Nazi war criminals tried at Nuremberg Trials.

General exterior view of Nuremberg prison. Various shots of American officer entering a reinforced door with sign Jugendarrest, he shows his pass to a guard. Various shots of gloomy corridors of cells in the prison. C/U of US Military guard looking through spy hole into cell of Hermann Goering. He then looks into cells of Joachim Von Ribbentrop and Arthur Seyss-Inquart.

C/U of pile of letters written to Pathe News on desk of producer Howard Thomas. Narrator says: ... in the nations press and screens we asked for your opinion - should we show pictures of the hangings or should we not. Here are the first of your replies. Of the 980 letters addressed to Pathe News, London 950 said 'You must not screen the execution pictures'.

L/S of prison exterior. C/U of church bell ringing.

FILM ID:1412.14



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The Nuremberg Trials (1945)

Full title reads: The Nuremberg Trials

Nuremberg, Germany.

VS Court Assembling.

MS Lord Chief Justice Geoffrey Lawrence opening court. Intercut with shots of German Nazi leaders as the indictment is read. Goering is listening on headphones, Hess is gazing around the room.

LS Goering attempting to make speech.

MS Hermann Goering, Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, Dr Wilhelm Frick, Striecher, Dr Walter Funk, Schacht, Admiral Raeder, Gaulitier Seyss-Inquart, Dr Albert Speer, Shirach, Joachim Von Ribbentrop, Rudolf Hess, declaring themselves not guilty (not in this order).

Rear shots of Justice Jackson reading indictment.

Various shots of War Criminals in various attitudes

Rear shots of Major Coogan reading indictment.

Various shots of War Criminals in various attitudes.

Various Court Scenes including shots of American Military Police Guard.
FILM ID:1171.01



British Pathé also represents the Reuters historical collection, which includes more than 136,000 items from the news agencies Gaumont Graphic (1910-1932), Empire News Bulletin (1926-1930), British Paramount (1931-1957), and Gaumont British (1934-1959), as well as Visnews content from 1957 to the end of 1984. All footage can be viewed on the British Pathé website.

58 Nazis Sentenced To Hang: Dachau Trials (1946) | British Pathé

WARNING: Loud beeping noise throughout this video.

58 Nazi soldiers are sentenced to hang for war crimes at a trial held at the Dachau concentration camp in 1946.

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(FILM ID:1400.02)

Item title reads - 58 nazis sentenced to hang.


Various shots as nazis in charge of Malthausen concentration camp receive death sentences before military court at Dachau. C/U's of Germans as each hears sentence of death passed upon him by General Prickett.

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Nazi leader's son: 'Don't trust us' Germans - BBC News

Germany could return to authoritarianism if the economic conditions were to seriously worsen in the country, the son of Hans Frank the governor general of Nazi occupied Poland during World War Two, has told BBC Hardtalk. As long as our economy is great, and as long as we make money everything is very democratic, said Niklas Frank, but if we have five to 10 years heavy economic problems the swamp is a lake, and is a sea and will swallow again, everything, he added. Niklas Frank said he despises his father for the crimes he committed while he was governor-general of Poland from 1939 to 1945, and tours Germany giving speeches about his father and the legacy of the Nazi era. Hans Frank was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity at the Nuremberg trials and executed in 1946.

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Former Prime Minister of France, Pierre Laval, is executed for treason, Paris, Fr...HD Stock Footage

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Former Prime Minister of France, Pierre Laval, is executed for treason, Paris, France.

Pierre Laval executed for treason in Paris, France. View of Prime Minister Pierre Laval with Nazi officers, during the German occupation of France, in World War II. A military firing squad and an empty hearse enter the prison where Pierre Laval is held. Several people standing in countryside with prison in background. Sound of rifle fire. The hearse carries Laval's body to a cemetery. Location: Paris France. Date: October 15, 1945.

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Adolf Eichmann Hanged - 1962 | Today In History | 31 May 17

On May 31, 1962, Gestapo official Adolf Eichmann was hanged in Israel for his role in the Holocaust.

While waiting for the result of her husband's appeal, Mrs Eichmann flew to Germany, where she was taken on a sight-seeing tour by the daughter of an American Rabbi. Among the places she visited was the Beer-Hall in Munich from which the first Nazi putsch was organized. Following the failure of his plea to the Israeli President, Adolf Eichmann paid the supreme penalty.

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1945 Lost German Girl

Expulsed German girl in despair, beaten (maybe raped), filmed on a country road near the Czech border.

The merciless revenge perpetrated on the entire German civilian population of Eastern Europe during the closing stages of the war, and for many months after, took the lives of over 2,100,000 ethnic German men, women and children. For generations these Germans had lived and toiled in areas that today are part of central and Eastern Europe. Around fifteen million of these Volksdeutsche were driven from their homes and ancestral lands in Poland, East Prussia, Silesia, Ukraine, Belarus and Serbia and forced back into the Allied occupied zones of Germany. This was the greatest forcible evacuation of people in European history. It is estimated that of the eight million Germans expelled from Poland around 1,600,000 died in the process. In Czechoslovakia, memories of the Lidice massacre inspired acts of revenge against German soldiers and civilians. Soldiers were disarmed, tied to stakes, doused with petrol and set alight. Wounded German soldiers in hospital were shot in their beds, others were hung up on lamposts in Wenzell Square and fires were lit beneath them so that they died the gruesome death of being roasted alive. These ethnic Germans lived in fear of the Russians but no one thought that the dreadful fate which awaited them would not even emanate from the Soviets at all but from their own neighbours, the Czechs!
Thousands of innocent German residents were murdered in their homes by the Czechs, others were forced into interment camps where they were beaten and maltreated before being expelled. Bishop Beranek of Prague declared: 'If a Czech comes to me and confesses to having killed a German, I absolve him immediately'. The Americans, utterly blind to the political consequences of allowing the Soviets to liberate Czechoslovakia, halted at the Karlsbad-Pilsen-Budweis line. The Sudeten Germans now had no protection from the torrent of bestiality vented on them by the Czechs. In Brno, 25,000 German civilians were forced marched at gun-point to the Austrian border. There, the Austrian guards refused them entry, the Czech guards refused to re-admit them. Herded into an open field they died by the hundreds from hunger and cold before being rescued by the US 16th Tank Division on May 8th 1945. In the Russian occupied zones of Eastern Europe and in Germany, hundreds of thousands of civilian men and women, Poles, Czechs, Romanians and Germans, were transported to the Urals in the Soviet Union and used as slave labourers until released in the late 40s. Mostly ignored by the world's press, the unimaginable suffering experienced by the expellees is largely unknown outside Germany, yet it was systematically carried out in a brutal fashion as official Allied policy in accordance with the decisions formulated at Yalta and Potsdam.
Around the small Bavarian village of Postberg (Postoloprty) in the province of Saazerland on the Bavarian-Czech border, hundreds of German men, women and children were shot to death during the Czech 'ethnic cleansing'. All German civilian residents in the province were rounded up by Czech soldiers and communist partisans and marched to a collection point in Postberg. There they were interned and beaten, many were executed. On September 17, 1947, a number of mass graves were discovered in and around Postberg. Thirty-four bodies were found in the village itself, another four nearby at Weinberg and twenty-six in an old sandpit at Schuladen. At Lewanitzer, 349 corpses were unearthed and another 103 bodies were exhumed from another mass grave. Ten corpses were found in a sand pit at Kreuz along with another 225 bodies in a mass grave at the local school.
At the military barracks five bodies were found and seven were buried under house No. 74. During investigations only one Czech, Vojtech Cerny, admitted to participating in the shooting and killing of four Germans. In all, a total of 763 Germans were murdered. A law, passed by the Czech authorities (The Benesch law: No115/1946) stated that all Czech crimes against Germans were not legible to penalty.

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February 22nd 1943 - Execution of Hans and Sophie Scholl | HISTORY CALENDAR

TODAY IN HISTORY: In 1942 The Munich students Hans and Sophie Scholl, Christoph Probst, Willi Graf and Alexander Schmorell form the resistance group White Rose. The Christian and humanistic ideals of their families had greatly influenced them. The male members had, as soldiers witnessed mass executions of Jews and of Soviet civilians. They also recognized that the war was going to be lost. In a number of leaflets they had called for resistance against the Nazi regime. They also wrote on building walls, Down with Hitler and freedom. The Gestapo had long searched for the perpetrators without result. After the defeat at Stalingrad the members of the White Rose again distributed a leaflet, which spoke out against the war policies of the Third Reich. As they were passing out the leaflet at the University of Munich, the Scholls were observed and then arrested on February 18th 1943. The other members of the White Rose were arrested in the aftermath. On February 22nd 1943 the Scholl siblings and Christoph Probst were presented before the Peoples Court under Roland Freisler and sentenced to death by guillotine. The sentence was carried out on the same day at the Munich prison Stadelheim.

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In Tokyo the War Crimes Trial has begun.

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The Tokyo Trial Explained

The Tokyo Trial saw the end of the Japanese Empire’s brutal regime. But yet it’s barely mentioned in history. Today I seek to change that.


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Nuremberg Day 83-84 Goering (translated captions)

After the conclusion of the direct examination by Goering's counsel, Dr. Stahmer, Goering was questioned by 14 Defense Counsel other than his own. The testimony covered March 16 and 18, 1946. In this excerpt, Walter Funk's counsel asks about Funk's role. Thereafter, Von Ribbentrop's counsel, Dr. Horn, questions Goering concerning his client's role as Foreign Minister after Feb. 1938. Foreign policy above all was the Fuehrer's own realm. Thereafter, Robert H. Jackson commenced his much anticipated cross-examination. For further information, see

The capture and trial of Adolf Eichmann

“Operation Finale” is a travelling exhibition that tells the story of the pursuit of the Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann, who made his way to Argentina after World War II. At his trial, Eichmann insisted that he was “just following orders” when he arranged for millions of European Jews to be transported to death camps. Jim Axelrod examines the actual glass booth that Eichmann sat in during his trial in Israel, and spoke with former Mossad agent Avner Abraham, who curated the exhibit, now at the Florida Holocaust Museum in St. Petersburg.

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Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) - We Were Doing Our Duty Scene (9/11) | Movieclips

Judgment at Nuremberg movie clips:

E. Hahn & F. Hofstetter defend themselves claiming to have upheld the law as it was written.

After the end of World War II, the world gradually became aware of the full extent of the war crimes perpetrated by the Third Reich. In 1948, a series of trials were held in Nuremberg, Germany, by an international tribunal, headed by American legal and military officials, with the intent of bringing to justice those guilty of crimes against humanity. However, by that time most of the major figures of the Nazi regime were either dead or long missing, and in the resulting legal proceedings American judges often found themselves confronting the question of how much responsibility someone held who had just followed orders. Judgment at Nuremberg is a dramatized version of the proceedings at one of these trials, in which Judge Dan Haywood (Spencer Tracy) is overseeing the trials of four German judges -- most notably Dr. Ernst Janning (Burt Lancaster) and Emil Hahn (Werner Klemperer) -- accused of knowingly sentencing innocent men to death in collusion with the Nazis. Representing the defense is attorney Hans Rolfe (Maximilian Schell), while prosecuting the accused is U.S. Col. Tad Lawson (Richard Widmark). As the trial goes on, both the visiting Americans and their reluctant German hosts often find themselves facing the legacy of the war, and how both of their nations have been irrevocably changed by it. Judgment at Nuremberg also features notable supporting performances by Marlene Dietrich, Judy Garland, and Montgomery Clift. Originally written and produced as a play for television, the screen version of Judgment at Nuremberg was nominated for 11 Academy Awards, with Maximilian Schell and Abby Mann taking home Oscars for (respectively) Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay.

TM & © MGM (1961)
Cast: Martin Brandt, Werner Klemperer, Spencer Tracy
Director: Stanley Kramer
Producers: Stanley Kramer, Philip Langner
Screenwriters: Montgomery Clift, Abby Mann

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Last Stand at Sea 1942 - The USS Edsall Mystery

The last stand of the American destroyer USS Edsall, that staged a last stand against a huge Japanese fleet off Java in 1942, remained a mystery until 1980. Here is the full story.

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Interior shots - SCU & CU Kingsbury Smith speaking about what he saw of of the Nazis being hanged.

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Old Macabre English Execution Coin-Op

For a payment of 20 pence you can send the little chap to his maker.
The standard drop, which arrived as calculated in English units, involves a drop of between 4 and 6 feet (1.2 and 1.8 m) and came into use from 1866, when the scientific details were published by an Irish doctor, Samuel Haughton. Immediately its use spread to English-speaking countries and those where judicial systems had an English origin. It was considered a humane improvement on the short drop because it was intended to be enough to break the person's neck, causing immediate paralysis and immobilization (and probable immediate unconsciousness). This method was used to execute condemned Nazis under United States jurisdiction after the Nuremberg Trials including Joachim von Ribbentrop and Ernst Kaltenbrunner. In the execution of Ribbentrop, historian Giles MacDonogh records that: The hangman botched the execution and the rope throttled the former foreign minister for twenty minutes before he expired.
Nazis executed under British jurisdiction, including Josef Kramer, Fritz Klein, Irma Grese and Elisabeth Volkenrath, were hanged by Albert Pierrepoint using the variable drop method devised by William Marwood.
The long drop:
This process, also known as the measured drop, was introduced to Britain in 1872 by William Marwood as a scientific advancement to the standard drop. Instead of everyone falling the same standard distance, the person's height, weight and strength were used to determine how much slack would be provided in the rope so that the distance dropped would be enough to ensure that the neck was broken but not so much that the person was decapitated.
Prior to 1892, the drop was between four and ten feet (about one to three metres), depending on the weight of the body, and was calculated to deliver a force of 1,260 lbf (5,600 newtons or 572 kgf), which fractured the neck at either the 2nd and 3rd or 4th and 5th cervical vertebrae. However, this force resulted in some decapitations, such as the famous case of Black Jack Tom Ketchum in New Mexico Territory in 1901. Between 1892 and 1913, the length of the drop was shortened to avoid decapitation. After 1913, other factors were also taken into account, and the force delivered was reduced to about 1,000 lbf (4,400 N or 450 kgf). The decapitation of Eva Dugan during a botched hanging in 1930 led the state of Arizona to switch to the gas chamber as its primary execution method, on the grounds that it was believed more humane. One of the more recent decapitations as a result of the long drop occurred when Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti was hanged in Iraq in 2007.

Luftwaffe War Crimes

- Sources
American Legation, Bern - Switzerland to Secretary of State, Feb 28, 1945;

Arnold Suppan, Nationalsozialistische Herrschaft in Jugoslawien 1941-1945 in Arnold Suppan, Hitler – Benes – Tito, Konflikte, Krieg und Völkermord in Ostmittel- und Südosteuropa, Austrian Academy of Sciences Press;

Bas van Benda-Beckmann, The German Catastrophe? German historians and the Allied Bombings, 1945-2010, AUP Dissertation Series: 2010;

CAMO, Merkblatt 205 – Merkblatt für den Arbeitseinsatz der sowjetischen Kriegsgefangenen im Bereich der Luftwaffe, December 1943;

Constanze Werner, Kriegswirtschaft und Zwangsarbeit bei BMW, Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, 2005.

Corum, James S.: Die Luftwaffe, ihre Führung und Doktrin und die Frage der Kriegsverbrechen, in: Wette, Wolfram; Ueberschär,
Gerd R. (Ed..): Kriegsverbrechen im 20. Jahrhundert. Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft: 2001;

Daniel Uziel, Arming the Luftwaffe – The German Aviation Industry in World War II, MacFarland & Company: 2012;

Hermann Knell, To Destroy a City, Da Capo Press: 2003;

Horst Boog, Der anglo-amerikanische strategische Luftkrieg über Europa und die deutsche Luftverteidigung, p.650 in, Horst Boog et al. Die Welt im Krieg 1941-1943, Band 1 (see also Deutsche Reich und der 2. Weltkrieg, Band 6), Fischer Taschenbuch: 1992;

Horst Boog, Strategischer Luftkrieg in Europa und Reichsverteidigung 1943-1944, p.329, in Horst Boog et al. Das Deutsche Reich und der Zweite Weltkrieg – Band 7: Das Deutsche Reich in der Defensive, dva: 2001;

E.R. Hooton, Eagles in Flames, Arms and Armour: 1997;

Ernst Klee, Auschwitz, die NS-Medizin und ihre Opfer, Fischer Taschenbuch: 2015 (6th ed.);

Karl Heinz Roth, Tödliche Höhen, in Angelika Ebbinghaus und Klaus Dörner, Vernichten und Heilen: Der Nürnberger Aerzteprozeß und seine Folgen, Aufbau-Verlag: 2001;

Mark Clapson, The Blitz Companion, University of Westminster Press, London: 2019;

Manfred Messerschmidt, Strategischer Luftkrieg und Völkerrecht, p.353 in, Horst Boog [Hrsg]. Willi Boelke, Luftkriegführung im Zweiten Weltkrieg: ein interationaler Vergleich, Mittler Verlag: 1993

Marshall De Bruhl, Allied Airpower and the Destruction of Dresden, 1998 Kindle Edition;

Office of the US Chief Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality, Nazi Conspiracy and Aggression – Opinion and Judgement, US Government Printing Office, Washington: 1947, p. 3-4

Richard Overy, The Bombing War, Penguin Books: 1994;

Rolf Winau, Der Menschenversuch in der Medizin, in Angelika Ebbinghaus und Klaus Dörner, Vernichten und Heilen: Der Nürnberger Aerzteprozeß und seine Folgen, Aufbau-Verlag: 2001;

US Department of Defense, Annual report of the DVA Advisory Committee on Former Prisoners of War, 1999;

Wolfgang Benz, Dr. Med. Sigmund Rascher, in Dachauer Hefte 4, Medizin im NS-Staat; Täter, Opfer, Handlanger. dtv: 1988.

- Timecodes
00:00 - Intro
00:25 - Luftwaffe as part of Armed Forces
01:40 - Defining War Crimes
02:58 - Luftwaffe War Crimes (incomplete overview)
03:48 - Terror Bombing
09:38 - V-Weapons
10:14 - Slave labor
11:10 - Human Experimentation
16:26 - Treatment of PoW
19:25 - Conclusion

#ww2 #luftwaffe

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