Career, crimes and trial of SS-Stubaf. Gustav Knittel...

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TimoWr
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Career, crimes and trial of SS-Stubaf. Gustav Knittel...

Post by TimoWr » Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:06 am

My book "Career, crimes and trial of SS-Sturmbannführer Gustav Knittel" is now available at:

http://www.boekenbestellen.nl/boek/gust ... 52?lang=en

Binding : Paperback
Size : 176mm x 250mm
Total pages : 541

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krichter33
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Re: Career, crimes and trial of SS-Stubaf. Gustav Knittel...

Post by krichter33 » Sat Jul 02, 2016 5:33 pm

Excellent!!!
Klaus Richter

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Re: Career, crimes and trial of SS-Stubaf. Gustav Knittel...

Post by TimoWr » Sat Jul 09, 2016 3:24 am

The book will also be available in the bookshop of the December 44 Historical Museum in La Gleize...

http://www.december44.com/en/the-museum.htm

...in the bookshop of the Baugnez 44 Historical Centre...

http://www.baugnez44.be/en/news.htm

...and in the Octa Librairie Allée Verte in Stavelot...

https://www.facebook.com/avia.librairiealleeverte

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Re: Career, crimes and trial of SS-Stubaf. Gustav Knittel...

Post by TimoWr » Sat Jul 23, 2016 1:34 am

Upon hearing their name called out, each individual defendant walked down the steps of the dock and up to the bench to learn his fate from the judges who read out their verdict. Sentencing was swift. Defendant number 1, Valentin Bersin, sentenced to death by hanging; defendant number 2, Friedel Bode, death by hanging; number 4, Willy Braun, sentenced to life imprisonment; number 5, Kurt Briesemeister, death by hanging. It only took two minutes on average to read out each sentence. Defendant number 9, Manfred Coblenz, life imprisonment; defendant number 11, Sepp Dietrich, life imprisonment. The film cameras kept rolling. Defendants number 26, 27, 28, 29 and 30, death by hanging. “Gustav Knittel!” It took him only a few big steps to get from the top row of the dock down to the bench where he stood ramrod in front of the judges as if at attention. Dalbey read out the sentence:

“The court in closed session with at least two-thirds of the members present at the time the vote was taken concurring, sentences you to life imprisonment and that's forthwith of such places that may be designated by competent military authority.”

A German interpreter translated the verdict for Knittel, who turned on his heels before the full translation was over, the only words he had needed to hear were ‘Lebenslängliche Freiheitsstrafe’. With his head held high and face impassive he marched out of the courtroom guarded by two American MPs, no doubt absorbing his escape from the hangman’s noose. The judge continued his sentencing: defendant number 42, Joachim Peiper, death by hanging; defendant number 45, Hermann Priess, twenty years. After two hours and twenty minutes, forty three death penalties and thirty prison sentences had been passed.

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Re: Career, crimes and trial of SS-Stubaf. Gustav Knittel...

Post by TimoWr » Thu Aug 04, 2016 1:08 am

The 18th of December 1944 - After crossing Stavelot SS-Obersturmführer Manfred Coblenz paused his halftracks at the western edge of Stavelot near the ‘Les Quartiers‘ villa and waited for the rest of the Aufklärungsabteilung to follow but nothing happened. Coblenz’ company left the western edge of Stavelot in the direction of Trois-Ponts at 15.00hrs which means members of his outfit are plausible suspects in the murder of 53-year old Tony Lambert, who was shot dead at the doorstep of his villa at approximately the same time:

“Shortly after 15.00hrs, Mr. Lambert saw two SS men approach the main entrance with drawn revolvers [sic]. He calmed his frightened wife and went to open [the door]. He was gunned down without a word. After the SS had committed their crime, they asked [the people] inside: ‘are there any Americans here?’ The governess of the children answered: ‘only civilians, come see for yourself.’ The SS replied grinning: ‘You didn’t think we would come back, did you? We will recapture Brussels and Paris.’ They then turned to Mrs. Lambert, who had heard the shots but did not yet know what had happened to her husband, and asked her something to drink. The unfortunate obeyed with the help of her second daughter Claudine and offered them beer and wine. One German pushed his revolver [sic] against the girl’s chest and demanded cognac. When Mrs. Lambert went to get the alcohol, she noticed her husband’s lifeless body through the glass door of the salon. Satisfied [with the alcohol] the SS [men] left the house but almost immediately two others showed up who also demanded cognac. More dead than alive, Mrs. Lambert handed them all the alcohol she had. The two soldiers also left the house. Nobody dared to go up to the ground floor to bring in the body of Mr. Lambert before it was dark. German tanks continued to drive by and fired their machine guns soon as they saw somebody move. As it was dark by 17.00hrs, the family could get the corpse of Mr. Lambert inside and shut the door.”

Photo: the ‘Les Quartiers‘ villa photographed before the battle...

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krichter33
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Re: Career, crimes and trial of SS-Stubaf. Gustav Knittel...

Post by krichter33 » Mon Aug 15, 2016 9:42 pm

Timo Worst's book "Career, crimes and trial of SS-Sturmbannführer Gustav Knittel" is one of the better world war 2 biographies I have read in a long time. It is an unbiased piece of heavily researched history, that presents all aspects of the man, both the good and the bad, without any judgement or over-emotional language. I have read biographies before that either try to glorify the subject by downplaying the negative aspects of the person's life, or the opposite, where they focus primarily on the negative and not much else. For example the biographies by Marcel Stein tend to focus only on the negative aspects of their lives at the expense of a more detailed history. Whereas, Newton's Model bio, and Melvin's Manstein bio present all aspects of the individuals in question. The entire life of the individual is presented in a non biased fashion, where the positive and negative are detailed in proper context. They are not hagiographies but neither are they "hit pieces." Then there are the books that are primarily focused only on the "positive" aspect of the individual's life, such as their military career, without mention of possible war crimes and other negatives. Books primarily on certain WSS personalities, though well researched, at times tend to "gloss over" these "inconveniences." This is unfortunate since it only lessens the true historical worth of the author's intense labors. Worst's book is the perfect example of how a military biography should be written. The amount of source material, and first person accounts is amazing enough as it is. But the presentation of a definitely controversial subject in such a professional manner is even more amazing. Along with the previous books mentioned by Melvin and Newton, Danny Parker's Peiper biography is another example of a professional piece of historiography. A good comparison between a professional unemotional book and the opposite would be comparing Parker's book with a previous Peiper bio that was released a few years ago. Both books contain a lot of the same material, however Parker's book comes off as being the professional piece of history, whereas the other reads quite poorly due to its extremely opinionated and emotional language. Both Parker and Worst have been able to write non biased history, presenting all the facts as objectively as possible without the emotionalism that sometimes pervades this subject. The portions of the book that Timo has posted on this message board should show adequate proof of the style and substance of the book. Worst details Knittel's life from beginning to end, with great focus on his combat career as well as post war tribulations. It is a truly fascinating story of a man living in a violent time, and the consequences of actions that can never be undone. The book is not pretentious, and does not pretend to claim any form of moral authority. It simply tells a brilliantly fascinating story of a tragedy...
Klaus Richter



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Re: Career, crimes and trial of SS-Stubaf. Gustav Knittel...

Post by TimoWr » Thu Sep 15, 2016 12:17 pm

The hardcover edition of the book is now available...

Binding : Hardback
Size : 176mm x 250mm
Total pages : 541
ISBN : 9789492475558

http://www.boekenbestellen.nl/boek/gust ... 58?lang=en

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Re: Career, crimes and trial of SS-Stubaf. Gustav Knittel...

Post by TimoWr » Sat Nov 05, 2016 5:08 am

Austria, June 1941: Knittel with his young German Shepherd Rex (photo courtesy of Trevor R. Soltys). In the background the Benedictine Abbey above the town of Melk on the border of the Danube River. The town is situated on the main road from Munich to Vienna and the photo was probably taken when Knittel returned from home leave and drove from Neu-Ulm to Brünn via Munich and Vienna. The car is probably a 1938 Buick Type 48.

SS-Obersturmführer Hans-Martin Leidreiter had fond memories of ‘Rexi’ but also recalled: “poor Rexi – a very dark night somewhere in Russia he was erroneously shot by a guard! Knittel was very upset and affected.” (Letter from Hans-Martin Leidreiter to the author, dated the 1st of July 2005).

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Re: Career, crimes and trial of SS-Stubaf. Gustav Knittel...

Post by pauljw » Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:59 am

I just finished the book and I must say it is a first class work of literature . It is easy to see that over 15 years of research went into it. Great information on the different units/company's and men of the Aufklarungsabteilung LSSAH. Very detailed section on the Reconnaissance/fast companies during the Ardennes offensive. It neither glorifies Knittel nor attempts to gloss over his misdeeds. Much like the Parker books on Peiper, Worsts book just lays out all the facts and lets the reader come to his or her own conclusions of Knittel. Thanks Timo for your dedication and hard work to bring this book to fruition.

pauljw

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