Piano wire.

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Patrick
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Post by Patrick » Mon Oct 18, 2004 8:27 pm

Here's the room at Plotzensee prison where many of the 20 July plotters were executed.

Image
Cheers,

Patrick

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awaygood
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Post by awaygood » Mon Nov 01, 2004 2:57 am

Without wishing to be 'picky', pictures are 'hung' whereas people are 'hanged'.

fredric
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Post by fredric » Fri Apr 01, 2005 6:14 pm

As a researcher/historian focusing on the Nazi Judicial System, I may be able to answer some of the questions regarding the execution the the 20 Juli plotters.

1. They were not hanged with piano wire. This is a myth as is the idea that they were impaled on butcher's hooks. They were hanged using nooses of thin cord, double-looped with slip knots. One loop went around the victim's neck, the other over a butcher hook which was affixed to a steel beam imbedded at each end in the brick walls of the execution chamber. The noosed victim was lifted by two assistants and the executioner, in this case Wilhelm Rottger, slid the other knot of the cord over the hook. The victim was then lowered, the knot tightened and the victim strangled.
Researching the position of the Scharfrichter in Nazi and pre-WW2 society

fredric
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20th Bomb Plot Executions

Post by fredric » Fri Apr 01, 2005 11:33 pm

The Court proceedings were filmed and these sound-films survived the war. They are readily available. The Propaganda Ministry was unable to use them German population because of the terrible impression left by the tryannical, blood-thirsty Judge of the Peoples' Court, Dr. Roland Friesler. The executions also were filmed but that proved equally disasterous as a propaganda tool. First, the camermen refused to film more executions after the first round of disgusting executions. The execution film were shown at Rastenberg to Hitler, Fegelein and some junior officers, although most of the hierarchy refused to watch the hiddeous spectacle. Some sources claim the execution films survived the war but they have never been found. It is possible they will be found, perhaps in the former Soviet archives. My research also shows that still photographs were also taken of the executions but those, too, have vanished.
Researching the position of the Scharfrichter in Nazi and pre-WW2 society

sid guttridge
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Post by sid guttridge » Sat Apr 02, 2005 2:57 am

Hi fredric,

Wasn't Friesler killed in an Allied air raid?

Cheers,

Sid.

fredric
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Freisler's death

Post by fredric » Sat Apr 02, 2005 11:14 am

Yes, he was killed in an air raid shortly before the end of the war. He was on his way to the bomb shelter during an Allied raid when the Court House was hit by a bomb and a beam fell on his head.

He did not receive a State funeral nor any recognition for his contribution to the Nazi State. His family took a new name and he is buried in an unmarked grave.

Once a prominent legal entity in Germany, Freisler's outrageous behavior in the Court became an embarrassment to the Reich. For both Nazis and anti-Nazis, he took on the aura of evil and cruelty during the trials, captured on newsreel film. Several myths exist about his demise, but he did die in an air raid.
Researching the position of the Scharfrichter in Nazi and pre-WW2 society

Panzerkraut
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Post by Panzerkraut » Wed Apr 06, 2005 8:22 am

husker3000 wrote:Now the reason for this post was the 3rd room. Located in the basement was a room where many of the executions were carried out immediatly after the trial. This room had been nethier restored or maintained, being left exactly as it was found in 1945. I was told that this was done by Soviet insistance, but I have no way to verfy that. There were several meat hooks, if memory serves me 3-4 on the walls, plus remnents of piano wire hanging from ceiling beams. This was one time I certainly kicked myself for not having a camera with me, as this was the one time I was able to gain access to the building.

That fits with my experience.
I once saw a segment of a film where a man was hanged from a meathook with what appeared to be pianowire, but it was many years ago, and I don't remember if it had anything to do with the July 20 plot or not.

fredric
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July 20 executions

Post by fredric » Wed Apr 06, 2005 2:29 pm

The conspirators were not hanged with piano wire. Thin cord was used. Piano wire would have cut the jugular, causing rapid death, exactly what Hitler did not want. The thin cord and the short drop would not break the neck (causing unconsciousness) and would produce maximum suffering. See Hoffman's benchmark book on the resistance for details provided by witnesses at the executions.

Executions of the conspirators were not carried out in a "third room" of the RMJ Court House. The condemned were transferred to Plotzensee Prison and then to its execution chamber. I find nofound any substantiation that the Court House was ever a place of execution. Because of the purported link to Soviet involvement, perhaps the "third room" was used as a site for post-war propaganda films after the wall went up?
Researching the position of the Scharfrichter in Nazi and pre-WW2 society

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