Scrapbookpages Blog

September 14, 2014

Friedrich Wilhelm Ruppert, the man who allegedly shot Noor Inayat Khan at Dachau

In 1958, a former prisoner at the Dachau concentration camp came forward and claimed that he had personally watched Friedrich Wilhelm Ruppert shoot Noor Inayat Khan in the head at Dachau.

He claimed to have witnessed the execution of Noor Inayat Khan on September 12, 1994 at Dachau. According to his story, he had seen a high-ranking SS officer named Wilhelm Ruppert, whom he mistakenly called a “sadistic guard,” undress Noor and then beat her all over her body until she was a “bloody mess” before personally shooting her in the back of the head. Although the execution spot at Dachau was outside the camp and hidden by trees and bushes, this Dutch prisoner was allowed to get close enough so that he could see everything and hear Noor cry out “Liberté” just before she died.

Friedrich Wilhelm Ruppert reads a book in his prison cell while awaiting trial

Friedrich Wilhelm Ruppert reads a book in his prison cell while awaiting trial

On September 9, 2014, a documentary film, entitled Enemy of the Reich, the Noor Inayat Khan Story, was shown on PBS. You can read about the documentary here.  In the documentary, it is claimed that Noor was executed at Dachau, although there is no proof of this whatsoever.

Still photo from PBS documentary on Noor Inayat Khan

Still photo from PBS documentary on Noor Inayat Khan

This quote is from the article about the documentary:

Enemy of the Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story is the story of one woman’s extraordinary courage, tested in the crucible of Nazi-occupied Paris. With an American mother and Indian Muslim father, Noor Inayat Khan was an extremely unusual British agent, and her life spent growing up in a Sufi center of learning in Paris seemed an unlikely preparation for the dangerous work to come. Yet it was in this place of universal peace and contemplation that her remarkable courage was forged.

In 1940, when the Nazis invaded of France, Noor fled Paris with her family to England, where she trained as a wireless operator in Britain’s Women’s Auxiliary Air Force. In early 1943, she was recruited as a covert operative, into Winston Churchill’s Special Operations Executive (S.O.E). Churchill’s orders were to “Set Europe ablaze” through sabotage of railroads and factories, and support of the French underground’s direct attacks on Nazi units in preparation for the D-Day invasions.

After the betrayal and arrest of her entire network, Noor became the only surviving radio operator linking the British to the French Resistance in Paris, coordinating the air-drop of weapons, explosives and agents, and supporting the rescue of downed allied fliers.

The photo below shows Friedrich Wilhelm Ruppert, the man who is standing on the right, as he is identified in the courtroom at Dachau during his trial by the American Military Tribunal at Dachau.

Friedrich Wilhelm Ruppert on trial at Dachau

Friedrich Wilhelm Ruppert on trial at Dachau

At the time that Ruppert was put on trial, it was not yet known that Noor Inayat Khan had been executed at Dachau, so he was not charged with this crime.

One of the witnesses against Friedrich Wilhelm Ruppert was Rudolf Wolf, a 35-year-old German engraver from Frieberg, who was a prisoner at Dachau from September 1942 until the camp was liberated on April 29, 1945. Wolf testified that he had often seen Ruppert personally beat the prisoners. Wolf said that he had seen Ruppert kick the prisoners and also beat them with a whip so hard that the men became unconscious. According to Wolf’s testimony, Ruppert was a man who could beat people without changing expression; he was like a blacksmith striking cold iron.

You can read about the trial of the men, who allegedly executed four other female British SOE agents at the Natzweiler concentration camp, on this page of my website:  http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Natzweiler/SOEagents.html

One of the witnesses at Natzweiler had identified Noor Inayat Khan as the woman in one of the photos of the victims, which he was shown.

So where was Noor Inayat Khan actually executed?  It’s a long story, which you can read on my website at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/BritishSOEagents.html

10 Comments »

  1. I could not believe the moronic actions and decisions of Morris Fuckmaster who played with the lives of so many SOE agents because of his stupidity and incompetence.

    Comment by Hemant Date — August 17, 2015 @ 11:48 pm

  2. Thanks for all your hardwork and research regarding male agents at buchenwald. Just a further couple of questions,
    1. So I am wondering if in fact the exploits of Yeo Thomas (Tommy, White Rabbit – not F section but RF section) were fabricated? He did a switch with another prisoner and escaped execution?
    2. I thought that the fact that both Pickersgill/MacAlister could not speak French is that they did not fool guards at checkpoint along with Jacqueline and Pierre Culioli(?) led to their arrests – you mention one of them at least spoke French, I always felt they were sacrified and did not stand a chance and am beginning to wonder if they were part of the bigger deception. Thank you

    Comment by ann — September 16, 2014 @ 8:36 am

  3. OT

    BBC – World War One: How 250,000 Belgium refugees didn’t leave a trace

    Of course exactly what happened to literally millions of Jews during the chaos of WWII is well known by everyone: the Germans gassed them.

    Comment by eah — September 15, 2014 @ 10:36 am

  4. Read your previous posts re executions of SOE women agentsat Dachau and Natsweiler, and did they really happen. I have read all the books about this particular subject and agree that it could have been a terrible doublecross.There was no proof, only eyewitness testimony. The people at SOE were quite capable of thinking stuff like this up (my parents were both SOE) and I know the mentality. However, working on your premise that why would women agents be executed and not male agents on the whole what is your take on the executions of male agents at Buchenwald, Sept 9 1944, (Garry, Hubble et al) and the execution of Francis Suttill at Mauthausen (?) in 1945. Had Suttill outlived his usefulness,? Probably. He really did make a pact with the devil. Yours comments please. Thank you

    Comment by anthea — September 14, 2014 @ 11:00 am

    • I wrote this about Francis Sutthill on my this page of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Natzweiler/SOEagents3.html

      Begin quote
      Francis Suttill was taken to the Gestapo headquarters at Avenue Foch after his arrest. He was immediately sent to Germany after he allegedly made a pact with the Germans to supply them with information.

      Around the end of March 1945, Francis Suttill and another SOE agent named William Grover disappeared from the Sachsenhausen camp where they had been imprisoned in the Zellenbau (camp prison). Paul Schroeder, a prisoner in the camp, told Allied investigators, regarding Suttill and Grover: “They were transported by ambulance car to the Industriehof where they were most certainly executed by either hanging, shooting or lethal chamber.” The Industriehof was a section of the camp, located outside the prison enclosure, where there were factories as well as a gas chamber and an execution place where condemned prisoners were shot.

      The British Public Records Office files say that Suttill was hanged on March 21, 1945, but his date of death is also given in the same files as March 23, 1945. The camp records at Sachsenhausen were confiscated by the Soviet Union and if the record of the execution of Suttill was ever found, it was not released by the Soviets. During the trial of the Sachsenhausen staff, by the Soviet Union in 1947, testimony was given about Suttill’s execution, but the SOE was no longer in existence by that time and Suttill’s family never received confirmation of his death; they always believed that he was still alive.
      End quote

      I will look up the executions at Buchenwald and write about that later.

      Comment by furtherglory — September 14, 2014 @ 11:33 am

    • Regarding Garry and Hubble, I did not study these men when I was writing my website, nor when I was writing my blog. Buchenwald was primarily a camp for “resistance fighters,” which included men and women in the British SOE.

      I wrote about the “resistance fighters” on this page of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/Monuments.html

      After the war, the British considered the men and women in the SOE to be legal combatants and it was a crime for the Nazis to execute any of them. According to the “ex-post-facto” laws, made up by the Allies, the Nazis were all war criminals, but no Allied men had committed any crimes. For example, the Dachau massacre, which I wrote about at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/SoldiersKilled.html
      was not a war crime, according to the Allies.

      Comment by furtherglory — September 14, 2014 @ 12:23 pm

    • In doing some more research on the British SOE agents executed at Buchenwald, I came across this website:
      http://www.crimelibrary.com/terrorists_spies/spies/vera-atkins-wwii-spy-boss/concentration-camp-killings-of-soe-agents.html

      At Buchenwald, executions were allegedly carried out by hanging the victims on hooks on the wall. I wrote about this on this page of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/Atrocities3.html

      I don’t believe that prisoners were executed by being hung from hooks. I think that dead bodies were hung on hooks to keep the bodies straight until they could be cremated.

      There were also claims that prisoners at both Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen were killed by shots fired through a hole in a measuring stick. I wrote about this at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/Buchenwald/Atrocities2.html

      Strangely, the executions using a measuring stick were only done at Buchenwald and Sachsenhausen where Soviet prisoners were executed by this method.

      Comment by furtherglory — September 14, 2014 @ 12:55 pm

    • Regarding the “executions of male agents at Buchenwald, Sept 9 1944” I found some information about Frank Pickersgill, who was executed on September 14, 1944 at Buchenwald.

      On this page of Wikipedia [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Pickersgill] I found this information about Pickersgill.
      Begin quote:
      Pickersgill was executed at Buchenwald in Weimar, Thuringia on September 14, 1944, along with 35 other SOE agents, including Canadians Roméo Sabourin and John Kenneth Macalister. Though there are conflicting reports about their death, the men are commonly thought to have been hung on meat hooks and strangled with piano wire, a painful death typically reserved for traitors and spies.[citation needed] Their bodies were incinerated. [..]

      Because [Pickersill] was fluent in German, Latin, Greek and especially French, he worked in close connection to the British Special Operations Executive (SOE).

      Along with fellow Canadian, John Kenneth Macalister, he was parachuted into the Loire Valley in occupied France on June 20, 1943, to work with the French Resistance.
      End quote

      Since he was working with the British SOE in the French Resistance, Pickerill was an illegal combatant, and he was legally executed. I don’t think that he was hung on a hook in the Buchenwald crematorium before he was dead.

      Comment by furtherglory — September 14, 2014 @ 4:43 pm

      • Thanks for Pickersgill/MacAlister. Any idea about Yeo Thomas. Fact or fiction in your opinion?.

        Comment by ann — September 17, 2014 @ 9:07 am

        • I have not studied the life of Yeo Thomas. I knew nothing about him until I wrote this blog post https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/2011/11/19/lost-airmen-of-buchenwald-a-new-documentary/

          Several followers of my blog posted comments which mentioned Yeo Thomas. He apparently testified at the trial of the 31 war criminals who were put on trial in the Buchenwald case. I wrote about the Buchenwald trial on this page of my website: http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauTrials/BuchenwaldTrial.html

          To me, it is very strange that some of the Allied prisoners at Buchenwald were allegedly hung, while still alive, on hooks on the wall of the morgue, but Yeo Thomas was allowed to live so that he could testify about the other men who were hung on hooks.

          If not for the testimony of Yeo Thomas, some people (including me) might think that bodies were hung on hooks in the morgue in order to keep them straight so that they could put into the cremation ovens.

          Thanks to Yeo Thomas, we know what the Nazis really did to the poor innocent prisoners at Buchenwald, who had been fighting as illegal combatants in a war.

          Comment by furtherglory — September 17, 2014 @ 11:53 am


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