Scrapbookpages Blog

July 23, 2015

How much influence did Geli Raubal, Hitler’s first girl friend, have on his life?

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 9:55 am
Geli Raubel, Hitler's alleged girl friend

Geli Raubal, Hitler’s niece & alleged girl friend

In doing some research on Hitler’s alleged girl friend, Geli Raubal, the most surprising thing that I learned was that journalist Nerin E. Gun wrote about her. But I will get to that later.  If you can’t wait, scroll down.

The following quote about Geli Raubal is from this source:

There was nothing peaceful about this brutal tyrant [Hitler]. Under his leadership, the Nazi regime was responsible for the genocide of at least 5.5 million Jews and millions of other people who were deemed “sub-human.” Ironically, his first love was a Jewish girl.

Say what?

You don’t hear much about Geli Raubal any more. The story of her untimely death, and the rumor that she was killed by her alleged lover, Adolph Hitler, seems to have faded away. Geli was Hitler’s half niece, the daughter of his half sister Angela and her husband Leo Raubal. Geli was allegedly Jewish, which makes the story even more unbelievable.

Legend has it that Geli (her full name was Angele) was extremely beautiful, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as we all know.  Look at the photo below and judge for yourself if she was Jewish.

Geli Raubel is shown on the left (click to enlarge photo)

Geli Raubel is shown on the left (click to enlarge photo)

The following account of her untimely death is from this source

Ronald Hayman, the author of Hitler & Geli (1997) has suggested: “What seems to have happened shortly before Geli died is that Hitler, who often changed his mind at the last minute, reversed his decision about letting her go to Vienna. It is quite likely that the other Nazi leaders were putting pressure on him. Though they would all have been glad to get rid of her, they may have told him it was unsafe to set her free: she knew too much.

They may have found out that she had confided in other men about Hitler’s sexual habits, and Schwarz knew she had modelled for his pornographic drawings. If she talked indiscreetly in Vienna, stories might get picked up by the liberal press at the worst.”

On the morning of Saturday, 19th September, 1931, Geli’s body was found on the floor of her room in the flat. A meeting was held by leading officials, including Franz Schwarz, Gregor Strasser, Baldur von Schirach, Max Amann and Rudolf Hess. They discussed what they should do before the police were brought to Hitler’s apartment.

Eventually, the police were called and Detective Sauer arrived and interviewed the witnesses. Schwarz insisted that Hitler had not been in the apartment at the time of Geli’s death. However, he did discover that the Walther 6.35 pistol that killed Geli was owned by Hitler.

According to the police report, Geli Raubal had been bleeding from a wound near her heart and her clothes were soaked with blood. She was lying face downwards, with her nose against the floor. One arm was stretched out towards the pistol, a Walther 6.35, which was on the couch. The bullet, which had missed her heart, had pierced her lung. Still in her body, it had lodged on the left side of her back above the level of her hip.

On the table was an unfinished letter, which was not a suicide note. It was addressed to someone in Vienna. The police report said that it was to a girlfriend but Baldur von Schirach has claimed it was to her music teacher. The tone was cheerful, and the letter broke off in the middle of the sentence: “When I come to Vienna – I hope very soon – we’ll drive together to Semmering an…” (Semmering is an attractive health resort outside Vienna.)

The police doctor, Dr Müller, certified that the time of Geli’s death was the evening of 18th September: “Rigor mortis had set in several hours previously. It was a fatal shot that penetrated through the dress to pass directly through the skin above the heart, which it in any case missed. It did not come out of the body but lodged in the left side of the back, rather above the level of the hip, where it could be felt beneath the skin.”

Geli Raubel, Hitler's half niece

Geli Raubal, Hitler’s half niece, posing with her puppies

The following quote is from this source:

Geli also complained about the way Hitler controlled her life. Bridget Hitler claimed that her son told her a story that he had got from Anni Winter, Hitler’s housekeeper. She had overheard an argument about Geli wanting to go and stay in Vienna. Geli was very upset because he [Hitler] had originally given his approval but then changed his mind.

Bridget heard Hitler say: “You say you have to go to Vienna? Is it to see that filthy Jew, the one who claims to be a singing teacher? Is that it? Have you been seeing him secretly again? Have you forgotten I forbade you to have anything to do with him? Tell me the truth now. Why do you want to go to Vienna?” According to Bridget she replied: “I have to go to Vienna, Uncle Alf, because I’m going to have a baby.”

The following quote about Geli mentions Nerin E. Gunn, a journalist who wrote about the Holocaust:

Geli also began a relationship with Emil Maurice, his [Hitler’s] chauffeur and bodyguard. Maurice later told Nerin E. Gun, the author of Eva Braun: Hitler’s Mistress (1969), about Geli. He testified that “Her big eyes were a poem and she had magnificent hair.

People in the street would turn round to take another look at her, though people don’t do that in Munich.” Maurice was aware that Hitler was very interested in Geli: “He liked to show her off everywhere; he was proud of being seen in the company of such an attractive girl. He was convinced that in this way he impressed his comrades in the party, whose wives or girlfriends nearly all looked like washerwomen.”

Maurice admitted that he was “madly in love” with Geli and “I decided to become engaged to Geli… she gladly accepted my proposal”. Henriette Hoffmann believes that Geli was in love with Maurice: “He was a sensitive man, not just someone who took pride in fighting, and there was a genuine tenderness behind his affability.”

Geli told Henriette that she no longer wanted to be loved by Hitler and preferred her relationship with Maurice: “Being loved is boring, but to love a man, you know, to love him – that’s what life is about. And when you can love and be loved at the same time, it’s paradise.”

I have written about Nerin E. Gun on the following posts on my blog: https://furtherglory.wordpress.com/tag/nerin-e-gun/

Nerin E. Gun was a prisoner at Dachau. He was not quite accurate in what he wrote about Dachau, so I don’t trust his information about Hitler and Geli.

Geli and Hitler

Geli and Hitler

Here is the full story on Geli and Hitler quoted from this source:

Geli Raubal, the daughter of Leo Raubal and Angela Raubal, was born in Linz on 4th June, 1908. When Adolf Hitler rented a house in Obersalzberg he asked his half-sister, Angela Raubal, now a widow, to be his housekeeper. She agreed and in August 1928 brought Geli with her to stay with Hitler.

Geli became a close friend of Henriette Hoffmann, the young daughter of Heinrich Hoffmann, Hitler’s official photographer. The two young women went to the local lake together. After swimming naked they let the sun dry their bodies: “One day a cluster of butterflies settled on the naked Geli. We made ourselves garlands of strawberry leaves and put them on. For us the world was a garden, a forest glade, with fairies dancing in the moonlight and fauns with goat feet making music. We thought life was a party that was just beginning. We didn’t know the forest glade was a battlefield you couldn’t leave till you were defeated. We didn’t know the world was rough and mean and stupid.”

Hitler told Otto Wagener: “I can sit next to young women who leave me completely cold. I feel nothing, or they actually irritate me. But a girl like the little Hoffmann or Geli (Raubal) – with them I become cheerful and bright, and if I have listened for an hour to their perhaps silly chatter – or I have only to sit next to them – then I am free of all weariness and listlessness I can go back to work refreshed.” Hitler once commented: “Nothing is more enjoyable than educating a young thing – a girl of eighteen or twenty, as pliable as wax.”

Joachim Fest, the author of Hitler (1973), wrote: “The affection Hitler felt for this pretty, superficial niece soon developed into a passionate relationship hopelessly burdened by his intolerance, his romantic ideal of womanhood and avuncular scruples.” Patrick Hitler met her during this period: “Geli looks more like a child than a girl. You couldn’t call her pretty exactly, but she had great natural charm. She usually went without a hat and wore very plain clothes, pleated skirts and white blouses. No jewellery except a gold swastika given to her by Uncle Adolf, whom she called Uncle Alf.”

Hitler, who had now turned forty, became infatuated with Geli and rumours soon spread that he was having an affair with his young niece. Hitler told Heinrich Hoffman: “You know, Hoffmann, I’m so concerned about Geli’s future that I feel I have to watch over her. I love Geli and could marry her. Good! But you know what my viewpoint is. I want to remain single. So I retain the right to exert an influence on her circle of friends until such a time as she finds the right man. What Geli sees as compulsion is simply prudence. I want to stop her from falling into the hands of someone unsuitable.”

Adolf Hitler also took her with him to meetings. Baldur von Schirach commented: “The girl at Hitler’s side was of medium size, well developed, had dark, rather wavy hair, and lively brown eyes. A flush of embarrassment reddened the round face as she entered the room with him, and sensed the surprise caused by his appearance. I too stared at her for a long time, not because she was pretty to look at but because it was simply astonishing to see a young girl at Hitler’s side when he appeared at a large gathering of people. He chatted animatedly to her, patted her hand and scarcely paused long enough for her to say anything. Punctually at eleven o’clock he stood up to leave the party with Geli, who had gradually become more animated. I had the impression Geli would have liked to stay longer.”

April 12, 2015

What did the Dachau gas chamber look like when American soldiers first saw it?

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, Holocaust — Tags: , — furtherglory @ 6:07 pm
Gate into Dachau concentration camp, 1945

Gate into Dachau concentration camp, 1945

In reading the comments on my blog about the gas chamber in the Dachau concentration camp, I have noticed that there seems to  be a lot of confusion about what the gas chamber shower room looked like when it was first seen by the American soldiers  who accepted the surrender of the camp.

American soldier stands beside some wooden coffins stacked inside the Dachau shower room, which is claimed to have been a gas chamber

American soldier stands beside some wooden coffins stacked inside the Dachau shower room, which is claimed to have been a gas chamber

In the photo shown above, which was taken shortly after American troops accepted the surrender of the Dachau concentration camp, notice the shower heads on the ceiling.

A real shower room at the Dachau concentration camp

A real shower room at  Dachau had shower heads hanging from pipes on the ceiling

DachauE030

On my website, I have a page which gives several descriptions of the gas chamber, given by the soldiers who first saw it:

http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/GasChamber/descriptions.html

Here are a few of the descriptions:

“A distinguishing feature of the Dachau Camp was the gas chamber for the execution of prisoners and the somewhat elaborate facilities for execution by shooting. The gas chamber was located in the center of a large room in the crematory building. It was built of concrete. Its dimensions were about 20 by 20 feet, and the ceiling was some 10 feet in height. In two opposite walls of the chamber were airtight doors through which condemned prisoners could be taken into the chamber for execution and removed after execution. The supply of gas into the chamber was controlled by means of two valves on one of the outer walls, and beneath the valves was a small glass-covered peephole through which the operator could watch the victims die. The gas was let into the chamber through pipes terminating in perforated brass fixtures set into the ceiling. The chamber was of size sufficient to execute probably a hundred men at one time.” From Document No. 47 of the 79th Congress, 1st Session, Senate Report (May 15, 1945) of the Committee Requested by Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower to the Congress of the U.S. relative to Atrocities and other Conditions in Concentration Camps in Germany. This document was entered into the Nuremberg trial proceedings as IMT Document L-159

In 1965, twenty years after he was liberated from Dachau in 1945, Nerin E. Gun wrote a book entitled The Day of the Americans which was published in 1966. Gun was a Turkish journalist working in Berlin; he had been arrested by the Gestapo in 1940 after he was the first reporter to write about the Warsaw ghetto and the Jews being sent to extermination camps.

Turkey was an ally of Germany in World War I, but was neutral in World War II until 1945.  Gun claimed that Hitler himself ordered that Gun be removed from his job as a reporter in Berlin.

As a prisoner at Dachau, Gun’s job in 1944 was to record the names and vital information about the Hungarian Jewish women just before they were gassed at Dachau. On page 69 of his book, Gun wrote a description of how the Hungarian women were gassed along with their babies, “as the fumes of the gas issued from the floor…”

On page 70, Gun wrote that the gas was put into the chamber by “pressing the button that opened the trap door through which the gas was released…”

On page 220, Gun wrote that women prisoners were shoved into the gas chamber naked, after their head, armpits and pubic hair had been shaved clean; they had a towel and a bar of soap in their hands. Gun wrote that the gas was in the form of a “Zyklon bomb” and that the whistling of the gas could be heard as it escaped from slits in the ceiling.

Gun wrote that he was not allowed into the crematorium where the dead bodies were burned, but he knew what was going on there because he heard about it from the workers there.

At the time that Gun wrote his book, he had visited the Dachau gas chamber as recently as 1959, but he did not mention that the gas pellets were put into the chamber through the two bins on the outside wall, as was later claimed.

Gun did mention in his book that a “Zyklon bomb was thrown on the floor” of the fake shower room to gas the prisoners.

Sidney Glucksman was a prisoner at Dachau working in a factory, which made German uniforms. When he was liberated from Dachau by American troops, Glucksman told Jewish American soldier Jerome Klein that he had not had a shower for six years.

How could he take a shower when the shower room was really a gas chamber? Klein gave him a bar of soap and a clean American uniform to wear.

Contrary to Nerin E. Gun’s discription of babies being gassed along with their mothers at Dachau, Glucksman told Kim Martineau, a reporter for The Hartford, CT Courant, that he remembers mothers being separated from the babies. As the women walked naked to the “showers” to be gassed, their babies were thrown into sacks and beaten or tossed in the air for target practice.

February 5, 2013

the elusive Lt. Heinrich Skodzensky, alleged Commandant of the SS garrison at Dachau

Filed under: Dachau, Germany, World War II — Tags: , , , — furtherglory @ 10:12 am

This popular website begins the timeline of the surrender of the Dachau concentration camp with the story of Lt. Heinrich Skodzensky, who surrendered the SS garrison at the Dachau complex on April 29, 1945.  This quote is from the website:

06:00 Waffen SS-Obersturmführer (Lt.) Heinrich Skodzensky, the new, hastily designated Camp Commandant, holds morning roll call for the garrison now guarding Dachau. His roll call tallied 560 men, many of them in hospital. A mere lieutenant had never before commanded the massive concentration camp, but the real SS Commandant, Martin Gottfried Weiss, had “run off” the day before, along with more than a thousand of the Allgemeine and Death’s Head SS guards stationed at the camp prior to the American approach. Skodzensky’s orders were to surrender. (Dachau Archive)

Was there really a man named Heinrich Skodzensky at Dachau when the camp was liberated?  Of course! Several books written by eye-witnesses mention him.  For example, the book entitled The Day of the Americans, written by Nerin E. Gun, a Turkish journalist who was a political prisoner in the camp.

Regarding the liberation of Dachau, Nerin E. Gun  wrote the following about what happened when the Americans reached the gate house into the concentration camp prison compound:

Then came the first American jeeps: a GI got out and opened the gate. Machine-gun fire burst from the center watchtower, the very one which since morning had been flying the white flag! The jeeps turned about and an armored tank came on. With a few bursts, it silenced the fire from the watchtower. The body of an SS man fell off the platform and came crashing loudly to the asphalt of the little square.

Gun wrote that the International Committee of Dachau, headed by Patrick O’Leary, had set up its headquarters at 9 a.m. on April 29th in Block 1, the barracks building that was the closest to the gate house of the prison compound. This was the building that housed the camp library. Gun wrote that Lt. Heinrich Skodzensky had arrived at Dachau on April 27th and on April 29th, the day of the liberation, he had remained in the gate house all that day.

In his book The Day of the Americans, Gun quoted Patrick O’Leary (real name Albert Guérisse) as follows:

“I ascertain that the Americans are now masters of the situation. I go toward the officer who has come down from the tank, introduce myself and he embraces me. He is a major. His uniform is dusty, his shirt, open almost to the navel, is filthy, soaked with sweat, his helmet is on crooked, he is unshaven and his cigarette dangles from the left corner of his lip.

“At this point, the young Teutonic lieutenant, Heinrich Skodzensky, emerges from the guard post and comes to attention before the American officer. The German is blond, handsome, perfumed, his boots glistening, his uniform well-tailored. He reports, as if he were on the military parade grounds near the Unter den Linden during an exercise, then very properly raising his arm he salutes with a very respectful “Heil Hitler!” and clicks his heels.

[…]

“Am I dreaming? It seems that I can see before me the striking contrast of a beast and a god. Only that the Boche is the one who looks divine.

(Boche is a French derogatory term for a German person.)

[…]

“The major gave an order, the jeep with the young German officer in it went outside the camp again. A few minutes went by, my comrades had not yet dared to come out of their barracks, for at that distance they could not tell the outcome of the negotiations between the American officer and the SS men.

“Then I hear several shots.

“The bastard is dead! the American major says to me.

“He gives some orders, transmitted to the radiomen in the jeeps, and more officers start arriving, newspapermen, little trucks. Now the prisoners have understood, they jump on the Americans, embrace them, kiss their feet, their hands; the celebration is on.”

Did anyone else write about the death of Lt. Heinrich Skodensky?  Of course!  In a book entitled The Day the War Ended, Martin Gilbert wrote the following about the liberation of Dachau, based on the account given by British SOE agent Albert Guérisse who was usng the name Patrick O’Leary in the camp:

As the first American officer, a major, descended from his tank, “the young Teutonic lieutenant, Heinrich Skodzensky,” emerged from the guard post and came to attention before the American officer. The German is blond, handsome, perfumed, his boots glistening, his uniform well-tailored. He reports as if he were on the military parade grounds near Unter den Linden during an exercise, then very properly raising his arm he salutes with a very respectful “Heil Hitler!” and clicks his heels. “I hereby turn over to you the concentration camp of Dachau, 30,000 residents, 2,340 sick, 27,000 on the outside, 560 garrison troops.”

The American major did not return the German Lieutenant’s salute. He hesitates a moment as if he were trying to make sure he is remembering the adequate words. Then he spits into the face of the German, “Du Schweinehund!” And then, “Sit down here” – pointing to the rear seat of one of the jeeps which in the meantime have driven up. The major gave an order, the jeep with the young German officer in it went outside the camp again. A few minutes went by. Then I heard several shots.

Lieutenant Skodzensky was dead. Within an hour, all five hundred of his garrison troops were to be killed, some by the inmates themselves but more than three hundred of them by the American soldiers who had been literally sickened by what they saw of rotting corpses and desperate starving inmates. In one incident, an American lieutenant (1st Lt. Jack Bushyhead) machine gunned 346 of the SS guards after they had surrendered and were lined up against a wall. The lieutenant, who had entered Dachau a few moments earlier, had just seen the corpses of the inmates piled up around the camp crematorium and at the railway station.

Jack Bushyhead had just been given a tour of the crematorium area by Albert Guérisse, aka Patrick O’Leary.

In his book entitled Deliverance Day, Michael Selzer wrote that the American liberators marched 122 SS soldiers, who had surrendered at the Dachau Concentration Camp, to a wall and with their hands up, shot them with machine guns. Included among the 122 SS soldiers was the Commander of the SS garrison, Lt. Heinrich Skodzensky, who had only moments before surrendered the camp to Colonel Jackson of the 45th Thunderbird division, saying in English, “I am the commanding officer of the guard in the camp, and I herewith surrender the camp to your forces.” Skodzensky was shot along with the others, dressed in his immaculate black SS uniform, according to Selzer’s account.

Robert H. Abzug wrote in his book entitled Inside the Vicious Heart that the American soldiers had been enraged by Skodzensky’s clean uniform and shined boots in these squalid surroundings, and that is why he was killed.

Strangely, no records of an SS officer named Skodzensky have ever been found and the story of 122 SS soldiers being shot has never been corroborated by any of the American soldiers who were there. The Dachau Memorial Site has no record of Lt. Heinrich Skodzensky in its archives and there is no record of a man named Heinrich Skodzensky in the Berlin Bundesarchiv.

So was there really a man named Heinrich Skodzensky, who was shot down because his black SS uniform was too clean and his boots were too shiny?  What does Wikipedia have to say about it?

This quote is from the German Wikipedia:  “Ein Mann mit diesem Namen [Skodzensky] konnte jedoch nie ermittelt werden, vermutlich ist er identisch mit Heinrich Wicker.”  With my limited knowledge of the German language, I think that German Wikipedia is saying that the man who surrendered the camp was named Heinrich Wicker.

I have written extensively about the surrender of the Dachau camp to Heinrich Wicker.  You can read it in full at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/Surrender.html

You can read more about Heinrich Wicker at http://www.scrapbookpages.com/DachauScrapbook/DachauLiberation/Wicker.html

So what actually happened on April 29, 1945, the day that the Dachau camp was liberated?

Dachau was mainly a camp for Communist political prisoners and anti-Fascist resistance fighters who had been captured in the Nazi-occupied countries. On the day of the famous liberation of Dachau, the political prisoners were in control of the concentration camp. The camp Commandant, Wilhelm Eduard Weiter, had left the camp on April 26, 1945, along with a transport of prisoners who were being evacuated to Schloss Itter, a subcamp of Dachau in Austria. Former Commandant Martin Gottfried Weiss was in charge of the camp for two days until he fled, along with most of the regular guards, on the night of April 28, 1945.

Before he left, Weiss had turned the camp over to the International Committee of Dachau, an organization of prisoners inside the camp. Albert Guérisse, a British SOE agent from Belgium, who was hiding his identity by using the name Patrick O’Leary was the head of the International Committee.  Albert Guérisse was one of five British SOE agents who had survived the Nazi concentration camps at Mauthausen in Austria and Natzweiler in Alsace before being transferred to Dachau.

After the 45th Division soldiers had left the Dachau SS garrison and proceeded to the concentration camp, Guérisse greeted Lt. William P. Walsh and 1st Lt. Jack Bushyhead of the 45th Infantry Division at the “Arbeit Macht Frei” gate.  He took them on a tour of the camp, showing them the gas chamber and the ovens in the crematorium.  At this time, the Dachau massacre had already happened.  It was the “Death Train” which triggered the massacre, not the gas chamber or the bodies in the crematorium.

May 18, 2010

Who killed Dr. Sigmund Rascher and why?

Dr. Sigmund Rascher was the man who conducted medical experiments for the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) at Dachau, starting in May 1942. His wife, Nini Rascher, was a good friend of Reichsführer-SS Heinrich Himmler, and she had recommended him for this job.

Dr. Rascher was allegedly shot on April 26, 1945 in prison cell #73 in the Dachau bunker by SS-Hauptscharführer Theodor Bongartz, on Himmler’s orders.  His wife was allegedly hanged, around the same time, at the Ravensbrück concentration camp.  But why would Himmler order two of his good friends to be executed at such a late date during World War II?

I won’t keep you in suspense: I don’t think that Himmler ordered the execution of the Raschers.

I believe that Captain Sigismund Payne Best, a British intelligence agent, who was a prisoner at Dachau, was involved in the murder of Dr. Rascher.  Why?  Because Dr. Rascher had allegedly told Captain Payne Best, while both men were allegedly imprisoned at the Buchenwald concentration camp, that he had designed the Dachau gas chamber and that thousands of people were gassed there.

The problem is that Dr. Rascher was never a prisoner at Buchenwald, so he could not possibly have told Captain Payne Best anything at Buchenwald.

With Dr. Rascher dead, Captain Payne Best could testify as a hearsay witness that there was a gas chamber at  Dachau and that it was used.

Actually, Captain Payne Best never got a chance to testify because no one was ever put on trial for the crime of operating a gas chamber at Dachau.

Dr. Sigmund Rascher doing a medical experiment at Dachau

Dr. Leo Alexander, a native of Austria who fled to China and then to America when the Nazis came to power, was an investigator for the prosecution in the War Crimes Commission at Nuremberg from 1946 to 1947, gathering information for the Nuremberg Doctor’s Trial.  If Dr. Rascher had lived, he would have been put on trial at Nuremberg as a war criminal because he had done experiments on Dachau prisoners.

Dr. Alexander’s report, on the Prolonged Exposure to Cold, evaluated the Nazi hypothermia experiments conducted by Dr. Rascher at Dachau (shown in the photo above).  Dr. Alexander found inconsistencies in Dr. Rascher’s lab notes which led him to believe that Dr. Rascher had deceived Himmler about his results. According to Dr. Alexander, Rascher reported to Himmler that it took from 53 minutes to 100 minutes for the prisoners to die in the freezing water. However, Dr. Alexander’s inspection of Dr. Rascher’s personal lab notes revealed that some of the subjects had suffered from 80 minutes to five or six hours before they died.

According to Dr. Alexander, Himmler discovered that Dr. Rascher had lied in his reports and Dr. Rascher’s deception was the reason that Himmler ordered the execution of both Dr. Rascher and his wife in April 1945. Himmler allegedly committed suicide shortly after he was captured by the British so we will never know if Dr. Alexander’s theory is correct.

However, Dr. Rascher was not arrested and imprisoned because he lied to Himmler about his lab results.  According to an affidavit signed by Dr. Friedrich Karl Rascher, the uncle of Dr. Sigmund Rascher, which was entered into the proceedings of the Nuremberg IMT, Dr. Rascher and his wife Nini were arrested in May 1944 because they had registered a child, who was not born to Nini, as their own.

Dr. Rascher with the baby, Peter

During the Nuremberg Doctors Trial, the following testimony was given by Freiherr Von Eberstein, the SS officer and Police President of Munich, who had arrested Dr. Rascher:

VON EBERSTEIN: Yes. In the spring of 1944, in the course of Criminal Police investigations against an SS Hauptsturmführer, Dr. Rascher, a physician, and his wife. The Raschers were accused of Kindesunterschiebung. That is a word which is very difficult to translate. In our law it means the illegal appropriation of other people’s children.

Secondly, Rascher was accused of financial irregularities in connection with the research station at Dachau, where these biological experiments were carried on. This research station was directly subordinate to Himmler, without any intermediate authority.

So Dr. Rascher was accused of “financial irregularities” in his research at Dachau, but not falsifying the results.  If this was enough to anger Himmler to the point of killing his two good friends, why didn’t he order their execution a lot sooner?  And if Himmler did finally order Dr. Rascher’s execution on April 26, 1945, why was this done secretly, without going through the usual procedure.

Door of prison cell in the Dachau bunker

Dr. Sigmund Rascher was allegedly shot inside a prison cell in the Dachau camp prison, called the bunker, on April 26, 1945.

April 26, 1945 was the day that a bunch of VIP prisoners at Dachau were taken to the South Tyrol, allegedly because Himmler wanted to use them as hostages in his negotiations with the Allies.  However, Captain Payne Best wrote in his book The Venlo Incident, that the VIP prisoners, including himself, were taken to the South Tyrol to be killed.  If this was the case, why wasn’t Dr. Rascher taken to the South Tyrol to be killed along with the others?  Why wasn’t he at least taken to the execution spot at Dachau, instead of being shot inside a prison cell?

The execution spot at Dachau with the “blood ditch” in the foreground

According to two different sources, Dr. Sigmund Rascher was, in fact, on the trip to the South Tyrol.

The following quote is from the book entitled The SS, Alibi of a Nation, 1922 – 1945 by Gerald Reitlinger:

Rascher remained at work in Dachau til May 1944, when Freiherr von Eberstein, higher SS and police leader for Munich, came to arrest him — but not for his experiments. It had been discovered that the children whom Frau Rascher had borne after the age of forty-eight had in reality been kidnapped from orphanages. The camp commandant and the chief medical officer at Dachau thereupon discharged a flood of complaints against Rascher, whom they described as a dangerous, incredible person who had been under Himmler’s personal protection for years, performing unspeakable horrors. Himmler naturally refused to have the Raschers tried, but they were confined in the political bunkers of Dachau and Ravensbrueck, the fate under the Third Reich of people who knew too much. Captain Payne-Best met Sigmund Rascher during the southward evacuation of the Dachau political bunker at the beginning of May 1945. He found Rascher garrulous and sympathetic. One of Rascher’s boasts to Captain Payne-Best was that he had invented the gas chamber. Perhaps that was why Sigmund Rascher disappeared soon afterwards, and likewise Frau Rascher who was last seen in Ravensbrueck.

Nerin E. Gun, a journalist who was a prisoner at Dachau, wrote in his book The Day of the Americans, published in 1966, that Dr. Sigmund Rascher was with the other prisoners that had been evacuated from Dachau and taken to the South Tyrol, and that Dr. Rascher was shot in Innsbruck. Upon arrival in Innsbruck, Edgar Stiller (the SS man in charge of the evacuation) had turned the VIP prisoners over to Captain Payne Best, according to Payne Best’s account in his book The Venlo Incident.

According to Nerin E. Gun, Captain Sigismund Payne Best was the most privileged of all the privileged prisoners. The following quote is from his book entitled The Day of the Americans:

Captain Best, who was fifty at the time of his arrest, had all the leisure he wanted in prison and was even allowed a typewriter. He was able to write a book in which he related all the tiresome details of his captivity. But he carefully avoided explaining what he was really doing in Holland at the time, or how much, if at all, he was implicated in the unfortunate affair at the Burgerbrau.

[…]

Best himself, in his book, admits that if he had remained free he would have known greater deprivation in wartime England, not to mention the risk of being buried under a German bomb.

According to Nerin E. Gun’s book, Captain Payne Best was allowed to keep his monocle and his personal possessions while in prison and he was given a radio capable of receiving London broadcasts. All the prisoners in the bunker were fed from the SS kitchens, but Captain Payne Best was given “double the normal SS ration of food,” according to Gun.

In his book, Nerin E. Gun wrote that when you read the memoirs of Captain Payne Best, “you feel that he had more affection for his SS guards, whom he considered to be nice everyday people who had somehow been forced to don a uniform, and worried more about what would happen to them than he did about the poor prisoners dying all around him.”

From Nerin E. Gun’s description of Captain Payne Best’s close relationship with the SS guards, it is clear that he might have had the means and the opportunity to get rid of a fellow prisoner in the last chaotic days of the Dachau camp if that prisoner knew any secrets that were best kept hidden.

What was it that Captain Payne Best did not want Dr. Sigmund Rascher to testify about in court?  Maybe about the conversation that Captain Payne Best claims that he had with Dr. Rascher in the Buchenwald Concentration camp.  Dr. Rascher was put into a prison in Munich in May 1944,  and then transferred to Dachau in April 1945; he was never a prisoner at Buchenwald.

In his book entitled The Venlo Incident, Captain Sigismund Payne Best wrote the following regarding a conversation he had with Dr. Rascher while both were allegedly prisoners at Buchenwald:

Next morning when I went to wash, there was a little man with a ginger moustache in the lavatory who introduced himself as Dr. Rascher saying that he was half English and that his mother was related to the Chamberlain family. When I told him my name he was much interested saying that he knew about my case and that he had also met Stevens (R. H. Stevens was another British intelligence agent who had been arrested along with Payne Best.) when he was medical officer in Dachau. … He was a queer fellow; possibly the queerest character which has ever come my way.

Almost at our first meeting he told me that he had belonged to Himmler’s personal staff, and that it was he who had planned and supervised the construction of the gas chambers and was responsible for the use of prisoners as guinea pigs in medical research. Obviously he saw nothing wrong in this and considered it merely a matter of expediency. As regards the gas chambers he said that Himmler, a very kind-hearted man, was most anxious that prisoners should be exterminated in a manner which caused them least anxiety and suffering, and the greatest trouble had been taken to design a gas chamber so camouflaged that its purpose would not be apparent, and to regulate the flow of the lethal gas so that the patients might fall asleep without recognizing that they would never wake. Unfortunately, Rascher said, they had never quite succeeded in solving the problem caused by the varying resistance of different people to the effects of poison gases, and always there had been a few who lived longer than others and recognized where they were and what was happening. Rascher said that the main difficulty was that the numbers to be killed were so great that it was impossible to prevent the gas chambers being overfilled, which greatly impeded any attempts to ensure a regular and simultaneous death-rate.

Did Dr. Rascher really tell Captain Payne Best about prisoners being gassed at Dachau? With Dr. Rascher dead and gone, no one would know if this conversation had actually taken place. Or did Himmler order Rascher’s execution just three days before Dachau was liberated because he didn’t want Dr. Rascher to tell the Allies about the gas chamber at Dachau?

Captain Payne Best also mentioned in his book, The Venlo Incident, that he and Dr. Rascher had discussed the attempt by Georg Elser to assassinate Adolf Hitler on November 8, 1939, and that Dr. Rascher was of the opinion that it was an inside job, staged by the Nazis.

Captain Sigismund Payne Best was arrested and sent to the Sachsenhausen concentration camp because he was allegedly involved in the assassination attempt on November 8, 1939.  Was he trying to prove that the British were not involved in the plot to kill Hitler, as both Himmler and Hitler believed? Is it possible that Captain Payne Best had told Dr. Rascher that British intelligence was behind Georg Elser’s attempt on the life of Adolf Hitler and that’s why Dr. Rascher had to be silenced?

On April 26, 1945, the day that Dr. Sigmund Rascher was allegedly executed in Cell #73 in the bunker at Dachau, there was complete chaos and confusion in the Dachau camp, according to a book entitled The Last Days of Dachau, written jointly by Arthur Haulot, a Belgian prisoner, and Dr. Ali Kuci, an Albanian prisoner. Reischführer-SS Heinrich Himmler had given the order that the Dachau camp was to be immediately evacuated and that “No prisoner should fall into the hands of the enemy alive…” This message was received in the camp in response to a query sent to Berlin by the camp commandant, according to Kuci and Haulot. At 9 a.m. on April 26th, the order was given by the camp Commandant to evacuate the entire camp, but according to Haulot and Kuci, the prisoners acted quickly to sabotage the evacuation plan.

According to the book by Haulot and Kuci, the SS had assembled 6,700 prisoners for evacuation by 8 p.m. on April 26th. At 10 p.m. that day, a total of 6,887 prisoners left the camp on foot, marching south toward the mountains of the South Tyrol. According to testimony given at the Nuremberg IMT, the march to the South Tyrol was part of a plan, devised by Ernst Kaltenbrunner, to kill all the concentration camp prisoners. A transport of 1,735 Jewish prisoners had already left that day on a train bound for the mountains in southern Germany.

With so much going on at Dachau on April 26, 1945, it would have been easy for one of the prisoners to kill Dr. Sigmund Rascher without attracting much attention. It would also have been easy for Dr. Rascher to sneak away that day from the group of VIP prisoners in the bunker, which was near the main gate at Dachau, and join the group of 6,887 prisoners who were being marched out of the camp that same day.  Did Dr. Rascher manage to escape that day and go into hiding in South America, like so many other Nazis?  Anything is possible.

Frau Rascher was rumored to be Heinrich Himmler’s former mistress.  Did Himmler really order the death of his former lover because she was also involved in the medical experiments?  Nini Rascher took photos of the victims during the experiments.

Russian POW appears to be unconscious during Dachau medical experiment for the Luftwaffe