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