Scrapbookpages Blog

August 22, 2012

Proof that Franz Ziereis (commandant of the Mauthausen camp) made a confession before he died

Filed under: Holocaust, World War II — Tags: — furtherglory @ 2:39 pm

Herbert Stolpmann, one of the readers of my blog, posted a comment in which he quoted from an article on a website which you can read in full here.  The home page of the website is here. Herb has his own blog, which you can follow here.

The website, from which Herb quoted, seems to corroborate what I wrote on my website about the desecration of the body of Franz Ziereiss.

This quote is from the company7.com website:

Polish and Russian former inmates of the camp took Ziereis’s body. Later his body was found (and photographed) placed onto the barbed wire fence at Mauthausen, naked except for the bandage on his left arm and with his back painted with anti-Nazi graffiti “Heil Hitler” and Swastikas. This was certainly against US Army regulations, and was most likely done by angry former prisoners (as stated in the above referenced log entries) but after what the American soldiers had seen they probably felt no need to interfere with the prisoners. There Ziereis remained for several days until the stench of decay prompted an Army officer to order the body removed.

Of course, there is the possibility that the company7.com website got the above information from my scrapbookpages website or from my blog.  As far as I know, I am the only person to show a photograph of the body of Franz Ziereis and claim that the body was hung on a fence in the main camp.

Specifically, I wrote on this page of my website that the odor of the body caused an Army officer to order the body to be removed:

The official version of the death of Ziereis is that he died in a hospital in Gusen and his body was hung on the fence at Gusen by the prisoners and left there for a couple of weeks. However, Donald Leake saw the body of Ziereis hanging on a fence in the Mauthausen main camp after his death.

Regarding what happened after the death of Ziereis, Donald Leake wrote the following to me in an e-mail:

The Doctor said I could leave, and someone would take care of the body. I wasn’t comfortable with this so I sent someone to my squad leader and he said to leave for other duties. I don’t know how, but I later saw his body hanging on the fence with swastikas painted all over him. What else the prisoners did, I didn’t see, but after a few days the odor was bad. I told an officer it was growing rank and he said he would take care of it which he did.

The following quote from the company7.com website might be referring to me.  As far as I know, I am the only “revisionist” who is questioning the confession of Ziereis:

Some history revisionists claim Ziereis made no statement and was dead when the photos were taken, or that he never was taken to a hospital, but these theories simply defy reason. The facts are corroborated not only by several photos taken of Ziereis at the hospital, showing several US Army personnel and officers alongside Ziereis, but also by numerous documents including the official log book of the US Army 131st Evac Hospital now in custody of the US National Archives.

I must admit that I had to rethink my claim that Ziereis made no statement before he died after I saw the photo of the entry into a log book which is on the company7.com website.

Here is the text of the Gusen Hospital log:

SS Trooper, Franz Zeireis (sic) Commandant of all concentration camps in Austria was captured today by some Polish men, former inmates of the concentration camps, and brought to the hospital at 2130 hours.  He was questioned and given medical treatment so that he might live. His rank was Colonel (Standantenfurher). (sic) He was captured near Purge.  (sic)

Patients being cared for as of this date 2,893.  […]

Franz Zeireis (sic) died at 0730 hours this morning and was hung as an effigy by the Pole (sic) and Russian inmates of the former concentration camp, after deat.  (sic)
Patients being cared for as of this date = 2,724

This was allegedly written by an American soldier.  Note that he made many mistakes in spelling.  There were 2,893 patients in this American Evacuation Hospital at Gusen when Ziereis was allegedly brought in, and they were rapidly dying.  By the time that Ziereis was dead, there were 169 other patients in the hospital who had died.

The most important thing that is missing from the Gusen Hospital log is the information that Ziereis was questioned for 6 to 8 hours and the names of those in attendance when he was interrogated.  The most important person who participated in the interrogation of Ziereis was Hans Marsalek who made an affidavit, in which he quoted from the confession of Ziereis, from memory, ten months later.  In his affidavit, Marsalek said that Col. Richard R. Seibel, the Commander of the 11th Armored Division, was there when Ziereis made his confession.  Strangely, Col. Seibel refused to sign the alleged confession of Ziereis, as written by Hans Marsalek ten months later, and he also refused to testify at the Nuremberg IMT.

The following quote is from the affidavit of Hans Marsalek, which was entered into evidence at Nuremberg:

2. On 22 May 1945, the Commandant of the Concentration Camp Mauthausen, Franz Ziereis, was shot while escaping by American soldiers and was taken to the branch camp of Gusen. Franz Ziereis was interrogated by me in the presence of the Commander of the 11th Armored Division (American Armored Division) Seibel; the former prisoner and physician Dr. Koszeinski; and in the presence of another Polish citizen, name unknown, for a period of six to eight hours.

Note that Marsalek does not mention the name of the person who translated the Confession into English for the benefit of Col. Seibel, nor does he mention the name of the person who took notes during the confession. The photographer who took photos while Ziereis was giving his lengthy confession is also not mentioned in Marsalek’s affidavit.

This quote is from my scrapbookpages website:

The Commander of the 11th Armored Division was Richard R. Seibel, who arrived at Mauthausen some time in April 1945, before the camp was officially liberated, and stayed there for 35 days before being assigned to duty in the Austrian Alps, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Two American field hospitals were brought in, according to the USHMM. […]

…. allegedly Col. Richard R. Seibel, the commander of the 11th Armored Division was present when Commandant Franz Ziereis was questioned by Hans Marsalek. Col. Seibel did not testify at the Nuremberg IMT, nor did he sign his name as a witness to the confession of Ziereis.

The company7.com website shows another photo of Franz Ziereis as he is giving his confession.  In my opinion, this photo very clearly shows that Ziereis is dead.  I have copied the photo and posted it below.

Franz Ziereis was allegedly alive when this photo was taken

Click on the photo above to see a larger version in 300 dpi.  To me, this photo screams FAKE, FAKE, FAKE!!!

I found another photo, which shows more clearly what is on the right side of the scene. It is an American soldier wearing glasses and a cap. Click on the photo to see a larger size in 300 dpi.  Both of the eyes look like the eyes of a dead person in this photo.

Another photo of Ziereis on his deathbed

Note that the entry into the Gusen Hospital log book states that Ziereis was “captured” by some former Polish prisoners in the camp.  This contradicts what a US soldier named Donald Leake told me in several e-mails in 2008.

The following quote is from my scrapbookpages website:

Donald Leake wrote in another e-mail to me that, on May 23, 1945, the U.S. soldiers at Mauthausen were alerted that there was a “disturbance” going on at a nearby village. According to Leake, several soldiers were sent to the village to take care of the problem, and Ziereis was shot 3 times in the back with a 30 cal. rifle by an American soldier with the rank of private.

Leake did not witness the shooting, but he wrote that the death of Ziereis […] was of such interest to me that I asked around and found the soldier who shot him encamped with his company nearby, and asked him the circumstances of the shooting. His squad was walking toward a house where there was a disturbance and he (Ziereis) came running out, and that was when he was told to halt 3 times, then he (the soldier) fired.

This discrepancy in the story of Ziereis’s “capture” leads me to believe that the Gusen Hospital Log is a fake, as is the photo allegedly taken when Ziereis was still alive.

Shown below is another photo of the body of Franz Ziereis, taken by an American soldier.

Body of Franz Ziereis Photo Credit: Yad Vashem

Sorry to have misled you with the title of my blog post.  I don’t believe that there is any proof whatsoever that Franz Ziereis made a confession before he died.  If there was any proof that Ziereis made a confession, why didn’t Hans Marsalek and Col. Seibel take the witness stand at Nuremberg and testify regarding the confession?