Friday, August 19, 2016


Alphabetical Order  
E- F


Ellwangen in Würtenberg located 100 kilometres from Stuttgart was first mentioned in in its capacity as a sub-camp of Dachau KZ on July 1, 1941, and existed until October 17, 1942. It was not an independent camp, but was domiciled  within the SS-barracks of Ellwangen. The sub-camp was opened up with a prisoner transport of 25 men from Dachau at the beginning of Juli1941. This first transport followed a little later with another ten prisoners. Thus the total number of prisoners amounted to 35

In Ellwangen polish prisoners, 'criminals' and 'anti-socials' were present. Among them, except for a few Checks and Poles there were no others than German prisoners, and  no Jews. The sub-camp was housed in the basement of the old administration building of the former police academy, which consisted in total of three bedrooms, a lounge and a toilet. The prisoners were used mainly to work within the SS-Garrison. Ten prisoners were employed as a tailors and shoemakers [it is more likely that they were boot makers, as the SS did not wear shoes,sic] others maintained the uniforms of SS personals, while few worked outside the compound as tilers,at an oven setting company.

ELLWANGEN city centre 

The ever-changing guards were provided by the in Ellwangen stationed in SS Kradschützenbatallion(Motorcycle Protection Battalion) and usually came from the convalescent members of the company. The labour team was led by an Oberscharführer, apparently also from the SS-garrison at Ellwangen. In July 1942 he was replaced by an Oberscharführer transferred from Dachau to Ellwangen, who was considered as cruel (grausam) by the inmates. Still, the work management after this replacement for  the men in the sub-camp remained the same. Whether this division of authority over labour deployment was responsible for fair treatment of prisoners can only be assumed, as it was difficult to have it verified. The blatantly as cruel SS-man towards prisoners, the Oberscharführer from Dachau, could only unfold his influence outside the camp's activities.During questioning of the prisoners In Ellwangen they knew nothing on the question of inmate killings, nothing was known to them, although the number of prisoners fell form the beginning of this Arbeitskommandos until its dissolution on 17th October 1942. Individual statements of detainees claimed that some prisoners were returned to Dachau  or transferred to other concentration camps. At Dachau two transferred detainees have been shot, whether by operations there or on the initiative of the Ellwanger security personnel could not be clarified. The Oberscharführer from Dachau drcided to have the sub-camp dissolve by October 11942 and the prisoners returned because it was  not a war effort function that they performed in Ellwangen.
The Central Office of the State Justice Administration  (tionandesjutizverwaltungen) in Ludwigsburg,pronounced to close in 1973 regarding the events in the sub-camp Ellwangen without any results. At present the  Bundeswehr is using the former garrison,  there is no sign or memory of the past.

Author German text: Immo Eberl

 After World War II members of the 17th SS Panzergrenadier Division were convicted of a number of war crimes, involving the shooting of foreign concentration camp prisoners in Ellwangen during the war. [ Reference:ase Nr.111". Justiz und NS-Verbrechen (Nazi Crimes on Trial) Vol. III. Retrieved 23 July 2015.]

Postmark from the Ukrainian DP Camp in EllwangN
In April 1945, US Army troops occupied Ellwangen and until 1946, stationed various Army units at the kaserne — the former German Tank School. From 1946 the International Refugee Organisation (IRO) used the kaserne as a displaced persons camp for 3,000 Ukrainian refugees until 1951. In 1951, the US Army — the combat engineer battalion and medical battalion of the 28th Infantry Division again took over the facility. In September 1955 the Americans returned the kaserne to the German government


In Eschelbach at Wiolnzach 50 kilometres north of Dachau, Salesian Sisters cared for and were nursing outpatients, maintained  a kindergarten and taught home economics at their school. Originating from the middle of the 19th century the building served after the outbreak of war as 'resettlement camp'. On 27 July 1944, the Sisters received from Martin Bormann's Party Chancellery in Berlin the eviction notice. The buildings were urgently needed for 'war effort purposes'. In the courtyard of the Eschelbacher Don Rosco home a one-story, surrounded with a barbed wire fence,  a one-story barrack was erected. From December 12, 1944 approximately 40 prisoners of the KZ-Dachau were there quartered. They came from Germany, France, Italy, Poland, Serbia and Holland and were housed under the most primitive hygienic conditions and grossly inadequate provisions. The detainees should lay underground cables up to the city of Pfaffenhofen.
[The women's institute is known as the Salesian Sisters of Don Bosco or, more officially, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians, (FMA sic]).

City Hall at Eschelbach
The then 23 year-old Polish prisoner Grzegorz Niemirowicz said after the war that the labour assignment was done by a detachment commander and was supervised by four other SS men. He himself had never witnessed any mistreatment, but a friend of his, observed that a German prisoner had been shot during the cable laying by an SS man. A witness reported that Eschelbacher women have given the prisoners secretly bread.
The sub-camp Eschelbach was dissolved on 4 April 1945th. The detainees were transferred back to the main camp Dachau. After the war the Don-Bosco Sisters returned again to their old premises. No investigation or trial ever took place,  there is nothing that reminds one to a wartime sub-camp.

Author German text: Reinhard Haiplik.

The Salesian Sisters of St John Bosco or Daughters of Mary Help of Christians are the sister order of the Salesians of Don Bosco. They were founded by Saint Maria Mazzarello in 1872 to work alongside Saint John Bosco in his teaching projects in Turin. They continue to be a teaching order worldwide. The sisters use the post nominal F.M.A., Figlie di Maria Ausiliatrice (Daughters of Mary Help of Christians).

Enter picture:

Salesian sister caring for sick and poor in former Madras Presidency, India
The year 1880 saw the second missionary expedition of the Salesian Sisters to Patagonia (Argentina), as they followed their Salesian brothers who had prepared the way for their arrival. In 1881, Mother Mazzarello took ill and died at Nizza Monferrato on May 14, at age 44.[4] At the time of her death there were 26 houses and 166 Sisters. For further reading Google:


In Feldafing. District of Starnberg (Bavaria) was since the spring of 1942, a sub-camp of  KZ Dachau. The first group of approximately 30 prisoners arrived there early April 1942. The camp was probably already closed in January at the beginning of 1945, and the prisoners were transported back to Dachau.
The camp was located on the terrain which at the time stood the 'Reich School of the NSDAP'. The school, 'founded as the National German High School at Lake Starnberg and was in 1934 renamed by the SA the 'National Socialistic  German High school'. It was conceived as an elite school, in which high achiever as future leaders for the Nazi state would be indoctrinated and educated accordingly. However, from 1937/38 the NSDAP began extensive construction measures for new buildings on a large meadow and wooded area (Waldgelände) south of Feldafing. The intended plan remained unfinished. The authority responsible for the Reichsschule construction, was the 'Hoch Tief AG' company with headquarters in Munich.

The camp which was situated away from the construction-project for the school in the north-east of the site, consisting of at least one wooden barrack on a concrete base for the prisoners, the structure was surrounded by a high barbed wire fence e  (possibly electrically charged) , and a second barrack for the guards, this team comprised  of eight to twelve SS men. In the nearby barracks lived civil construction workers.(Arbeiter) .In total there  existed five closely  located (beianander gelegende) barracks where construction workers, prisoners and SS guards were accommodated near to each other. The prisoner barracks had a size of about 20 - 25x4 meters square, divided into two rooms furnished with three-story bunks. The information on the availability of conveniences vary greatly. The minimum number of inmates (Belegunfszahl) which witnesses can recall, was 30 people, the highest at 100. The prisoner Josef Brzezinski indicates that 'later on the number of prisoners rose to about from 100 to 300 [...] in the  two prisoners  barracks that were provided for them'. In rooms they had served as dining and day rooms. There were also a laundry room and an attached toilet. According to the witness Tadeusz Etter, the prisoners had contacts with the 'free workers', while they toiled side by side.

Below are thumbnails of a lettercard postmarked February 14, 1944, from an inmate Stefan Belka, at the "Arbeitskommando Feldafing".

The inmates who came  apparently all from Dachau were mainly used for earth- and levelling work in the development of the site, also in road construction and as some witnesses assert, in the construction of air raid shelters (which can not be verified), and at the end of the war , close to nearby village of Tutzing for tunnelling and working in the Dornier aeroplane plants. Moreover, it reports on the following works: repair of a jump, board on Lake Starnberg, plastering interiors, food transport from Feldafing to Tutzing

                                                                       Lake Starnberg,
Memorial Cross at the site where the body of King Ludwig II of Bavaria was found in Lake Starnberg, after a struggle with his doctor during an escape attempt from his asylum

The conditions under which the prisoners live and had to work, were cruel. The working day began at 8/9 in the morning and ended at 1830/1900 pm. In its work, the prisoners of the weather were exposed where they seem to provide heat more than made cold. They had hard labor under brutal pressure of the SS men and Kapos afford and suffered from hunger. Some inmates say the food in Feldafing was better than in Dachau, others say the opposite. Tadeusz Etter specifies: 'Before starvation sat in, what saved us prisoners was the opportunity to receive parcels with food from home.
The occupancy of the camp apparently changed often - possibly because many prisoners were not used to the physical hardships they were exposed to, and had to be transferred back to Dachau. It is also noticeable that among the witnesses questioned, that four catholic priests from Poland were three, of whom it was said they had been retrained in Dachau as bricklayers.[This makes seance, as Catholic Priests mainly from Poland built 'Baracke X',sic] In camp there were mainly Germans also  Italians, French and Greeks, but apparently mostly were East Europeans.

.Baracke X, at KZ Dachau, which Polish Priests, retrained as bricklayers, allegedly built.
The barracks were required after the dissolution of the camp in January 1945, together with the former buildings of the Reichsschule since the occupation of Feldafing by the US Army, and was converted as a camp for Displaced Persons (DP). After 1956,  part and  most of the former property, reverted back to the Federal Republic of Germany, with the Bundeswehr  continued a military base with a Telecommunication School and a Technical School for Electrical Engineering were opened. The concrete bases and some of the barrack walls stood there for sometime, well after the war, before some years later there has been near the lower Thurn- and Taxis-Street a housing estate developed.
In March 1969, the Central Office of the Landesjutizverwaltungen began to determine the elucidation of Nazi crimes for killing action in the sub-camp Feldafing. A mediation was initiated by the prosecutor at the regional court of Munich against Alfred Minik and others on suspicion of murder up to 1976. The proceedings, set on 28 July 1978 closed without a verdict.

Author German Text: Ursula Ludz


In Fischbachau within the county of  Miesbach (Upper Bavaria) had from 21 September 1944 until January 21, 1945, a sub-camp under the administration of KZ-Dachau. These prisoners had to build makeshift homes (Behilfsheime) made of wood with a brick foundation. According to statements made by a former inmate they were intended for families of senior SS officers from Munich. During the existence of this sub-camp, the detained men built two properties for four families. In this camp the make-up of these men were mainly German, Austrian, Italian, French and Polish political prisoners and few Jehovah's Witnesses, used as 'forced labour'.. There are no indications that Inmate Functionaries  or Kapos were present. The men were mostly skilled workers, who had been selected based on their occupation.
The prisoners were in housed  in three OT huts [Organisation Todt, sic] which are small dwellings made of pressed paper boards with a ceiling height of approximately 1.60 Metre, which had been built on the cow pasture of a local farmer. In each cabin slept six or seven men. Although the prisoners had to work hard, but received special rations (Sonderverpflegung), so they felt the conditions in the camp as bearable. 'In Fischbachau was by far the best treatment of all camps, where I have been.' judged an inmate. [Statement by Georg J.29.10.1969, in: ibid

Panorama view of Fischbachau

The guards consisted of six SS men who did not harass, neither ill-treat or kill any inmates. This was confirmed by all those that had been interviewed. The guards themselves were also housed in identical OT-huts as the prisoners.Other security personnel were  SS- Corporal Hans Tiedtke, and Sergeant Albert Hummel. Tiedtke was transferred after being wounded on the Eastern Front in 1944 to guard duty in Fischbachau.
All the prisoners were returned on 21 January 1945 in trucks to the main camp Dachau. There were no longer any further  construction possible because of the harsh winter conditions.
After the war, the buildings were occupied by refugees. In Even today, both houses are inhabited. In 1959 the farmers whose land was confiscated because of the construction (and partially compensated) had their land returned.
The standard investigations by the Central Office of Justice in Ludwigsburg ceased in 1976.

Author German Text: Barbara Hutzemann


In Fischen im Allgäu was a sub-camp for male prisoners, it is first mentioned on the  date of 6 November 1944. Presumably it originated as a sub-camp in August or September 1944 as an external working commando of some 20 kilometres north located sub-camp of Kottern because the prisoners came mainly from Kottern and also from Ulm. Probably the four barracks of the camp were outside the township near the railway station. The sub-camp was mentioned in the Quadrennial of the Dachau camp doctor 27 March 1945, which reads: 'The camp is still under construction and does give a primitive impression. From the point of view of the local camp leader, Listening to the same lamentations  as in Kottern: 'No deliveries of building materials by Messerschmitt'. About the situation of the prisoners, the Dachau camp doctor judged: - 'The conditions certainly euphemistically - as follows; 'The food is good and plentiful. The kitchen and food storage in a proper state. The ablution and washing facilities are primitive. The infirmary is operating on a makeshift basis. Delousing equipment, although essential are still missing'.
Detainees reported in contrast of holes in the roofs of the huts, dirt, vermin, and living on starvation rations.

Map-Location of Fischen within Oberallgäu district 
On average about 250 prisoners were detained, who came from Germany, Austria, the Soviet Union, Italy, France and Poland. Like the prisoners of the sup-camp at Kaufbeuren they worked in Fishing in the Messerschmitt works, where they toiled  in alternative  day and night shifts producing airframes for fighter planes. They were also used on road construction. About the third of April the workforce of prisoners in the sub-camp stood at 245, at the end of April 1945, only 127 were left. A part of the camp was evacuated in early April, and transferred into the camp at Kottern. In Fishing the dissolution phenomena became noticeable. The Camp Commandant Schmidt left with most of the security guards and did leave the prisoners to their fate.

After the  Central Agencies in Ludwigsburg advised the Munich prosecutor to proceed with it's investigation of criminal activities at Fischen against 'UNKNOWN' (Unbekannte), However, this was ceased in 1977. Most of the living  survivors testified no homicides ever took place. IYet it should be  remembered that prisoners were punished for food theft and escape attempts, Certain is, that on 7 April 1945 two prisoners from sub-camp Fischen were to the main camp Dachau, reported as dead. . Furthermore, prisoners were shot on the evacuation march, but it can no longer be determined, whether a death march actually had taken place. What is certain, that two Austrian resistance fighters Franz Storkan and Gustav Teply, from the sub-camp Fischen , were hanged near the crematorium at Dachau KZ on 7 April 1945th Teply had been brought despite his sickness from the infirmary by the SS to Dachau for the hanging. [Both had been members of the Thälman-Brigade fighting in Spain, taken prisoners and as German citizen under a death sentence as an enemy (Communists) of the state,sic]To date, the foundations of the cams in the forest alongside the railway tracks between fishing and Oberstdorf are recognizable and wall remainsstill visual-able. A plaque or another public reminder of the existence of a sub-camp does not exist.

Author German Text: Edith Raim


The sub-camp Fischhorn was located on the western outskirts of Bruck on the  Grossglocknerstrasse, five kilometres from the county town of Zell am See in Salzburg. The entire site of the prisoner barracks is no longer visible. The staff of the SS was at that time accommodated at the Fischhorn castle.
In Fischhorn existed two sub-camps: one at the Central Construction Office of the Waffen which was part of the SS-WVHA Office Group 'C' and a second camp which was controlled by the  SS Remonte Office. (Cavalry training for a horses) On the entire complex of the Estate, there were 100 horses housed. Both sub-camps were opened on the  6th September 1944, and existed until the Liberation in May 1945
The castle belonged together with an operating agricultural Estate to the former German Ambassador in Peru, N. Gildermeister. The property was expropriated in 1943 and requisitioned by the SS. The Staff of an SS division and the SS Remonte-Office moved into the Castle. According to the former prisoner Franc Mlinaric about 50 SS men were stationed there.
The first Kommandant was the 50-year-old Hans Hahn, who had been in the KZ's of  Flossenburg and Dachau and had done duties as a security guard since 1939 and was put into this position at at Fischhorn, but was replaced due to rivalries with SS cavalry unit on 10 February 1945 by Oberführer Hermann Rostek, who had previously been commander in Roddolfzell. The number of SS-guards can not be specified. They were Volksdeutsche, ethnic  Germans,, whom the prisoners termed as 'Bessarabia-Germans' from Romania, mostly young people aged around 20 years as they recall. A personal or spatial subdivision of the prisoner commands can no longer be traced, and it seems unlikely that such a document ever existed. All the billing invoices for Fischhorn were submitted separately. This might be confusing as the command of the central building site managed within the Office of Group C-Dachau  in February 1045, and was by far largest, while requests of KZ-Workers for the SS Remonte-Department went direct to the SS agencies.

Castle Fischhorn with Meier House (right foreground)
The size of the labour commando was made up of 150 male inmates. As far as nationality structure is concerned, prisoners from the Sowjet Union outweighed them all, followed by the French, Poles and Italians. The first transport of 50 prisoners is recorded to have arrived on the 9th September 1944, a second with 100 prisoners followed on 18 September. Kapo was probably the 44 year old, on  preventive detention, Karl Herkert from Hamburg. The age of the other prisoners was between 18 and 35 years. The individual working commandos remained static in the meantime time and was reduced only in the last weeks before the liberation by half. During the  liberation only 50 prisoners were found at Fischhorn sub-camp. Five of them were interviewed after 1969 even though they had settled in foreign countries while investigations of the German Public Prosecutor took place.

The prisoners were used to build stables for the SS Horse Riding School and worked as well in small work details in the agriculture part of the Estate.The prisoner Mllinariic worked in a detail, in which a group of eight prisoners about 300 meters from the camp, in a remote creek and dug building material. The prisoners at work stood in the water and had only  canvas shoes as footwear. They had no mechanical tools available to them. In autumn 1944 Karl Koch was transferred from the sub-camp Neustift to Fischhorn, he stated that he oversaw a work detail in Zell am See which built large halls for the 'Remonte School, which were then used as warehouses. According to Koch, the commando was billeted in the attic of the Economic Operation Dpt.of Castle Fischhorm.

Spanish Riding School Lipizzan stallions in the Winter Riding School arena
This young Lipizzan stallion is midway through the graying process

This young Lipizzan stallion is midway through the graying proces

 The living and sleeping facilities of  the prisoners were in a deplorable state. According to inmate Mllmaric they lived 'in an assembled wooden barrack , with simple plain  walls that had cracks in them,which meant, it was continually drafty. The flooring was uneven, and mainly buckled in most places. Basically the barracks were very cold. We had only one oven for heating. [...] However, the furnace heated not much, since it was the only one in the 20 meter long barrack'. The washing facilities existed for the occupants only in the water-trough of the horses. There was an  outside sheltered hut for  prisoner which served as a latrine. A similar picture is mentioned in the Quadrennial of the SS camp physician dated 27 March 1945, that Fischhorn was in a primitive state. There was a lack of appropriate accommodation ', and also the infirmary was only was only operating on a makeshift basis.  The toilet facilities were insufficient and unhygienic. Th kitchen operation on the whole unclean.

Concentration Camp Toilets 
Among these living and working conditions, the prisoners lost more and more in weight, and suffered fromnumerous diseases. 'We all lived under very difficult conditions and poor working arrangements, so that the work meant a gradual physical exhaustion of the prisoners. We were undernourished, without any health-care. The lice bit deeply until the blood flowed'.so stated inmate Mllinaric who contracted Pneumonia  and injuries to his Ribcage combined with high fever, 'received no warm place to lie down and no extra clothes. After 20 days of the establishment of the camp,15 inmates were returned due to illness to the main camp (Stammlager) Dachau and on the 30 September 1944 replaced by the same number of new prisoners, all between the ages of 18 and s4 years Three of-exchanged returnees died soon afterwards in Dachau. One further exchange of 15 prisoners rook place, according to Karl Koch in the fall 1944. The new arrivals however were together with their guards transferred from the sub-camp Neustift. Only one prisoner has died from poor living condition in Fischhorn. Targeted (gezielte) killings of prisoners were not observed, so that the investigation of the German post-war Public Prosecutor were not perused.. Fischhorn in Austria offered under all other controlled sub-camps by Dachau, except Weißsee the worst (schlechteste) of living conditions for inmates.inmates..schlecteste
During July 1945 Fischhorn Castle  was together with the Country Estate  returned to it's former owner N. Gildermeister. After his dearh the Castle went to his descendants, it is now in privately owned. (In Privatbesitz)

Author German Text: Albert Knoll

Der Ort des Terrors, Vol.:2-page 325
Verlag C.H.BeckMünchen 2005
Translated from German by:
Herbert Stolpmann von Waldeck

                                                                           Continued under Part 4

Obergruppenführer Hermann Otto Fegelein also became the Commandant of the SS Horse Farm at Fischhorn Castle near Zell am See, Austria. Although he had a house with his wife, a love-nest apartment in Berlin, and a bedroom in Hitler's underground bunker below the Reich Chancellery, it was the farm where he was in charge and had his best friends. The day-to-day operation of the horse farm was managed by Erwin Haufler. The administrative officer was Franz Konrad, of Warsaw ghetto fame, who skimmed almost a million dollars off the top of the Nazi loot and buried it in various relatives' yards. Himmler had a safe and many steel filing cabinets in the castle during the time it was the SS horse farm.
Hermann Fegelein as SS-Standartenführer
Fegelein  was a senior officer of the Waffen-SS in Nazi Germany, a member of Adolf Hitler's entourage, and brother-in law to Eva Braun through his marriage to her sister, Gretl. However, he probably died before Braun married Hitler, and details of his death are controversial.
Early career
Fegelein was born in Ansbach in Bavaria. As a young boy he worked at his father's horse riding school in Munich. When it closed due to the world-wide economic depression of the 1920s, he worked as a stable boy for Christian Weber, who in the 1930s was one of the original members of the Nazi Party.
In 1925, Fegelein joined the Reiterregiment 17, leaving it in 1928 to join the Bavarian State Police in Munich. Whilst in Munich, he came into early contact with National Socialism, joining the Party (membership number 1,200,158) and the SA in 1930. By 1931, Fegelein had transferred to the SS.
A note on his rank. Calling Fegelein an Obergruppenführer is not exactly accurate. Most SS officers had two ranks, one for the Waffen-SS, the other for the Allgemeine SS. The Waffen-SS rank was usually higher than the rank of the Allgemeine SS. Fegelein's actual rank was "SS Gruppenführer and Generaleutnant der Waffen-SS." His last film appearance was in a Nazi newsreel shot on Hitler's birthday (April 20, 1945). This is the infamous newsreel where Hitler is giving iron crosses to children for destroying Red Army tanks with the German antitank weapon known as the Panzerfaust. Fegelein is in the background; his plainly visible collar tabs are those of a Gruppenführer.
SS membership
On July 25, 1937, Reichsführer SS Heinrich Himmler, by special order of the Oberabschnitt (SUD), created the SS Main Riding School in Munich and made Hermann Fegelein the School Commander. Only former royalty from the Hohenzollern and Kaiserzeit dynasties could send representatives, along with the top heads of German industry, who donated to Martin Bormann's German industry fund. Hermann requested his friend, Captain Marten von Barnekow, be allowed to enter the horse riding school, and Himmler granted his request.
Fegelein rose quickly through the ranks and was briefly sent to the Russian front in 1943 with the Florian Geyer Cavalry Division, along with members of his SS Riding School (Haupt-Reitschule München). He had served under Reinhard Heydrich, and being an SS officer, was involved in the Nazi rituals at Wewelsburg Castle. The Florian Geyer is reputed to have murdered thousands of innocent civilians in the Pripet Marshes while under Fegelein's command.
Relationship with Himmler
Fegelein was nicknamed Heinrich Himmler's "golden boy"; his boyish face and subservient attitude gained him considerable favour with Himmler, who treated him like a son. Himmler granted him the best assignments (mostly related to horses), the best staff and generous budgets. When he was injured on the Russian front, Himmler brought him home to work in Hitler's staff as Himmler's adjutant and representative of the Waffen SS.
Already the holder of the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves, Fegelein received an ever greater distinction with the award of the Swords to his Knight's Cross on 30 July 1944. Heinrich Himmler also presented him with a gold-plated Walther P-38 pistol with a mother-of-pearl handle, decorated with oak leaves, and Fegelein's name carved on it, and bearing the inscription Meine Ehre heißt Treue ("loyalty is my honor") on the barrel.
His politically arranged marriage took place on June 3, 1944, and a two-day celebration was held at Hitler's and Martin Bormann's Obersalzberg mountain homes. It was the largest, longest and most publicized, purely social event Hitler ever attended. Photographs of the wedding dinner appeared in Britain's weekly Picture Post Magazine the next year after the war ended, showing Hitler at the festivities. A marriage license was obtained at the local town clerk's office and Heinrich Himmler presided over the simple ceremony in which a Pagan ritual substituted for exchanging wedding rings. This ceremony was photographed and filmed by the Nazis.
Hitler had been actively trying to find a husband for Gretl for some time—doing so would provide a valid reason for presenting Eva Braun to visitors and bringing her to official functions. Prior to the marriage, Hitler often forced Braun to hide herself from other Nazi officials when they visited.

Gretl Braun had an extremely bad reputation as being promiscuous—within the SS, she was nicknamed "the nymphomaniac of the Obersalzberg." Hitler had earlier tried to marry her off to a Captain Fritz Darges, but Darges actually asked to be sent to fight in the Eastern Front rather than marry her. Moreover, at the time of the marriage, Gretl Braun was pregnant by a man other than Fegelein.

Gretl with her second husband, Kurt Berlinghoff
Fegelein became known as the playboy of the Third Reich, and after his marriage to Gretl Braun, engaged in numerous extramarital affairs.
Nonetheless, Hitler was apparently aware of Fegelein's dalliances, and while not entirely approving, turned a blind eye to them. This was common within Hitler's inner circle. Martin Bormann had 10 children with his wife and also kept a mistress, while Heinrich Himmler had children with both his wife and mistress.
Large amounts of looted gold, museum-quality artwork, and other valuable movable assets changed hands here in late April 1945. At this time most of the top Nazi military officers met here to launder their gold, money, looted jewelry from concentration camp victims, stolen artwork and other valuables, and to receive new identification papers and passports to allow them to flee to other countries after Germany's official capitulation. According to published interviews with Allied soldiers, SS-Standartenführer Waldemar Fegelein (Hermann's brother) was stationed at Fischhorn Castle in April 1945 along with other SS officers, and was believed to have received shipments from his brother in Berlin containing personal possessions of Eva Braun and some of the looted artwork of Hermann Göring. The Fegelein brothers' knowledge of the disposition of these shipments was another reason they were actively sought by the Allies at the end of the war.
From January to April 1945, Fegelein and Martin Bormann controlled access to Hitler's office. After Fegelein's boss, Heinrich Himmler, tried to negotiate a backdoor surrender to the Allies via Count Bernadotte in April 1945, Fegelein left the Reich Chancellery bunker and was caught by SS-Obersturmbannführer Peter Högl in his Berlin apartment apparently preparing to flee to Sweden or Switzerland with cash and forged passports in civilian clothes with his Hungarian mistress. He was also, according to all accounts, highly intoxicated when arrested and brought back to the bunker.
At this point, historical accounts begin to differ radically. In The Last Days of Hitler, historian Hugh Trevor-Roper remarked:
The real causes and circumstances of the execution of Fegelein provide one of the few subjects in this book upon which final certainty seems unattainable.
Journalist James O'Donnell discovered in his interviews numerous claims and theories as to what happened next to Fegelein, many of which disagreed with each other, and some of which seemed preposterous (i.e., a claim that Hitler himself gunned Fegelein down). Many claimed he had been shot following a court-martial, and this theory predominated for many years. General Wilhelm Mohnke, who presided over the court-martial, told O'Donnell the following:

Hitler ordered me to set up a tribunal forthwith. I was to preside over it myself...I myself decided the accused man deserved trial by high-ranking officers. The panel consisted of four general officers - Generals Wilhelm Burgdorf, Hans Krebs, Johann Rattenhuber, and me...We did, at that moment, have every intention of holding a trial.

General Wulhelm Burgdorf
What really happened was that we set up the court-martial in a room next to my command post...We military judges took our seats at the table with the standard German Army Manual of Courts-Martial before us. No sooner were we seated than defendant Fegelein began acting up in such an outrageous manner that the trial could not even commence.
Roaring drunk, with wild, rolling eyes, Fegelein first brazenly challenged the competence of the court. He kept blubbering that he was responsible to Himmler and Himmler alone, not Hitler...He refused to defend himself. The man was in wretched shape - bawling, whining, vomiting, shaking like an aspen leaf. He took out his penis and began urinating on the floor...

I was now faced with an impossible situation. On the one hand, based on all available evidence, including his own earlier statements, this miserable excuse for an officer was guilty of flagrant desertion... Yet the German Army Manual states clearly that no German soldier can be tried unless he is clearly of sound mind and body, in a condition to hear the evidence against him. I looked up the passage again, to make sure, and consulted with my fellow judges...In my opinion and that of my fellow officers, Hermann Fegelein was in no condition to stand trial, or for that matter to even stand. I closed the proceedings...So I turned Fegelein over to General Rattenhuber and his security squad. I never saw the man again. (O'Donnell, The Bunker, 1978).
Many other people in the bunker argued that Mohnke was lying, that he had in fact had Fegelein killed, and only made the above statement to try and extricate himself from any guilt.

This situation was complicated by the fact that Mohnke was the only survivor of the supposed court martial—Hans Krebs and Wilhelm Burgdorf both committed suicide by May 2. Although Johann Rattenhuber survived, he was captured by the Red Army, kept in custody until the 1950s, and died shortly after being released (and before he could be interviewed about Fegelein).

However, as O'Donnell noted, nobody actually saw Fegelein's execution (or, if they did, they weren't talking). O'Donnell and many historians, with the evidence at hand, agreed with Mohnke, and have concluded that Fegelein was doomed because of a combination of Himmler's betrayal and suspicions that Fegelein's mistress was a spy. Fegelein, then, was killed without a proper trial on Hitler's orders, probably hanged by members of the SS in a nearby cellar. Furthermore, O'Donnell noted that Hitler held off on his marriage to Eva Braun until after he was satisfied Fegelein was dead—a means of ensuring that he would not have a "traitor" as a brother-in-law.
Eva Braun in 1942
Some survivors of the bunker say Eva Braun pleaded to Hitler to spare her new brother-in-law, Hermann, and some say she did not speak a word in his defense. There is agreement among bunker survivors that, when Fegelein was first arrested, Braun did inform Hitler that her sister was pregnant, and that this apparently led Hitler to initially consider releasing him without punishment. However, there is no agreement on whether she said anything once Hitler condemned him to death.
Both Fegelein's parents survived the war and claimed to have received messages (via a third party) that he was continuing resistance underground. His wife, who inherited some of her sister Eva's valuable jewelry (of questionable provenance), also survived the war and gave birth to a daughter (named Eva after her late aunt) whose true parentage is the subject of some speculation and who committed suicide in 1975.
The fate of the baby with which Fegelein's wife was pregnant at the time of their marriage is unknown. Some members of Hitler's entourage claimed she had an abortion with the aid of Theodore Morell, one of Hitler's doctors.
However, claims of his parents not withstanding, all evidence indicates that Fegelein was dead by April 29, 1945, and no bunker witnesses have ever suggested otherwise.


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