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Vitz Archive Notes


Names A-F G-L M-R S-Z



These notes provide additional information to that provided within the Vitz Archive itself, and relate to war crimes against Allied aircrew and SOE personnel by Axis forces or Axis civilians. These notes are from various sources and are provided to assist the reader gaining a fuller picture but they have not necessarily been independently validated by the author of the Vitz Archive, Traugott Vitz.

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MacDonald, Robert T. (12-2000 charge 10)

In 1947, at Dachau, Higher SS and Police Leader Jürgen Stroop and 21 of his Gestapo and SS underlings in the area around Frankfurt and Wiesbaden were tried for the murder of allied servicemen who were prisoners of war, among them notably parachuted allied airmen. Nine cases were individually charged. Charge 10 named as victims “Lt. William H. FORMAN, T.D., AGO Card No. 652973, and Pvt. Robert T. McDONALD, ASN 32773939”, killed “on or about 24 March 1945, at or near BENSHEIM”. The victims were buried at the scene of the crime – the backyard of the Gestapo headquarters at Bensheim – and exhumed only a few days later, on 27thand 28thMarch 1945, when American troops reached the area.

Research has found that these two men were in all probability not airmen but members of the 705thTank Destroyer Battalion, attached to the 11thArmored Division. Sgt. Mac Donald’s remains are resting now in the Lorraine American Cemetery at St Avold, France, Plot D Row 38 Grave 39.The Gestapo men involved were all sentenced to death and executed.


MacKenzie, John (WO 235/211 - Opladen Case )

Verbatim trial transcript available. WO 235_211 - Opladen Case .zip. Please contact us via Helpdesk


MacMahon, James Franklin


Maddison, Robert T. (012-1067 & 012-1449)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Majestic, Arthur B. (012-1368/4)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Maloney, William E. (WO 235/55)

Verbatim trial transcript available. WO 235_55 Elten case. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Mandros Jr., Peter (012-1685)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Manning, Walter Peyton


Manosh, Arthur W. (012-1149, 012-1149-1)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Mansell, Stephane Peter Anthony (WO 235/38)

Verbatim trial transcript available. WO 235_38 Oenning Nix.pdf. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Marcinkus, Romualdas (WO 235/573)

Verbatim trial transcript available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Margiasso, Carmine (012-1368/4)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Marsh, Francis Joseph


Martens, Conrad William (Trial Record Volumes I & 2)


Martin, Anthony Bennett (012-1086, 012-1145)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Martiniak, Edward Adam (012-1182-2)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Martner, Lewis P. (012-1576)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via the Helpdesk


Masters, Robert Lockyer (WO 235/205 and WO 235/153)

Verbatim trial transcript available. WO 235_205 and WO-235_153. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Matthews, Sidney Clayden


Mawson, Harry (WO 235/56 and WO 235/86)





























Verbatim trial transcript available. WO 235_56 Essen-West I Trial and WO 235_86 Essen West II Trial. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Maxwell, Jack A.(12-1545 (Charge 2))

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Mayott, George D. (008-0027)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


McClellan, Walter Adell (No record of a trial)


McDonald, Robert T.


McDonald, Charles James


McDonnell, John E.


McDonough, Robert A. (012-2036)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


McGarr, Clement Aldwyn Neville


McGill, George Edward


McGladrigan, Neil Francis Dallaway

Verbatim trial transcript available. WO 235_395 MANGOLD Konrad (Days 01-06). Please contact us via Helpdesk.


McInnis, Hugh L.


McPadden, James Thomas


McVicker, Donald Trew (012-1247)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via the Helpdesk


Milford, Harold John


Millham, John Oliver (012-57)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via the Helpdesk


Mills Jr., Meredith McDonald (012-779)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via the Helpdesk


Minear, Robert C. (012-1299, 012-3193B (3rd of four))

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via the Helpdesk


Milner, Leon (WO 235/56 and WO 235/86)



Verbatim trial transcript available. WO 235_56 Essen-West I Trial and WO 235_86 Essen West II Trial. Please contact us via Helpdesk

Misiak, Frank L. (012-779)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via the Helpdesk


Mishage, Frank (012-1881)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via the Helpdesk


Mitchell, Charles H.


Mondschein, Jerzy Tomasz

Observer (navigator), born on 18th March 1909 in Warsaw.

Returning from a raid on Mannheim, on 8th November 1941, the aircraft was out of fuel and the pilot attempted to land his plane on an airfield in Belgium. He landed at St Trond near Liege, which was a Luftwaffe fighter base – unfortunately for the crew. They all survived and were made prisoners of war, but not before destroying all their papers and anything that might be useful to the Germans and setting the aircraft on fire. The aircraft was Vickers Wellington 1c, R1215 (NZ-?). The rest of the all Polish crew were F/O Blicharz, P/O Rekszyc, Sgt Jaworoszuk, Sgt Krawiecki and Sgt Lewandowski.

He was one of the 50 Officers executed on 29th March 1944 after an escape from Stalag Luft III (The Great Escape) in Sagan, Germany (now Zagan, Poland). He was Prisoner of War No 680 and active in the year long preparations for this mass escape which seriously disrupted the German war effort by tying up large numbers of German troops and resources at a critical time (less than ten weeks before D-Day), which was a serious blow to the Germans – even though only three of the seventy six who escaped, actually made it home.

In the scheme of things, he was a very useful member of the escape team and performed some very useful functions. He was one of a group of tailors who skilfully converted uniforms into civilian clothes and made warm coats from the PoW blankets. In the pre-war days, before he joined the Polish Air Force, he worked on building sites and developed a skill at cutting out shaped profiles from concrete and then replaced them invisibly. This must have been extremely useful when they were concealing the entrances to the tunnels – it was certainly successful. He is also said to have built all the trapdoors in the tunnels, but that is not confirmed.

His other duty was to scan any German newspapers and magazines for any information that might prove useful to the escape effort. He was assigned this intelligence gathering task because he was fluent in speaking German and he could also read it.

Once clear of the wire, he was part of a group of twelve who made for the local railway station and he made further use of his German language skills by buying tickets for the group. The ticket seller was suspicious of so large a group, but Jerzy held his nerve, explaining that they were all Spanish workers in the local mills.

The basic idea was to get as far away from the camp as possible before the inevitable manhunt started; so they took the early morning train in the general direction of Jelenia Gora and, on arrival, the party split up into smaller groups. Jerzy and his three companions headed south with the intention of getting into Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic) and seeking help from the Czech partisans – who had no love for the Germans after their occupation first of the Sudetenland, and later the whole country.

The party had to walk through waist deep snow for about 20 kilometres and were recaptured by a German patrol whilst crossing the border mountains near Reichenberg (now Liberec), in what was then Czechoslovakia. They were taken to the prison at Reichenberg where they were reunited with other recaptured prisoners (Johnny Stower and Ivo Tonder) and interrogated (possibly tortured) before being taken into the countryside near Brux (now Most) and executed. Stories vary as to whether they were machine gunned or killed with a single bullet to the back of the head – but that seems to be academic – by an unknown Gestapo killer. The bodies were cremated at Brux the next day and the urns were returned to Stalag Luft III. Cynically, the cremations were ordered the day before the executions took place.

His ashes were later buried in the Old Garrison Cemetery at Poznan, Poland. It is a sad irony that he was incarcerated in Stalag Luft III in Sagan (now Zagan) which is in Upper Silesia in modern Poland.

The actual killers are unknown but the murders of Jerzy Mondschein and his three travelling companions (F/Lt Lester J Bull DFC of 109 squadron RAF, F/Lt Reginald V “Rusty” Kierath and Squadron Leader John EA Williams DFC, both of 450 squadron RAAF) were orchestrated by local Reichenburg Gestapo leader Bernhard Baatz, Robert Weissman and Robert Weyland. Baatz and Weyland lived on with impunity and with the complicity of the Russian authorities. Weissman was later arrested by the French military authorities but his fate remains unknown.

He was a married man with at least one child (a daughter) and, at age 35, he was the oldest of the group of Polish officers who set off for Czechoslovakia. He was in the Polish Air Force before the war and escaped, via Romania, on 17th September 1939. At some point, he was awarded the Cross of Valour.

On 25th March 2012, the Czech Republic held a ceremony honouring these men and unveiling a plaque in their memory in the city of Most (formerly Brux) where they were murdered. The Czech Air Force organised a fly past and a Guard of Honour at the ceremony, which took place on the 68th anniversary of their escape. Members of the families of the four airmen met for the first time at this event.

Jonathan F Vance, in his classic book on the Great Escape - "A Gallant Company", has stated that Jerzy Mondschein suffered frequent bouts of depression - being convinced he would never see his wife and daughter again. As a result, when these depressions occurred, he spent many lonely night time hours pacing the corridors of Hut 110, in Stalag Luft III. Be that as it may, he bore these personal agonies in private. He never let them interfere with his escape duties.

General Artur Nebe, the man tasked with compiling a list of the fifty recaptured escapees to be murdered, was executed by the Gestapo for his part in the July 1944 plot on Hitler's life. He was hanged, with typical Nazi savagery, with piano wire, early in 1945. Ironically, this happened at Sachsenhausen concentration camp where he had sent so many others - and this included Stalag Luft III escapers who ultimately survived the war.

Courtesy 304squadron.blogspot.com


Monroe Jr., Archibald B (012-2000 Charge (Incident 7&8 of 10))

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via the Helpdesk


Mooney Jr., William H.


Moore, William (Bill) Frantz (Dutch trial records)


Morris, Robert


Morris, Philip Henry (WO 235/205 and WO 235/153 )


Morrow, Levi L.

See Brocious, Harold


Mouzer, George William (WO 235/141 & WO 235/683)


Mullane, Martin J. (012-1742, 012-2000)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via the Helpdesk


Murphy, Melvin E. (012-447 (not tried))


Myers, William J. (012-0489, 012-0489-1)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via the Helpdesk


Narron, Hardy Donnell

Complete trial transcript (Bolzano Gestapo Case) available via Helpdesk.


Nelson, Maurice E. (012-1368/4)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via the Helpdesk


Nemerowski Jr., Micheal J. (012-1395)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via the Helpdesk


Newhouse, Richard V. S. (012-43)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via the Helpdesk


Newman, Ramon Henry (012-1034, 012-3193B)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via the Helpdesk


Newton, Raymond Edward (No record of a trial)


Nichols, Charles A. (Belgian War Crime Trial)


Nichols, Darwin R. (012-1457)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Nielsen, Theodore D.


Noble, Richard Francis (No record of a trial)


Norby, Charles Allan (012-1911)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Noske Jr., John (05-92)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Nott, Jack Stewart (WO 235/345)

Verbatim trial transcript available. WO 235_345 Tilburg Case.pdf. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Olschanezky Sonja

On 13 May 1944, Leigh together with three other captured female SOE agents, Andrée Borrel, Sonia Olschanezky and Diana Rowden, were moved from Fresnes to the Gestapo's Paris headquarters in the Avenue Foch along with four other women whose names were Yolande Beekman, Madeleine Damerment, Eliane Plewman and Odette Sansom (aka Odette Churchil), all of whom were F Section agents. Later that day they were taken to the railway station, and each handcuffed to a guard upon alighting the train. Sansom, in an interview after the war, said:

'We were starting on this journey together in fear, but all of us hoping for something above all that we would remain together. We had all had a taste already of what things could be like, none of us did expect for anything very much, we all knew that they could put us to death. I was the only one officially condemned to death. The others were not. But there is always a fugitive ray of hope that some miracle will take place.'

Some time between five and six in the morning on 6 July 1944, not quite two months after their arrival in Karlsruhe, Borrel, Leigh, Olschanezky and Rowden were taken to the reception room, given their personal possessions, and handed over to two Gestapo men who then transported them some 100 kilometres south-west by closed truck to the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp in France, where they arrived around three in the afternoon. They were led down to the cell-block at the bottom of the camp by SS men and held there until later that night. They were initially together but later put into individual cells.

Through the windows, which faced those of the infirmary, they managed to communicate with several prisoners, including a Belgian prisoner, Dr Georges Boogaerts, who had passed one of the women (whom he later identified as Borrel from a photograph) some cigarettes through the window. Borrel threw him a little tobacco pouch containing some money.

Albert Guérisse (a Belgian army physician who had helped set up an escape organization in Marseille), whose PAT escape line Borrel had been part of and known her, recognized Borrel but had only managed to exchange a few words with another one of the women before she disappeared, who had said she was English (Leigh or Rowden). At the post-war trial of the men charged with the murder of the four women, Dr. Guérisse had stated that he was in the infirmary and had seen the women, one by one, being taken from the building housing the cells (Zellenbau) to the crematorium a few yards away. He told the court:

'I saw the four women going to the crematorium, one after the other. One went, and two or three minutes later another went. The next morning the German prisoner in charge of the crematorium explained to me that each time the door of the oven was opened, the flames came out of the chimney and that meant a body have been put in the oven. I saw the flames four times.'

The prisoner Dr. Guérisse referred to was Franz Berg, who assisted in the crematorium and had stoked the fire that night before being sent back to the room he shared with two other prisoners before the executions. The door was locked from the outside during the executions, but it was possible to see the corridor from a small window above the door, so the prisoner in the highest bunk was able to keep up a running commentary on what he saw. Berg said:

'We heard low voices in the next room and then the noise of a body being dragged along the floor, and he whispered to me that he could see people dragging something along the floor which was below his angle of vision through the fanlight. At the same time that this body was being brought past we heard the noise of heavy breathing and low groaning combined…and again we heard the same noises and regular groans as the [next two] insensible women were dragged away.

The fourth, however, resisted in the corridor. I heard her say 'Pourquoi?' and I heard a voice as I recognized as the doctor who was in civilian clothes say 'Pour typhus'. We then heard the noise of a struggle and the muffled cries of the woman. I assumed that someone held a hand over her mouth. I heard the woman being dragged away too. She was groaning louder than the others. From the noise of the crematorium oven doors which I heard, I can state definitely that in each case the groaning women were placed immediately in the crematorium oven.

When [the officials] had gone, we went to the crematorium oven, opened the door and saw that there were four blackened bodies within. Next morning in the course of my duties I had to clear the ashes out of the crematorium oven. I found a pink woman’s stocking garter on the floor near the oven.

The women were told to undress for a medical check and have an injection for medical reasons by a doctor, which was in fact what was considered a lethal 10cc dose of phenol. More than one witness talked of a struggle when the fourth woman was shoved into the furnace. According to a Polish prisoner named Walter Schultz, the SS medical orderly (Emil Brüttel) told him the following: 'When the last woman was halfway in the oven (she had been put in feet first), she had come to her senses and struggled. As there were sufficient men there, they were able to push her into the oven, but not before she had resisted and scratched [Peter] Straub's face.' The next day Schultz noticed that the face of the camp executioner (Straub) had been severely scratched.

Only the camp doctor (Werner Rohde) was executed after the war. The camp commandant (Fritz Hartjenstein) received a life sentence, while Straub was sentenced to 13 years in prison. Franz Berg was sentenced to five years in prison.

Unforgivably, and to our great collective shame, the British Government declined to honour this brave woman on the grounds she was a locally recruited Résistance worker and not a member of the Special Operations Executive. All Hail To The Pen Pushers!

We salute the heroines of SOE!!

See Borrel, Andrée • Leigh, Vera • Rowden, Diana

See also: tribute to Violette Szabo GC on this site

Verbatim trial transcript available. WO 235_336 Struthof-Natzweiler Case No I. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Owens, Orian G. (Belgian War Crime Trial)


Palmer, Kenneth L. (012-2036)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Palmer, Richard Howard (012-1182-2)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Paradise, John Edwin (WO 235/82 and WO 235/84)

Verbatim trial transcript available. WO 235_82 Dreierwalde 1 Trial and WO 235_84 Dreierwalde 2 Trial. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Park, Robert A.


Parker, Charles Clark

Verbatim trial transcript available. Bolzano Gestapo Case. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Passeno, William W.


Patrick, Jack Steiner (012-1307)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Paul, Robert Andrew


Pawluk, Kazimierz


Paxton, Max W. (No record of trial - Hearsay)


Pennerath, Jean Justin (WO 235/185 Gaggenau Trial)

A British Military Court was convened in Wuppertal, Germany, between the 6th and 10th May 1946, the trial record of which may be obtained via Helpdesk (WO 235_185 Gaggenau Trial).

Eleven German nationals were charged with committing a war crime in that they, at Rotenfels Security Camp, Gaggenau, Germany, on the 25th November 1944, in violation of the laws and usages of war, were concerned in the killing of six British prisoners of war, namely Major D.B. Reynolds, Capt. Gough, Capt. A.R. Whitely-Smith, Parachutist M.A. Griffin, Lieut. G.D. Dill, Gunner C. Ashe, all of 2ndSpecial Air Service Regt.; four American Prisoners of war, namely Michael Pipcock (sic), Garis P. Jacoby, Curtis E. Hodges, Maynard Latten and four French nationals namely Abbé Pennrath, Abbé Claude, Abbé Roth and Werner Jakob.

Since there were French nationals among the victims, a French Air Force Captain (Capt.) was a member of the court, sitting with one Brigadier (Brig.) four Majors (Maj.) and a Judge Advocate.

The accused were Karl Buck, SS-Hauptsturmführer (Capt.) and commander of the Sicherungslager (Security Camp) Schirmeck La Broque (Alsace) and Sicherungslager Rotenfels/Gaggenau, Robert Wünsch, SS-Untersturmführer (2nd.Lt.) and administrative officer at the Gaggenau camp, Karl Nussberger, Oberleutnant (1st.Lt.) in the Police and Commanding Officer (CO) of the police unit responsible for the security at Gaggenau camp, one Karl Zimmermann, SS-Sturmscharführer (Sgt.Maj.) and several police Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) of varying rank, Erwin Ostertag, Josef Muth, Bernhard Josef Ulrich, Heinrich Neuschwanger, Karl Wilhelm Dinkel, Helmut Korb, and Franz Xaver Vetter.

The court heard that during November 1944 at Schirmeck La Broque, prisoners of various categories were held, some of them in the “Block“ (a prison within a prison). When the Allied forces approached, orders were given to move the “Block“ prisoners from Schirmeck La Broque further to the east. The victims named in the charge were transported to Rotenfels/Gaggenau, which was also under Buck's orders.

On the morning of 24th or 25th November 1944, Buck came to Rotenfels/Gaggenau and issued orders to Wünsch that certain prisoners were to be killed. Wünsch related this order to Nussberger who in turn conferred with his subordinates who then started to make the preparations they thought necessary. At 1400 hrs on the 25th November 1944, a van appeared at the camp gate to take the prisoners and their escort, comprising the accused policemen, except for Nussberger, plus four Russian prisoners who had picks and shovels with them.

The lorry drove to a place outside Gaggenau called Erlichwald (Erlich woods). There the accused made the prisoners, in four groups of three and one group of two, dismount from the lorry and walk some distance into the wood where they were shot dead from behind, their bodies falling into a bomb crater. One of the French victims, a priest, “tried to break away. He made it 100 yards into the woods before being gunned down.” (Reference: Lewis, Nazi Hunters, p. 254)

The individuals who did the shooting were Neuschwanger, Ulrich and Ostertag. The bodies were stripped of their clothes and personal effects. The bomb crater was then filled in and the clothes and effects burned on the spot, although in their haste they left several vital clues which later assisted in identifying the remains.

When French troops reached Gaggenau end of April 1945, word of the atrocities reached them fairly quickly, and they ordered the exhumation of the bodies from the bomb crater, using local Nazis as the workforce. Identification was only partly successful, and the victims were reburied in individual graves in the local cemetery on 13th May 1945. On 10th June, Maj. Eric ‘Bill’ Barkworth of the 2nd Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment arrived and ordered a fresh exhumation. Careful examination of the bodies and graves, together with investigations at the bomb crater site, established the identities of the victims as named in the charge. Maj. Barkworth, in his evidence in court, gave detailed information on the facts and findings upon which he based his identifications.

In one case it took years to identify the French victims, but meanwhile it has been established that they were:

Abbé Joseph Claude, born 24 November 1891 at L. Vallois. One of his fellow prisoners called him “the quietest, most God-loving and selfless person in the prison”. (Reference: Lewis, Nazi Hunters, p. 352)

Werner Jakob, born 18 August 1914 at Strasbourg,

Abbé Jean Justin Pennerath, born 14 June 1902 at Barst,

Abbé Joseph Alphonse Roth, born 7 September 1911 at Roppwiller.

The court found all accused, with the exception of Muth, guilty of the charge and rejected their defense of Superior Orders (in this case: Hitler’s Commando Order of 18th October 1942). The court pronounced sentences as follows:

Buck, Neuschwanger, Nussberger, Ostertag and Ulrich were to die by shooting, Wünsch got 4 years imprisonment, Dinkel 8 years, Korb 3 years, Vetter 2 years and Zimmermann 10 years. The sentences were confirmed by the Commander in Chief of the British Army of the Rhine on 6th July 1946, but not all of them were promulgated and executed.

The French authorities wanted to try some of the accused in this case for other, similar crimes and demanded their extradition. It is not clear why Neuschwanger was the only one to pay with his life for the murders of 25 November 1944. He was executed in the shooting range adjacent Neheimer Straße, Werl, Germany, by a British firing party on 26th September 1946 at 0800 hrs. It is speculated that he may not have been named on the extradition list.

Buck, Nussberger, Ostertag, Ulrich and Wünsch, but also the acquitted Josef Muth were extradited to the French and stood trial before the Tribunal Général at Rastatt, Germany, in the French Zone of Occupation, from 20th February to 18th March, 1947.

The charge accused them of war crimes under Control Council Law No. 10, committed by murder and ill-treatment of Allied nationals in Security and Work Camps.

Buck, Muth, Nussberger, Ostertag and Ulrich were sentenced to death; Wünsch received 1 year imprisonment.

Upon appeal, the (French) death sentences of Buck and Nussberger were commuted to life imprisonment with hard labour. The sentences of Muth and Ostertag were both commuted to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour.

Ulrich’s (French) death sentence was carried out by shooting on 26th August 1947 at 0700 hrs in a gravel pit to the southwest of Sandweier (today part of Baden-Baden).

It is not quite clear at which date the British decided to reprieve Buck, Nussberger and Ostertag and to commute their sentences to prison terms, seeing that (a) the French would not hand the prisoners back any time soon and that it (b) would be very much against British tradition anyway to execute a death sentence years after sentencing.

Buck and Nussberger stood another trial in January 1953 in Metz, in which Robert Wünsch, too, was tried in absentia. All three of them received a death sentence, and again Buck and Nussberger were reprieved, their sentences being shortened to 20 years. Both were released from the British prison at Werl on 9 September 1955. It is not known since when they were back in British custody.

According to archival records, Ostertag was still in prison in 1954.

Otherwise, the final disposition of the sentences for Muth, Ostertag, Wünsch, Dinkel, Zimmermann and Korb is unknown.


Perrotta, Victor Joseph (No trial found)


Percival, Edward Arthur


Perry, Willard F


Peterson, Forrest A.


Playne, George Christopher Martin (WO 235/1)

George C.M. Playne was a Captain (Capt.) in the 2nd The Royal Gloucestershire Hussars, Royal Armoured Corps. On the 30th November 1941, he was a prisoner in the Italian PoW camp Torre Tresca near Bari. Together with another British PoW, a Lieutenant (Lt.) Roy Roston Cooke of the Queen’s Own Royal West Kent Regt., he made an attempt to escape. Both men were recaptured a few hours later and brought back to the PoW camp. General (Gen.) Nicola Bellomo arrived and asked the two officers, whose wrists had been bound, to show him how and where they had managed to escape. There are considerable differences in the evidence describing the ensuing events. According to one version, the two officers again attempted to escape, whereupon Gen. Bellomo ordered the guards present to open fire. This is what a later investigation by the Italian army found to have happened. A second investigation, urged by the British government, undertaken by the Swiss legation in Rome and the Red Cross came to the same conclusion.

According to a second version, there was no renewed escape attempt, but Gen. Bellomo ordered the guards present to open fire anyway and was alleged to have also fired at the two officers with his sidearm. The soldiers of the guard all testified during the trial that they had shot either in the air or not at all, laying the blame for the shooting at the feet of their officers. However, the wounds sustained by the two officers were caused by rifle bullets, not by bullets from a pistol similar to the one Gen. Bellomo carried.

Capt. Playne was hit by a single bullet to the neck and died almost immediately. Lt. Cooke was wounded in his buttocks. Capt. Playne was initially buried in the PoW section of the cemetery at Bari and later transferred to the Bari War Cemetery to grave II. C. 11.

Gen. Bellomo was tried during the period 23rd to 28th July 1945 by a British Military Court convened in Bari. He was charged with committing a war crime in that he did instigate and take part in killing of Capt. Playne and in the attempted killing of Lt. Cooke. He was found guilty and sentenced to death by shooting. The sentence was carried out on 11th September 1945 at “55 Military Prison and Detention Barracks” i.e. the old prison on the islet of Nesida in the Gulf of Naples.

The validity of the evidence upon which Gen. Bellomo was sentenced has been questioned by several authors, among them Peter Tompkins who was the OSS referent in Rome in 1944.

In Bari today, a 500 yard long street is named Via Generale Nicola Bellomo, probably to honour him for his holding the city of Bari against the Germans, after the armistice between Italy and the Allies, until British troops landed on 22nd September 1943.

Charge Sheet of WO 235/1 available via helpdesk. Also available: A resume of the trial of Captain Antonio Sommavilla, the commander of the PoW camp (WO 235/80)


Picard, Henri Albert (WO 235/573)

Verbatim trial transcript available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Piche, Jean Adolphe Fernand


Pikula, Frank W.


Pindroch, John (Belgian War Crime Trial)


Pinto Jr., Frank


Pipock, Michael (WO 235/185 Gaggenau Trial)

Verbatim trial transcript available. WO 235_185 Gaggenau Trial. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Pohe, Porokoru Patapu


Post Jr., Dean N. (No record of a trial)


Pratt Jr., Philip W. (008-0027)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Prokop, Joseph Eugene (12-0926 & 12-0926-1)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Pulsipher, Lewis E. (12-1545 (Charge 1))

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Purkey, Harvey J.


Radomski, Bernard E. (012-779)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Rankin, Warren G. (012-1368/4)

Review and Recommendations Trial Papers available. Please contact us via Helpdesk


Reese, Luther C. (Belgian War Crime Trial)


Reese Vincent J. (011-519)

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Reuss, Lester E. (012-2422, 012-2422-1, 012-1852)

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Reynolds, John R.


Reynolds, Denis Bingham (WO 235/185 Gaggenau Trial )

A British Military Court was convened in Wuppertal, Germany, between the 6th and 10th May 1946, the trial record of which may be obtained via Helpdesk (WO 235_185 Gaggenau Trial).

Eleven German nationals were charged with committing a war crime in that they, at Rotenfels Security Camp, Gaggenau, Germany, on the 25th November 1944, in violation of the laws and usages of war, were concerned in the killing of six British prisoners of war, namely Major D.B. Reynolds, Capt. Gough, Capt. A.R. Whitely-Smith, Parachutist M.A. Griffin, Lieut. G.D. Dill, Gunner C. Ashe, all of 2nd Special Air Service Regt.; four American Prisoners of war, namely Michael Pipcock (sic), Garis P. Jacoby, Curtis E. Hodges, Maynard Latten and four French nationals namely Abbé Pennrath, Abbé Claude, Abbé Roth and Werner Jakob.

Since there were French nationals among the victims, a French Air Force Captain (Capt.) was a member of the court, sitting with one Brigadier (Brig.) four Majors (Maj.) and a Judge Advocate.

The accused were Karl Buck, SS-Hauptsturmführer (Capt.) and commander of the Sicherungslager (Security Camp) Schirmeck La Broque (Alsace) and Sicherungslager Rotenfels/Gaggenau, Robert Wünsch, SS-Untersturmführer (2nd.Lt.) and administrative officer at the Gaggenau camp, Karl Nussberger, Oberleutnant (1st.Lt.) in the Police and Commanding Officer (CO) of the police unit responsible for the security at Gaggenau camp, one Karl Zimmermann, SS-Sturmscharführer (Sgt.Maj.) and several police Non-Commissioned Officers (NCOs) of varying rank, Erwin Ostertag, Josef Muth, Bernhard Josef Ulrich, Heinrich Neuschwanger, Karl Wilhelm Dinkel, Helmut Korb, and Franz Xaver Vetter.

The court heard that during November 1944 at Schirmeck La Broque, prisoners of various categories were held, some of them in the “Block“ (a prison within a prison). When the Allied forces approached, orders were given to move the “Block“ prisoners from Schirmeck La Broque further to the east. The victims named in the charge were transported to Rotenfels/Gaggenau, which was also under Buck's orders.

On the morning of 24th or 25th November 1944, Buck came to Rotenfels/Gaggenau and issued orders to Wünsch that certain prisoners were to be killed. Wünsch related this order to Nussberger who in turn conferred with his subordinates who then started to make the preparations they thought necessary. At 1400 hrs on the 25th November 1944, a van appeared at the camp gate to take the prisoners and their escort, comprising the accused policemen, except for Nussberger, plus four Russian prisoners who had picks and shovels with them.

The lorry drove to a place outside Gaggenau called Erlichwald (Erlich woods). There the accused made the prisoners, in four groups of three and one group of two, dismount from the lorry and walk some distance into the wood where they were shot dead from behind, their bodies falling into a bomb crater. The individuals who did the shooting were Neuschwanger, Ulrich and Ostertag. The bodies were stripped of their clothes and personal effects. The bomb crater was then filled in and the clothes and effects burned on the spot, although in their haste they left several vital clues which later assisted in identifying the remains.

When French troops reached Gaggenau end of April 1945, word of the atrocities reached them fairly quickly, and they ordered the exhumation of the bodies from the bomb crater, using local Nazis as the workforce. Identification was only partly successful, and the victims were reburied in individual graves in the local cemetery on 13th May 1945. On 10th June, Maj. Eric ‘Bill’ Barkworth of the 2nd Special Air Service (SAS) Regiment arrived and ordered a fresh exhumation. Careful examination of the bodies and graves, together with investigations at the bomb crater site, established the identities of the victims as named in the charge. Maj. Barkworth, in his evidence in court, gave detailed information on the facts and findings upon which he based his identifications.

Ashe, Christopher, Private (Gunner), service number 847426, SAS (Special Air Service). 27 years old. According to www.specialforcesroh.com he was born in the Republic of Ireland and belonged to Operation PISTOL. He was taken prisoner on 23 September 1944.

Based on his dental records, he was identified as the body found in row 4 grave 7 of the Gaggenau Cemetery. Today his grave is in Dürnbach War Cemetery, Bavaria, Germany, field 3 row K grave 12.

Dill, David Gordon, Lieutenant, service number 265704, originally served with the King’s Royal Rifle Corps before joining the SAS (Special Air Service). According to www.specialforcesroh.com he took part in Operation LOYTON and was taken prisoner on 6 October 1944. On 8 November 1944 he was seen alive in Security Camp Schirmeck-La Broque by a representative of the American Red Cross. 20 years old, son to an officer from South Stoke, Oxfordshire.

He was identified thanks to his service issue wrist watch bearing a number which identified it as having been issued to Lt. Dill. Originally buried in row 4 grave 5 of the Gaggenau Cemetery, he is now buried in Dürnbach War Cemetery, Bavaria, Germany, field 3 row K grave 10.

Gough, Victor Albert, Captain, service number 148884, originally served with the Somerset Light Infantry before joining the Special Operations Executive. He was born 11 Sept 1918 in Hereford. As a member of Jedburgh team JACOB he took part in Operation LOYTON. His group parachuted into the Vosges mountains on 12 August 1944. His last radio message to headquarters dated from 18 September 1944, 1900 hrs. He must have been captured on one of the following days while trying to reach Allied lines. On 8 November 1944 he was seen alive in Security Camp Schirmeck-La Broque by a representative of the American Red Cross.

Based on his dental records, he was identified as the body found in row 4 grave 9 of the Gaggenau Cemetery. Today his grave is in Dürnbach War Cemetery, Bavaria, Germany, field 3 row K grave 22.

Griffin, Maurice Arthur, Private (Parachutist), service number 873123, SAS (Special Air Service). According to www.specialforcesroh.com he served originally with the Royal Artillery before joining the SAS. According to the same source he was born in London, lived in Bristol (his parents residing at Sea Mills, Gloucestershire) and was part of Operation LOYTON. He was taken prisoner some time during Sept.-Oct. 1944. 23 years old.

Based on his dental records, he was identified as the body exhumed from row 2 grave 5 of the Gaggenau Cemetery. Today his grave is in Dürnbach War Cemetery, Bavaria, Germany, field 3 row K grave 1.

Reynolds, Denis Bingham, Major, service number 130586, originally served with the King’s Royal Rifle Corps before joining the SAS (Special Air Service). According to www.specialforcesroh.com he took part in Operation LOYTON and was taken prisoner on 30 October 1944. On 8 November 1944 he was seen alive in Security Camp Schirmeck-La Broque by a representative of the American Red Cross.

The body found in grave 3 of row 3, Gaggenau Cemetery, bore his ID tags. Today his grave is in Dürnbach War Cemetery, Bavaria, Germany, field 3 row K grave 5.

Whately-Smith, Anthony Robert, Major, service number 113612, SAS (Special Air Service). 29 years old (born in 1915), son of a priest from Milford-on-Sea, Hampshire. According to www.specialforcesroh.com he took part in Operation LOYTON, he was taken prisoner on 30 October 1944. On 8 November 1944 he was seen alive in Security Camp Schirmeck-La Broque by a representative of the American Red Cross.

The body found in grave 6 of row 2, Gaggenau Cemetery, bore his ID tags. Today his grave is in Dürnbach War Cemetery, Bavaria, Germany, field 3 row K grave 2.

The court found all accused, with the exception of Muth, guilty of the charge and rejected their defense of Superior Orders (in this case: Hitler’s Commando Order of 18th October 1942). The court pronounced sentences as follows:

Buck, Neuschwanger, Nussberger, Ostertag and Ulrich were to die by shooting, Wünsch got 4 years imprisonment, Dinkel 8 years, Korb 3 years, Vetter 2 years and Zimmermann 10 years. The sentences were confirmed by the Commander in Chief of the British Army of the Rhine on 6th July 1946, but not all of them were promulgated and executed.

The French authorities wanted to try some of the accused in this case for other, similar crimes and demanded their extradition. It is not clear why Neuschwanger was the only one to pay with his life for the murders of 25 November 1944. He was executed in the shooting range adjacent Neheimer Straße, Werl, Germany, by a British firing party on 26th September 1946 at 0800 hrs. It is speculated that he may not have been named on the extradition list.

Buck, Nussberger, Ostertag, Ulrich and Wünsch, but also the acquitted Josef Muth were extradited to the French and stood trial before the Tribunal Général at Rastatt, Germany, in the French Zone of Occupation, from 20th February to 18th March, 1947.

The charge accused them of war crimes under Control Council Law No. 10, committed by murder and ill-treatment of Allied nationals in Security and Work Camps.

Buck, Muth, Nussberger, Ostertag and Ulrich were sentenced to death; Wünsch received 1 year imprisonment.

Upon appeal, the (French) death sentences of Buck and Nussberger were commuted to life imprisonment with hard labour. The sentences of Muth and Ostertag were both commuted to 15 years imprisonment with hard labour.

Ulrich’s (French) death sentence was carried out by shooting on 26th August 1947 at 0700 hrs in a gravel pit to the southwest of Sandweier (today part of Baden-Baden).

It is not quite clear at which date the British decided to reprieve Buck, Nussberger and Ostertag and to commute their sentences to prison terms, seeing that (a) the French would not hand the prisoners back any time soon and that it (b) would be very much against British tradition anyway to execute a death sentence years after sentencing.

Buck and Nussberger stood another trial in January 1953 in Metz, in which Robert Wünsch, too, was tried in absentia. All three of them received a death sentence, and again Buck and Nussberger were reprieved, their sentences being shortened to 20 years. Both were released from the British prison at Werl on 9 September 1955. It is not known since when they were back in British custody.

According to archival records, Ostertag was still in prison in 1954.

Otherwise, the final disposition of the sentences for Muth, Ostertag, Wünsch, Dinkel, Zimmermann and Korb is unknown.


Rigby, Richard


Rives, Jack


Rocco, Patsy (012-2422, 012-2422-1, 012-1852)

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Roberts Jr., Paul J. (012-643)

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Robinson, Alan Kenneth (WO 235/497, WO 235/775; WO 309/148, WO 309/708, WO 309/1072, WO 311/281)


Rogan, Frank G.


Rogers Jr, Norman J. (012-2381, 012-1497)

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Rohulich, Michael (012-1871, 012-1871-1, 012-2000 (Incident 3 of 10))

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Roth, Joseph Alphonse (WO 235/185 Gaggenau Trial)


Rowden, Diana (WO 235/336)

The following is an extract from the opening remarks by the Prosecution at the trial for the murders of Diana Rowden and three other women.

Traugott Vitz has provided the following commentary:

'This Prosecutor states the victims were Denise Borrell, Diana Rowden (Croix de Guerre, Mentioned in Despatches), Nora Inayat-Khan (GC, Croix de Guerre, Mentioned in Despatches) and Vera Leigh (King's Commendation for Brave Conduct). In fact Denise Borrell was actually Andrée Borrel (Croix de Guerre, Médaille de la Résistance, King's Commendation for Brave Conduct)... Denise Urbain was the alias she used when working undercover in France. She is on the memorial plaque at Natzweiler as 'Andrée Borrel'. Nora Inayat-Khan's given name was Noor, though she was also known as Nora.

The cerebral Noor Inayat Khan GC

Vera Atkins (who was a vital witness at the trial) was an important figure in SOE (France) and played a major role in sending the agents off. After the war, she felt that it was her duty to investigate the fates of her SOE women; she toured Germany and did lots of interrogations herself. At the time of this trial, it was her belief that the fourth woman mentioned above was Noor Inayat-Khan but it later emerged that Ms Inayat-Khan was murdered at Dachau. The fourth woman at Natzweiler was, in fact, Sonia Olschanezky, but Vera Atkins didn't know that at the time.

On 13 May 1944, Leigh together with three other captured female SOE agents, Andrée Borrel, Sonia Olschanezky and Diana Rowden, were moved from Fresnes to the Gestapo's Paris headquarters in the Avenue Foch along with four other women whose names were Yolande Beekman, Madeleine Damerment, Eliane Plewman and Odette Sansom (aka Odette Churchil), all of whom were F Section agents. Later that day they were taken to the railway station, and each handcuffed to a guard upon alighting the train. Sansom, in an interview after the war, said:

'We were starting on this journey together in fear, but all of us hoping for something above all that we would remain together. We had all had a taste already of what things could be like, none of us did expect for anything very much, we all knew that they could put us to death. I was the only one officially condemned to death. The others were not. But there is always a fugitive ray of hope that some miracle will take place.'

Some time between five and six in the morning on 6 July 1944, not quite two months after their arrival in Karlsruhe, Borrel, Leigh, Olschanezky and Rowden were taken to the reception room, given their personal possessions, and handed over to two Gestapo men who then transported them some 100 kilometres south-west by closed truck to the Natzweiler-Struthof concentration camp in France, where they arrived around three in the afternoon. They were led down to the cell-block at the bottom of the camp by SS men and held there until later that night. They were initially together but later put into individual cells.

Through the windows, which faced those of the infirmary, they managed to communicate with several prisoners, including a Belgian prisoner, Dr Georges Boogaerts, who had passed one of the women (whom he later identified as Borrel from a photograph) some cigarettes through the window. Borrel threw him a little tobacco pouch containing some money.

Albert Guérisse (a Belgian army physician who had helped set up an escape organization in Marseille), whose PAT escape line Borrel had been part of and known her, recognized Borrel but had only managed to exchange a few words with another one of the women before she disappeared, who had said she was English (Leigh or Rowden). At the post-war trial of the men charged with the murder of the four women, Dr. Guérisse had stated that he was in the infirmary and had seen the women, one by one, being taken from the building housing the cells (Zellenbau) to the crematorium a few yards away. He told the court:

'I saw the four women going to the crematorium, one after the other. One went, and two or three minutes later another went. The next morning the German prisoner in charge of the crematorium explained to me that each time the door of the oven was opened, the flames came out of the chimney and that meant a body have been put in the oven. I saw the flames four times.'

The prisoner Dr. Guérisse referred to was Franz Berg, who assisted in the crematorium and had stoked the fire that night before being sent back to the room he shared with two other prisoners before the executions. The door was locked from the outside during the executions, but it was possible to see the corridor from a small window above the door, so the prisoner in the highest bunk was able to keep up a running commentary on what he saw. Berg said:

'We heard low voices in the next room and then the noise of a body being dragged along the floor, and he whispered to me that he could see people dragging something along the floor which was below his angle of vision through the fanlight. At the same time that this body was being brought past we heard the noise of heavy breathing and low groaning combined…and again we heard the same noises and regular groans as the [next two] insensible women were dragged away.

The fourth, however, resisted in the corridor. I heard her say 'Pourquoi?' and I heard a voice as I recognized as the doctor who was in civilian clothes say 'Pour typhus'. We then heard the noise of a struggle and the muffled cries of the woman. I assumed that someone held a hand over her mouth. I heard the woman being dragged away too. She was groaning louder than the others. From the noise of the crematorium oven doors which I heard, I can state definitely that in each case the groaning women were placed immediately in the crematorium oven.

When [the officials] had gone, we went to the crematorium oven, opened the door and saw that there were four blackened bodies within. Next morning in the course of my duties I had to clear the ashes out of the crematorium oven. I found a pink woman’s stocking garter on the floor near the oven.

The women were told to undress for a medical check and have an injection for medical reasons by a doctor, which was in fact what was considered a lethal 10cc dose of phenol. More than one witness talked of a struggle when the fourth woman was shoved into the furnace. According to a Polish prisoner named Walter Schultz, the SS medical orderly (Emil Brüttel) told him the following: 'When the last woman was halfway in the oven (she had been put in feet first), she had come to her senses and struggled. As there were sufficient men there, they were able to push her into the oven, but not before she had resisted and scratched [Peter] Straub's face.' The next day Schultz noticed that the face of the camp executioner (Straub) had been severely scratched.

Only the camp doctor (Werner Rohde) was executed after the war. The camp commandant (Fritz Hartjenstein) received a life sentence, while Straub was sentenced to 13 years in prison. Franz Berg was sentenced to five years in prison.

We salute the heroines of SOE!!

See Borrel, Andrée • Leigh, Vera • Olschanezky, Sonya

See also: tribute to Violette Szabo GC on this site

Verbatim trial transcript available. WO 235_336 Struthof-Natzweiler Case No I. Please contact us via Helpdesk



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