The Dachau Defendants

Life Stories from Testimony and Documents of the War Crimes Prosecutions


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SKU: 9780786417681 Categories: , , , ,

About the Book

In the 489 Dachau trials, 1700 criminals of Nazi Germany faced American justice. Held in the old administration building of the defunct concentration camp, they began just weeks after the capitulation in 1945 and were completed on December 30, 1947. The defendants varied from major figures in the Reich, to doctors, engineers, and teachers, to farmers, students, and villagers. The crimes include the abuse or murder of downed American airmen and atrocities committed against victims of all nationalities in the concentration camps and transports.
This study concentrates on a selection of the trials that show a broad group of representative crimes and lend themselves to an understanding of World War II German culture. In proving that the average citizen could be as devoted a contributor to the Nazi cause as Hitler, it hopes to reveal something about those who would not stand up to him, who tolerated him, or who joined him. It addresses the disturbing reality that most atrocities committed in the Hitler era were the result of personal decisions made by others than the dictator.
Written from primary source documents such as letters, testimony, petitions, military records, physical evidence, and the official files and reviews of the trials, the case descriptions also provide defendants’ personal details: upbringing, family life, education, career choices, their behavior during the trials, and their lives afterward. The study concludes with an appendix of all cases by number and defendant, divided by series, and a bibliography. It is illustrated with mug shots of the defendants and photographs of relevant sites and events.

About the Author(s)

Playwright and journalist Fern Overbey Hilton lives in Kingsport, Tennessee.

Bibliographic Details

Fern Overbey Hilton
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 211
Bibliographic Info: photos, appendix, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2004
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1768-1
eISBN: 978-0-7864-2702-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. Final Desperation: The Story of Heinrich Buuck      11
2. Marauder: The Story of Dr. Max Schmid      20
3. A Very Contrary Czech: The Story of Johann Vican      27
4. Murder in a Stable: The Commando 99 Ruse      36
5. Education: Schoolteachers at Work in the Fields of Evil      44
6. Everybody Believed It: The Story of Wilhelm Grill      58
7. Laws Governing Land Warfare: Americans in the Hands of an Angry Mob      69
8. Cassius’ Dagger: A Mob in the Hands of Angry Americans      79
9. Americans as Slaves of the Third Reich: The Agonies of Berga      84
10. I Know Howard Hughes: The Agonies and Conceits of John V. Case      96
11. The Atrocity: The Story of Paul Wolfram      115
12. The Nazi Brother of Distinguished Americans: The Story of Christian Mohr      129
13. An Innocent in the Grinding Mill: The Story of Lauriano Navas      136
14. Physician, Heal Thyself: The Story of Dr. Erika Flocken      143
15. They Were Good Boys: The Story of Julius Straub and Peter Goldmann      157
16. Profiles in Darkness: The Stories of the Bitch of Buchenwald, Prince zu Waldeck, Otto Skorzeny the Hadamar Murder Factory and the Malmedy Massacre      169
17. Will We Ever Learn? An Analysis      183

Appendix      187
Resources      195
Index      197