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Sunday, December 2, 2007
Photo shows Josef Terboven
JOSEF TERBOVEN, Nazi gauleiter
Born in 1898 in Essen, he was a bank clerk who moved up quickly and steadily after joining the SA. As Reich commissioner of Norway, he was among Hitler's most brutal gauleiters. He committed suicide in May 1945.
GAETANO TERRITO, Italian soldier
He was born about 1915 in Powhatan, West Virginia, to Salvatore and Francesca Territo. The parents had left Sicily to find work. Salvador was mining coal. The family moved to Denver in 1919, where the father cleaned railroad cars and the mother worked in a laundry. In 1920 Salvatore moved on, taking Gaetano and two of his three daughters. He soon returned to Sicily, where Gaetano grew up working on a farm near Enna. Francesca, abandoned, soon moved to Los Angeles. After remarrying she became an American citizen.
Growing up, Gaetano had no memories of his days in America and spoke no English. He didn’t even know he was not born in Sicily until 1939, when he needed a birth certificate to marry. Then in 1940 he received his “greetings” from the Italian army. When he appealed, saying he was an American citizen, the induction officer “sort of laughed,” Gaetano would remember later.
Barely literate, he was assigned to dig ditches for a battalion of engineers. On July 23, 1943, his unit disintegrated as the U.S. army advanced. He shed his uniform, threw down his weapon and headed home. He didn’t make it; a U.S. tank patrol picked him up outside Palermo. He ended up among 50,000 POWs, and, before long, was sent to a prison camp near Yermo, California.
After Italy surrendered in September 1943, the U.S. government offered Italian POWs in the U.S. a deal: sign up for Italian Service Units. By doing chores for the U.S. military, the POWs could enjoy special benefits in the prison camps; Gaetano was among 35,000 POWs signing up.
He wore a military uniform with “Italy” on the sleeve. He earned some money, got better food and was allowed into town, where, among other things, he could meet and dance with Italian-American women.
Many of the POWs wanted to remain in the U.S. after the war ended in spring 1945. But Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson insisted that all be repatriated. Any exception, he said, would result in a flood of applications to remain.
It was near Mother’s Day in 1945 when a relative tipped Francesca that the son she hadn’t seen in 25 years was less than 100 miles away. Finding him, she convinced him to try to remain in the U.S. She hired a lawyer to help him.
The U.S. government had learned that five of the Italian POWs had been born in the U.S. Apparently only Gaetano went to court in an effort to stay. He and his lawyer contended he was a “liberated national.” The government insisted he was a POW, an enemy belligerent.
A judge freed Gaetano on $500 bail, but matters soon turned the other way. Another judge decided he had no jurisdiction over a POW. In June 1946 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled against Gaetano on a technicality that looked like a cop-out: the court decided the U.S. and Italy were still technically at war because no formal peace treaty had yet been signed. Gaetano was deported in 1946. U.S. government spokesmen told the Wall Street Journal in 2005 that there’s no record that he ever returned to the U.S.
The Bush administration used the case as precedent for detaining some U.S. citizens as “enemy combatants” without trial. The Wall Street Journal featured the case in a long story Oct. 28, 2002.
HIDEKI TOJO, Japanese premier
America blamed him for the war in the Pacific. Beyond doubt, he was the primary villain, Japan’s equivalent to Hitler. At his trial, he proved too canny for prosecutors, repeatedly catching them up on errors of fact and contradictions. There was never any doubt, however, of the trial’s outcome. On Dec. 23, 1948, Tojo and six others were hanged at Sugamo prison. MacArthur barred photographs. It was said that he feared that photographs of the corpses would unduly upset the citizenry.
ALICE B. TOKLAS
See Gertrude Stein.
ERNST UDET, German general
He was born in 1896 at Frankfurt am Main. He shot down 62 Allied planes during WWI, making him one of Germany’s top aces. As a postwar stunt flyer, he barnstormed some in the U.S. Moving up in the Luftwaffe hierarchy, he was credited with developing the Stuka. But his knowledge of long-range bombing was scant, and the Luftwaffe suffered. An easy-going man, he failed to fit into the German power structure. Becoming frustrated, he spent most of his time chit-chatting with old pals. After a major argument with Goering, he committed suicide Nov. 17, 1941. The government announced he’d been killed while testing a plane.
MAURICE VLAMINCK, French artist
He socialized with top Nazis such as Albert Speer during WWII.. He lived 1876-1958.
EDMUND VEESENMAYER, economist
He was born in 1904. An economist, he went into the SS, then transferred to the foreign office. Late in the war, Hitler sent him to run Hungary. There he was involved in Hitler’s “Final Solution.” On April 2, 1949, the Military Tribunal at Nuremberg sentenced him to 20 years. The U.S. high commissioner in Germany intervened, releasing him from Landsberg prison in December 1951.
GUSTAV WAGNER, Nazi functionary
He was commandant of Sobibor concentration camp. The Americans arrested and erroneously released him. With the help of allies in the Vatican, he escaped to Brazil, where he lived out his life. The Brazilian government refused all extradition requests.
ROBERT WAGNER, Nazi official
He was gauleiter of Alsace-Baden. After a French military court condemned him, he was executed at Strasbourg on Aug. 14, 1946.
WINIFRED WAGNER, patron of Bayreuth Festival
She was born Winifred Williams in 1897 in England. At 18 she married Siegfried Wagner, 45, son of composer Richard Wagner. They were close friends of Adolf Hitler long before he became chancellor. Eventually Winifred was running the internationally famous Bayreuth Festival, the yearly tribute to her father-in-law's operas. After the war, she was barred from the festival. Her sons Wieland and Wolfgang took it over. In a TV interview in 1975 she spoke lovingly of Hitler.
JOSIAS ERBPRINZ von WALDECK-PYRMONT, SS General
A nephew of the queen of Holland, he was born in a family castle in 1896. As one of Himmler’s deputies, he once sent the crown princess of Bavaria to Buchenwald. He also executed Buchenwald’s notorious commandant, Karl Koch, for corruption. An American court at Dachau convicted him Aug. 14, 1947 and sentenced him to life in prison. He was released in December 1950 because of poor health, but he lived until Nov. 30, 1967.
KURT WALDHEIM, Austrian politician
He was Austrian foreign minister in 1968-70 and secretary-general of the United Nations in 1972-81. He very nearly had a third term heading the U.N.; the Chinese vetoed him 16 times before he withdrew.
Later disclosure of his Nazi background caused worldwide consternation. It turned out he’d been a staff officer with the German army in the Balkans. Among atrocities he’d been involved with was transporting countless Jews from Salonika. The Austrians, incidentally, were lax in prosecuting war criminals.
"CAPTAIN TED WALLACE," propaganda broadcaster
This was reportedly the radio name of a tall red-haired American broadcaster captured on Corregidor. He'd broadcast the "Voice of Liberty" program from Manila for the Americans. He allegedly worked thereafter at Radio Tokyo.
WALTHER WARLIMONT, German general
He was Jodl's deputy. On Oct. 27, 1948, a tribunal gave him life imprisonment. Later the sentence was reduced to 18 years. He was freed from Landsberg Prison in 1957.
WILHELM WEISS, journalist
Although battle wounds cost him his left leg during WWI, he became Germany's leading journalist. A de-Nazification court in Munich sentenced him July 15, 1949 to three years in prison, confiscated a third of his property and denied him the right to practice his profession for 10 years. He'd already served the time in internment camps. He died in 1950 while his appeal was pending.
MAXIME WEYGAND, French general
He was born in 1867 in Brussels, yet rose to the top in the French army. It was generally believed he was the illegitimate son of Belgian King Leopold II or, perhaps, even of Mexican Emperor Maximilian.
A hero of WWI, he was 73 when thrust into the leadership of the French army in May 1940, replacing General Maurice Gamelin. It was too late to do much. He then presided over the fall of the Third Republic. Marshal Petain quickly named him minister of defense in the new Vichy regime.
Weygand soon wanted out of Vichy and the cabinet; he asked to be put in charge of French armies in North Africa. In July 1941, Petain complied, also naming him governor general of Algeria. He quickly riled the Germans, who insisted that Petain fire him that November. He then retired to the south of France.
The subsequent Vichy hierarchy in North Africa was important to the Allies, who were planning to invade. Weygand’s North African post had been created for him, so he wasn’t replaced and the job was abolished.
Admiral Raymond Fenard was “delegate general,” the top administrative man in North Africa, but lacking military authority. Admiral Francois Michelier had overall military command along the North African coast. General Alfonse Juin commanded French ground and air forces in North Africa. General Auguste Nogues was “resident general” in Morocco.
The Americans, who entered the war in December 1941, wanted Weygand to lead a separatist French government, presumably in North Africa. He declined, but was asked later to become the Americans’ front man in North Africa. When he declined that, too, the Americans turned to General Giraud.
When the Germans overran Vichy in the wake of the Torch invasion, they arrested Weygand. He was interned in Schloss Itter castle in Austria. On May 5, 1945, American troops freed him, along with former premiers Edouard Daladier and Paul Reynaud, and General Gamelin.
Weygand returned to France only to be arrested as a collaborator. Although de Gaulle’s provisional government tried Petain and Laval quickly, there was no hysteric urgency in dealing with Weygand. In 1948 he was exonerated of treason charges. Testimony at the recent war crimes trials in Nuremberg helped his cause by revealing that Hitler had tried, through General Wilhelm Keitel, to arrange Weygand’s assassination. To Frenchmen, Weygand’s only crime was “losing France” in 1940, and even old enemy de Gaulle admitted Weygand had taken an impossible assignment in 1940.
He lived out his years in a Parisian apartment, writing histories, firing back at critics, attending Academy meetings and supporting ultra-right causes. He died in 1965 at age 98.
SIMON WIESENTHAL, Nazi hunter
He was born in 1908 in what was then the Austro-Hungarian Empire; his area is now the Ukraine. On May 5, 1945, when liberated from Mauthausen concentration camp, he weighed less than 100 pounds. He made a profession of tracking down war criminals, locating 1,100 of them, from Adolf Eichmann to the Gestapo agent who arrested Ann Frank. He died Sept. 19, 2005 while sleeping in his home in Vienna. He was 96.
KAISER WILHELM II, former German emperor
Although a relic from the past–he was born in 1859–“Kaiser Willy” remained a minor factor in WWII. He’d become kaiser, or emperor, of Germany in 1888. Generally considered foolish rather than evil, he’s usually blamed for starting WWI, which killed 14.6 million people. As that war was winding down in 1918, he fled to Holland, where he was granted asylum.
On June 4, 1919 the victorious Allied “Supreme Council” in Paris recommended trying him as a war criminal. Article 27 of the Treaty of Versailles even “arraigned” him for “a supreme offense against international morality and the sanctity of treaties.” In January 1920 the Allies asked for his extradition. The Dutch refused, and did so repeatedly. He lived out his days in the castle of Doorn.
In granting asylum, the Dutch asked him only to promise to refrain from political activity. He kept that promise faithfully.
In 1931 he told grandson Louis Ferdinand that Hitler was an up-and-coming leader who personified German energy. But, the old man added, he didn't know if Hitler would succeed or even if his beliefs were acceptable.
Sons August Wilhelm and Oskar joined Nazi activities. The former kaiser wouldn't let Crown Prince Wilhelm run for German president against Paul von Hindenburg in 1932. Nor would Hitler let Willy return to Germany. In 1933 Willy and Hermann Goering signed an agreement providing a healthy income for Willy and his sons, as long as they didn't criticize the Third Reich.
Ex-Kaiser Wilhelm was horrified when the Nazis began persecuting Jewish citizens in 1938. “For the first time,” he said, “I am ashamed to be a German.”
In November 1939 it seemed that Hitler's armies might invade Holland. European royalty and politicians wondered if he should be relocated to Denmark or Sweden. Winston Churchill, on May 10, 1940--the day he became British prime minister–conferred with Lord Halifax about the former kaiser. They took the matter to King George VI, who agreed to let bygones be bygones: the ex-Kaiser would be accepted into England "with consideration and dignity."
The offer of asylum was made very quietly, and just as quietly Willy politely declined. He remained in Holland, and the very next month he sent congratulations to Hitler for capturing Paris.
He died June 4, 1941. Hitler offered a state funeral in Berlin but Wilhelm had forbidden that. If he couldn't go home alive, he wouldn't go back dead. As he wished, he was buried in a mausoleum on Doorn. The pastor of Berlin Cathedral conducted the funeral. Admiral Wilhelm Canaris was there, and Artur Seyss-Inquart, the Nazi commissioner in Holland, represented Hitler. The Wehrmacht provided a battalion of honor.
Hitler’s propaganda minister, Josef Goebbels, had specified in 1933 that Willy's obit would appear under a "single-column headline on the lower half of the front page." It was so, throughout Germany.
DUKE OF WINDSOR, former British king
After he abdicated in December 1936, he often consorted with Nazis, sometimes giving them vital information. He wed Wallis Warfield Simpson in 1937 at a French chateau that Charles Bedeaux owned. Many critics believe Hitler would have put the Duke back on the British throne had the Germans conquered England. He died in Paris in 1972 at age 77.
P.G. WODEHOUSE, writer
He was a well-known writer who broadcast for the Nazis. His reasons for doing so remain murky and controversial.
Pelham Grenville Wodehouse was born in Guilford, England, in 1881. He wrote more than 90 books, many short stories, some film scripts and even many songs. He’s best known as the creator of Bertie Wooster and his manservant Jeeves. Wodehouse and his wife lived in Le Touquet, France, in the 1930s. In 1940 German armies overran it. He was interned in a series of prison camps and prisons, including Loos Prison. Released June 21, 1941, he was sent to Berlin, where he was placed in the Adlon Hotel. There he wrote and made five broadcasts from Berlin to America. The U.S. wasn’t at war yet, but the programs were later beamed to Britain.
These broadcasts described his experiences as British Civilian Prisoner No. 796. Listeners interpreted them in vastly different ways. Some said they heard only anti-Nazi humor, so subtle that it passed over the heads of many dullards. Other friends called the broadcasts merely naive and bumbling. Writers A.A. Milne and George Orwell were among his staunchest defenders.
Critics claimed they heard Nazi propaganda. Some even wanted him tried for treason. Cassandra of the Daily Mirror and Duff Cooper of the Minister of Information called him a “quisling” and “elderly playboy.” Quinton Hogg accused him of “trading with the enemy, if not treason.”
Meanwhile, Wodehouse, imperturbably, wrote Money in the Bank.
When the bombing of Berlin began in 1943, Wodehouse and his wife were allowed to move to Paris. Then in 1947 they moved to the U.S. He didn’t escape trouble even there. IRS filed claims, resulting in a 2 1/2-year dispute. He became an American citizen in 1955. He died Feb. 14, 1975. The controversy lingers. In 1999 it was reported that he’d been on the Nazi payroll.
TOKOKJUKI YAMASHITA, Japanese general
Born in 1888, he became “the Tiger of Malaya” in 1941-42. He also made sure British prisoners at Singapore were treated decently. The High Command bet he could fend off the U.S. invasion of the Philippines in 1944. He landed two weeks ahead of the Americans. After a tenacious fight, he led his men into the mountains, holding out until the end of the war. Despite an adept defense, a military tribunal in Manila had him hanged in 1946 as a war criminal.
The case against him wasn’t strong. In January 1971 the New York Times published a story suggesting that U.S. General William C. Westmoreland, former commander in Viet Nam, was as guilty of war crimes as Yamashita was. The newspaper quoted General Telford Taylor, a professor at Columbia who’d been on the Nuremberg prosecution team, as saying that, using the criteria in the Yamashita case, Westmoreland “could be found guilty.”
RITA LOUISA ZUCCI, propaganda broadcaster
She was a daughter of a New York restaurateur who broadcast for the Italians. She was tried quickly and in September 1945 sentenced to four years and five months in prison.
AIDING ENEMY PRISONERS
German POWs in the U.S. sometimes escaped. Americans sometimes helped them. Usually those Americans were of Germanic origin or in love with a prisoner. Oddly, there was no real law against aiding escaped POWs until April 30, 1945, just as the war was ending.
Arnold Krammer wrote an interesting book called Nazi Prisoners of War. He tells about Max Stephen of Detroit, convicted of harboring Lt. Hans Peter Krug, a Luftwaffe pilot who'd escaped a camp at Bowmanville, Ontario, in spring 1942. Stephan was sentenced to hang until a commutation left him with life imprisonment.
Pvt. Dale H. Maple was convicted of helping two prisoners escape from Camp Hale in Colorado. He'd been kicked out of Harvard's ROTC program for his Nazi sentiments. He was 23 when arrested Feb. 19, 1944. The FBI claimed to have known for years that he was a Nazi, but didn't address the question of why anyone would let him guard prisoners. Five other guards and three WACs were implicated. Everyone except Maple got light sentences; he was sentenced to hang. FDR commuted this to life, and he eventually got out after 10 years and became a successful insurance man in California.
In an odd case, the FBI arrested two Afrika Korps veterans in Watrous, New Mexico. They’d escaped from Camp Trinidad in Colorado. They had with them photos of themselves with three women who turned out to be Nisei internees. The women, originally from Inglewood, Calif., had been relocated to Granada Internment Center in Apache, Colorado.
When the women were tried for aiding escapees, the unchivalrous POWs testified against them. The government did reduce the charges to conspiracy to commit treason, rather than treason, and the women got two years and $10,000 fines.
Joseph Ottman, a New York subway employee, was an Austrian-born naturalized American citizen. He was 43 when arraigned May 26, 1946, for harboring two German escapees. He was convicted, but the war was over; no one was too worked up about the case. He served a year in prison.
Mrs. Fannie Welvaert, who had three GI sons, fell in love with Horst Becker, a POW detailed to work at the hospital where she worked, Lovell General at Fort Devens in Massachusetts. She got off with probation because Becker hadn't escaped until Sept. 13, 1945, after the war ended. Some scriptwriter probably worked the scenario into a soap opera at some time or other.
It’s unclear whatever happened to Horst Becker, but, in closing, we’ll take note of Heinz Becker. An interesting fellow, he was born in Berlin during WWI. His family moved to South America, then he spent WWII in the most unlikely of places: playing first base for, among other U.S. baseball teams, the Chicago Cubs. Other players liked to mimic his German-Latin-U.S. accent.
Photo shows Werner Best
WERNER BEST, gauleiter
A dedicated Nazi, he became Hitler's man in Denmark. There, he proved the least repressive of the gauleiters. (Hitler felt Danes and Norwegians were Aryans.) Relatively few Jews were persecuted or killed. After the war, the Danes extradited him and put him on trial. His death sentence of 1948 was commuted to five years in prison. In August 1951 he was granted clemency and released. Returning to West Germany he became a lawyer for Stinnes Co., a huge trading concern. In 1958 a de-Nazification court in Berlin fined him 70,000 marks for his past activities for the SS. In March 1968 he was officially detained pending a new probe of his role as a "paper murderer." He was finally charged in February 1972 but was released that August because of poor health. He was in his mid-80s when he died in 1989.
EMILE MARIE BETHOUART, French general
He was the Vichy army’s divisional commander at Casablanca. When Allied spies found they couldn’t enlist General Auguste Nogues in their invasion plans, they turned to Bethouart as the next-best alternative. He agreed to immobilize Nogues, his commanding officer, when the invasion began. But the Allies gave such scant notice that Bethouart not only failed in his undertaking, but Nogues arrested him; he was freed as a result of the Darlan deal.
JOHANNES von BLASKOWITZ, German general
He committed suicide in 1948 while held for trial at Nuremberg.
LEON BLUM, French premier
He was born in 1872. An intellectual and writer, he became a leader of the French Socialist Party in the 1920s. He was premier during the Popular Front in 1936, until he resigned in June 1937 after losing support of the radicals. He then tried unsuccessfully to recreate the "Sacred Union" coalition of 1914. In 1940, conservatives, remembering his Socialist government, tended to embrace Petain and Vichy. After the Vichy government deported Blum to Germany in 1940, he was imprisoned in Schloss Itter castle in Austria and was among defendants at the notorious trial in Riom in 1942. On May 5, 1945, American troops freed him, along with former premiers Edouard Daladier and Paul Reynaud, and Generals Maxime Weygand and Maurice Gamelin. Although conservatives blamed him for his country's lack of military preparedness in 1940, he again was premier briefly after the war. He died in 1950.
KARL BOHM, symphony conductor
Born in 1894 in Graz, Austria, he became a world-known symphony conductor. Among his posts: the Bavarian State Opera, Hamburg State Opera, Vienna State Opera, Berlin Philharmonic, New York Met and London Symphony. He was employed in Dresden and Vienna during WWII, then the immediate postwar years are only vaguely accounted for. He conducted opera in Buenos Aires in 1950-54. Detractors lamented his Nazi connections during the war, but he did regain his stature in his profession. He died in 1981 in Salzburg.
ABEL BONNARD, Vichy politician
As Vichy minister of education, he became notorious for living well. When he finally fled Vichy, he needed a caravan of vehicles to haul his booty. He was condemned in absentia (with Deat and Darquier). Yet when he eventually returned to France, he served only a short prison sentence.
FERNAND BONNIER de la CHAPPELLE, assassin/French patriot
He was 20 when he assassinated Admiral Jean Francois Darlan on Dec. 24, 1942 in Algiers. He was tried that night and a firing squad executed him at sunrise Dec. 26, 1942. No details of any interrogation or of the trial survived. It has been surmised that General Charles de Gaulle ordered the assassination. The Free French considered Bonnier de la Chappelle a martyr.
MARTIN BORMANN, Hitler's private secretary
Born June 12, 1900, he became Hitler's aide, the second most-important man in the Reich late in the war. The Nuremberg tribunal condemned him in absentia. There was evidence he was killed trying to leave Berlin in spring 1945. There's also evidence he lived many years in South America. A West German court declared him dead in April 1973.
LUCIENNE BOYER, French singer
Her most famous song was Parlez moi d’amour. She sang for German officers during the Occupation, for which her fellow citizens reviled her.
ROBERT BRASILLACH, French writer
Many Frenchmen lamented that this intellectually talented and sincere writer also was a vociferous fascist. After a stint as a POW in 1940, he returned to France to become the most notorious of the collaborationist writers. Surrendering to the Free French in September 1944, after the Liberation, he was tried in January 1945. Despite considerable protest from the artistic community, he was executed.
WERNER von BRAUN, scientist
He was born in 1912. Despite failing physics and math in his school days, he became the father of modern rocketry; 3,600 of his V-2s fell on Britain in 1944-45. In March 1945 he surrendered to the Americans, who were more interested in his ideas than in his resume. He didn't come empty-handed. He brought his staff, his expertise and 100 of his rockets. After interrogation in London, he went to work for the Americans, becoming the father of space exploration. He became a naturalized American in 1955. His NASA projects put Americans on the moon in 1969. He died in 1977.
FERNAND de BRINON, ambassador
He was Vichy’s ambassador to Occupied France. He even styled himself as “Graf von Brinon.” Once described as a “greedy tapir,” he habitually embezzled government funds and sold laissez-passers. His execution April 15, 1947 ended the epuration.
HERBERT JOHN BURGMAN, propaganda broadcaster
He was born in Hokah, Minnesota about 1896. He was with the American Army in Germany during WWI, then joined the State Department staff in Berlin in 1921. After he wed a German, they had a son about 1925. Herbert was chief clerk in the U.S. embassy in Berlin when WWII began. He elected to remain there rather than return to the U.S..
During WWII he broadcast for the Nazis as “Joe Scanlon” on the German short-wave station “:Debunk.”
U.S. authorities arrested him in November 1945. The army, acting on instructions from the Justice Department, released him, along with Mildred Gillars and Donald Day, on December 24, 1946, as part of a Christmas amnesty. The three were ordered to report regularly to U.S. Military Police. The M.P.s then employed him as a part-time interpreter. But he was arrested again Nov. 22, 1948 and this time he went to trial.
He had a heart attack during his trial and appeared in a wheelchair at some of the proceedings. He admitted the broadcasts, saying the Gestapo made him do them.
On Dec. 20, 1949, Judge Alexander Holtzoff of a federal court in Washington, D.C., sentenced him to six to 20 years in the federal penitentiary at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Defense attorney James J. Laughlin said he’d appeal.
Obviously Burgman’s legal problems stemmed from his marriage. He died in prison.
WILHELM CANARIS, admiral, spy master
He was born in 1888 to an industrialist. He became a U-boat commander in World War I. He headed the Intelligence Department of the German Armed Forces High Command -- the Abwehr -- at the outset of World War II. He was among the German aristocracy who hated Hitler and the Nazis. His supposed aid to British Intelligence is legendary. After the July plot against Hitler, he was arrested and imprisoned at Flossenberg concentration camp. On April 9, 1945, he was tortured and executed at Flossenberg. The Abwehr was dissolved; Heinrich Himmler took over its operations.
LOUIS FERDINAND CELINE, French novelist
His writings were seen as anti-Semitic and pro-Fascist. He fled France as Liberation neared, suspecting he’d be accused of collaborating. He lived 1894-1961.
DOUGLAS CHANDLER, propaganda broadcaster
This former U.S. newsman from Baltimore married a rich woman, enabling him to roam Europe at leisure. He was sufficiently distinguished looking to pass as an intellectual snob and man of the world.
He signed a contract with the German government to broadcast propaganda as “Paul Revere.” His sat in conferences of German commentators, helped set editorial policy and wrote his own material.
He was a perfectionist at work. Everyone he worked with, though, soon realized he was a thoroughly muddled crackpot. His erratic behavior alienated almost everyone. He was mentally unstable, a physical wreck who drank continually but never appeared drunk.
Besides hating England, Jews and communism, he considered FDR to be a traitor to America. He apparently did sincerely love his native country and wanted to “free” it from FDR, Jews, etc.
Indicted in the U.S. in 1943, he fell into the hands of occupation authorities after the war. He was sentenced to life imprisonment on treason charges prior to the trial of “Axis Sally.” President John F. Kennedy commuted his sentence in 1963. He was released from the federal penitentiary at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, Aug. 9, 1963 and transferred to the federal detention center in New York. There he awaited arrangements for his return to Germany. A daughter flew over to take charge of him. He was destitute and ill.
COCO CHANEL, fashion designer
No question about her. She was a “horizontale” who moved to Switzerland after the war so she could continue to live with her once highly placed German lover. Still, she dominated 20th century women’s fashion, also selling the world’s most famous perfume, Chanel Number 5.
Born out of wedlock in a poorhouse hospice in the garrison town of Saumur, she was 12 when her mother died. She then spent six years in an orphanage, where she learned to sew. Later, a series of prosperous boyfriends got her started in the fashion industry, and an inheritance from one of them put her on easy street. In September 1939, just after WWII began, she shut down the House of Chanel. She spent the war at the Ritz, much of it living with a tall, blond German officer named Hans Gunther “Spatz” von Dincklage. Some said he was a spy. She maintained his mother was English, which perhaps Coco thought mitigated her collaboration. She remained part of Paris society, albeit Nazi-flavored, during the war, dining with de Brinon and his crowd. She was notoriously anti-Semitic.
After the war, she was picked up at the Ritz, no less, and the Free French interrogated her for three hours. She was never charged; some said Winston Churchill got her off. She passed out free perfume to G.I.s to lessen her problems. She soon moved to Switzerland to live with Spatz; not until 1954 did she reopen the House of Chanel. She was 87 when she died at the Ritz in 1971. Her estate was about $90 million.
MAURICE CHEVALIER, French entertainer
Born in 1888, he fought briefly in WWI. After being wounded he spent two years in a German prison camp. Other prisoners taught him some English. After WWII he drew criticism for consorting with Germans during the Occupation. He contended that he’d merely entertained German troops, just as he had during WWI. Vindicated, he later was barred from the U.S., for all things, signing the “Stockholm Appeal” to ban nuclear weapons. This document, which appeared in 1951, was said to be a communist plot. By the late ‘50s McCarthyism had abated, and Chevalier was free to come anytime he wanted. He died in 1972.
DIETRICH von CHOLTITZ, German general
He was born in 1894 and served in WWI. As military commander of Occupied Paris during WWII, he surrendered to the Allies Aug. 24, 1944. He became internationally famous for allegedly defying Hitler's order to burn Paris. The French imprisoned him only briefly. He later served in Paris as a NATO official. In his memoirs he bitterly denounced Hitler and also the Allied bombing of German civilians. He died in 1966.
PAUL COLETTE, French writer/sailor
He apparently was about 24 and acting alone when he shot and wounded Pierre Laval, Vichy’s No. 2 man, and Marcel Deat, a Fascist leader, on Aug. 27, 1941 at Versailles. Laval and Deat were appearing at a program honoring the first recruits for the Legion des Volontaires Francais (Frenchmen who fought for the Germans). When apprehended, Colette said he'd aimed at the French traitors, not at nearby Germans who were merely doing their jobs. His aim hadn't been bad, although both victims survived. Doctors left the bullet in Laval's chest, but Deat needed surgery to remove one from his chest.
Colette was to be guillotined. On Oct. 3, 1941, Marshal Petain commuted the sentence to life imprisonment. The Vichy government said that Laval and Deat had asked for the lesser sentence. Colette reportedly was confined at Caen in Normandy until late in the war. On Jan. 11, 1945, after the Liberation, a Parisian newspaper reported that he was being held in Germany. His age then was given as 28. He apparently was a sailor who aspired to be a writer.
ALFRED CORTOT, French concert pianist
Born into a French family in Switzerland in 1877, he became a concert pianist of great repute. Besides performing in Germany during WWII, he openly associated with the Nazi hierarchy. Although the French considered him a collaborationist, he was able to resume his career after the war. He died in Lausanne in 1962.
CHARLES COUSENS, propaganda broadcaster
He was an Australian major who was a POW in Japan; he coached Ida Toguri in radio broadcasting. An Australian court martial acquitted him.
EDOUARD DALADIER, French premier
Born in 1884, he became a leader of France's Radical Socialists in the 1930s. After the Munich agreement of September 1938 cost him his Socialist support, he had to rely on the Right. As premier, he made a broadcast on October 1, 1939, saying France would fight the Germans. After his government fell March 20, 1940, he became minister of national defense under Paul Reynaud. The subsequent Vichy government captured him in North Africa and took him back to France to stand trial for leading France into war unprepared. His vigorous defense at Riom impressed many Frenchmen who’d considered him weak. In a change of policy, the government halted the trial, lest the defendants deflect blame to Vichy’s leaders. At least this saved his neck, but he was interned at Buchenwald, Dachau and Schloss Itter until the Allies freed him in April 1945. He died in 1970.
IVA IKUKO TOGURI d’AQUINO, “Tokyo Rose”
She was born Iva Toguri on July 4, 1916, in Los Angeles. After graduating from UCLA she went to Japan to visit an aunt. Trapped their during the war, she worked as a typist and disc jockey. She married Felipe d'Aquino, a Portuguese national; her lawyers later claimed this altered her citizenship. She was tried in 1949 in San Francisco for being “Tokyo Rose.” She was sentenced to 10 years in prison and fined $10,000. She was paroled January 28, 1956. She was reported living in Chicago in 1998 and was believed still there in 2005. (See CPC’s The Story of Tokyo Rose.)
JEAN FRANCOIS DARLAN, French admiral
As commander of the French navy when the government fell, his loyalties were crucial. Would the British, Americans or Germans get his fleet? Ultimately, it was scuttled. Fernand BONNIER de la Chappelle assassinated Darlan in Algiers in 1942. (See CPC’s Dealing With the Devil.)
JOSEPH DARNAND, French fascist
He headed the patriotic (and anti-Semitic) organization, Legion francais de combattants, in Nice. An inter core of this group, called the Service d’Ordre Legionnaire, evolved into the notorious Milice Francaise or French Militia. The milice, a Nazi-like group, officially came into being in January 1943. It opposed Gaullists, democracy and Jews. Darnand was executed after the Liberation.
LOUIS DARQUIER de PELLEPOIX, Vichy functionary
Vichy's commissioner of Jewish affairs was condemned in absentia. He died in exile.
RICHARD-WALTHER DARRE, Nazi functionary
Hitler's former Food and Agriculture minister faced the American tribunal at Nuremberg (but after the show trial). He was sentenced to five years for confiscating property from Polish and Jewish farmers and for depriving German Jews of food. Released in 1950, he died in 1953.
DANIELLE DARRIEUX, French actress
She was born in 1917. She and Dominican playboy Porfirio Rubirosa were married in 1942-46, causing her some problems. The Resistance marked her for assassination because she entertained German troops. After exoneration she resumed her career.
DONALD DAY, propaganda broadcaster
He was a longtime Chicago Tribune correspondent with much better credentials as a newsman than other Americans the Nazis employed. That’s not to say he was a first-class journalist; competitors said he fabricated stories for years, seeking to please his employer with anti-Soviet disinformation. He often became involved in stories, negotiating with politicians as equals. The Tribune, always a right-wing paper, apparently didn’t hold him in much esteem. He had poor assignments and never was advanced.
But at 6 feet 2 and 240 pounds, he was a genuine war correspondent of the old school. When the Finns and Soviets went to war, he joined the Finnish army. The next logical step was to side with the Germans against the Soviets–and the British, too–and he did so. He and William Joyce were the top wage earners among the Nazi broadcasters, and he reportedly lived sumptuously.
The U.S. army detained him in Germany after the war. He was freed, along with “Axis Sally” and Herbert Burgman, as part of a Christmas amnesty in 1945. He was ordered to report regularly to U.S. authorities.
He was arrested again on treason charges Jan. 12, 1949 but the Justice Department dropped the case. Sen. Joseph McCarthy had taken charge of the fight against communism, which might have had some bearing on matters. Day worked some after the war and lived in Finland. He died of a heart attack.
MARCEL DEAT, French fascist editor, leader
As head of a French quasi-Nazi group (Rassemblement National Populaire), he had many enemies. He survived PAUL COLETTE’s bullet, then in 1942 he snuffed out the fuse on a bomb thrown at him. After the Liberation he was condemned in absentia. He died in hiding or exile.
CHARLES de GAULLE, French general
The founder of modern France, he lived 1890-1970. His inclusion herein reminds us of varying viewpoints and of the fact that only victors write histories.
He fled France in 1940. Many Vichyites considered him a traitor for this, and for becoming a tool of the British, who had bombed the French fleet at Mers-el-Kebir. He also was connected with the British attack on Dakar. As so-called governor general of French Equatorial Africa, he appeared to be a revolutionary or puppet of British imperialism. The Vichy government had a military tribunal try him in absentia in August 1940; it sentenced him to death.
After France fell, he began raising a small Free French navy. Hence, for a time, there were two French navies. (After the scuttling of November 1942, there was only one.)
Interestingly, he sent Admiral Emile Muselier across the Atlantic in late 1940 to the tiny French islands of Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, just off the Canadian coast. Muselier presided over a referendum of the 5,000 inhabitants, who voted to recognize de Gaulle's government in exile, rather than Vichy. This gave de Gaulle some degree of standing.
Although de Gaulle enjoyed Winston Churchill's unwavering support, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt was wary. This led the Americans to put forth General Henri Giraud as the leader of exiled Frenchmen.
During the war he refused to accept realities; through his spirit and determination, he built a new France. Although many disliked his right-wing government, no one questioned his honesty or patriotism.
In May 1961, de Gaulle is said to have privately warned U.S. President John F. Kennedy: "You will find that intervention in [Vietnam] will be an endless entanglement. . . the more you become involved out there against the Communists, the more the Communists will appear as the champions of national independence . . . you will sink step by step into a bottomless military and political quagmire, however much you spend in men and money."
LEON DEGRELLE, anticommunist
In spring 1945 this tireless Belgian anticommunist escaped Germany via Denmark. He made his way to Norway, met with Quisling, then caught a plane to Spain, determined to fight communism elsewhere.
EDWARD LEO DELANEY, propaganda broadcaster
He was a modestly successful American actor. Newspapers also called him a “confirmed bachelor,” usually a code phrase for homosexual in those days. The U.S. indicted him in 1943 for broadcasting for the Nazis. They’d billed him as “a roving reporter.” He railed against, not the Jews, but the British class system. Occupation troops arrested him after the war, but he and Jane Anderson were freed, prior to the Gillars trial, for lack of evidence. He was killed in a car wreck in Glendale, California in 1972.
OTTO DIETRICH, Hitler’s publicity man
Although the British interned him in 1945, he wasn't convicted until April 1949. He was given seven years' imprisonment for crimes against humanity, although in retrospect one wonders how a longtime publicity man, no matter how despicable, could have committed such crimes. On Aug. 16, 1950, he was released from Landsberg prison because of good behavior. He wrote some books and died in Dusseldorf in 1952.
SEPP DIETRICH, Nazi general
Hitler's longtime aide functioned as everything from bodyguard to chauffeur to SS general. The U.S. 7th Army captured him in May 1945. In 1946 an American tribunal sentenced him to life imprisonment for killing POWs at Malmedy during the Battle of the Bulge. The sentence was soon cut to 25 years. A joint Allied-German clemency board stirred a hornet's nest by recommending his release in the mid-'50s. The Americans did secretly release him from Landsberg prison Oct. 22, 1955. He was re-arrested in August 1956 and charged with aiding and abetting in the murder of Ernst Rohm and six other brown-shirt thugs more than 20 years earlier. A court in Munich gave him 19 months in prison for being an accessory to premeditated murder. He was released in February 1959 because he was ill. He died in 1966.
KARL DOENITZ, German grand admiral
He was born Sept. 16, 1891 into the family of an engineer. After becoming a submariner in World War I, he was captured near Malta. In WWII he became the father of the wolf-pack concept, then in 1943 succeeded Erich Raeder as commander of the German navy. Hitler, just before committing suicide, designated Doenitz his successor. The admiral was not part of the usual Berlin clique of Nazi leaders, which apparently was why Hitler picked him.
The case against him at Nuremberg was based on the “Laconia incident” that began Sept. 12, 1942. On that day the German sub U.156 torpedoed the Laconia, a 19,695-ton British transport, in the Atlantic just south of the Equator. The sub's commander, Kapitan Leutnant Hartenstein, surfaced and began rescuing survivors. Only then did he learn that the Laconia had had 2,732 people aboard. They included 80 women and children--dependents of British servicemen--plus 1,800 Italians captured in North Africa. The torpedoes had killed 500 of the POWs instantly.
While Hartenstein was cramming 200 survivors aboard U.156, he sent out an uncoded message to all ships in the area. He guaranteed that the Germans wouldn't attack any Allied ships joining in the rescue. Also, he hoisted a huge Red Cross flag on his sub. Two other German subs soon surfaced to take on survivors. French ships set out from western Africa.
But an American plane out of British-controlled Ascension Island attacked the U.156, throwing the rescue operation into turmoil. The pilot was following orders, even though his commanders knew the plane's attack endangered Laconia survivors.
Eventually the three subs turned over 1,111 survivors to Vichy French ships out of Dakar. The four-day operation left neither Allies nor Germans happy. Doenitz then issued his "Laconia Order" forbidding his U-boats from rescuing anyone unless military intelligence might be gained.
At Nuremberg, Doenitz’ lawyer submitted an affidavit from U.S. Admiral Chester Nimitz saying he did much the same during the war. Nevertheless, on Oct. 1, 1946, the tribunal gave Doenitz 10 years. This surprised him; he apparently expected acquittal. He served all 10 years, too; he was released from Spandau in Berlin in 1966. He lived in quiet retirement in Germany until he died in 1980. He’d appeared on the cover of Time in 1942 and ‘43. The latter was a clever caricature showing him partially submerged.
JACQUES DORIOT, French fascist leader
He headed a French quasi-Nazi group called Parti Populaire Francais. Hitler considered putting him in charge of France in the final days of Vichy, after Petain and Laval had been evacuated. It hardly mattered. Doriot died when Allied planes strafed his car in February 1945.
CONSTANCE DREXEL, propaganda broadcaster
She was born in Darmstadt, Germany, about 1888. She and her family moved to the U.S. when she was an infant. After growing up, apparently in Philadelphia, she began her journalistic career with the Boston Globe. In 1915 she represented a news syndicate at the WWI peace conference at the Hague. She covered other major international stories such as the Geneva Arms Conference of 1932. She achieved prominence for her dedication to women’s rights and her expertise in arms-control matters.
With the rise of Hitler, she became known among colleagues as a staunch Nazi. U.S. authorities said later she accepted assignments from Dr. Josef Goebbels, Nazi propaganda minister. Returning to the U.S. in 1937, she tried to establish herself as a foreign-affairs columnist. In 1938 she worked in Philadelphia on the writers project of the Works Progress Administration, then later taught French on a WPA educational project.
According to U.S. authorities in 1939 she suddenly left for Berlin, saying that the German government was paying her expenses. In 1940 German shortwave bands began broadcasting her cultural and social items. She was introduced as a “famous American journalist” and a member of “a socially prominent Philadelphia family.” (The New York Times reported after the war that she was not a part of a socially prominent Philadelphia family.) Actually, even her German colleagues considered her something of a forlorn crackpot.
A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., indicted her in absentia in 1943 for allegedly broadcasting propaganda for the Nazis. She was at large until August 19, 1945, when she approached a war correspondent on a sidewalk behind the city hall in Vienna. It’s unclear why she did this; perhaps he was an old friend or colleague. Maybe not, because he turned her in. Taken to Salzburg for questioning, she reportedly became indignant when U.S. occupation troops arrested her there.
The limited scope of her broadcasts saved her from serious trouble. In April 1948 the Justice Department dropped charges after an eight-month investigation failed to turn up evidence that she’d done anything wrong. She became a feature writer for the Philadelphia Public Ledger. She died Aug. 28, 1956 at the home of cousin Frederick Drexel in Waterbury, Connecticut. She was 68.
PIERRE DRIEU de la ROCHELLE, French writer
He was among the leading collaborationist writers in Occupied France. He committed suicide rather than stand trial.
ADOLF EICHMANN, Nazi leader
He was the SS man in charge of the "final solution." Interned in an American camp, he fled in 1946, apparently because the Allies had yet to learn of his atrocities. Israeli agents tracked him down near Buenos Aires in 1960. Secretly taken to Jerusalem, he stood trial April 2-Aug. 14, 1961. That Dec. 2 he was sentenced to death. He was executed in Ramleh prison May 31, 1962. The affair aroused worldwide interest.
NIKOLAUS von FALKENHORST, German general
He led the invasion of Norway in 1940. In ‘46 a British military tribunal sentenced him to death for handing over captured British commandos to the Gestapo. The sentence was reduced to 20 years; he was released in 1953 because of poor health. He died in 1968.
He controlled the Bibliotheque Nationale under Vichy and was in charge of rooting out secret societies such as the Freemasons. Vichy blamed the Freemasons for supposed sins such as leading the country into disaster in 1940, for opposing the church and for buttressing the Third Republic. Petain denounced them even more vigorously than he did Jews. After the Liberation, Gertrude Stein testified for him to no avail; he was imprisoned as a collaborator.
PAUL FERDONNET, French broadcaster
Broadcasting the Nazi line, he railed against the “dirty British,” and claimed Germany was fighting to save “Christian civilization” from, among others, the Jews. He was convicted during the epuration.
RAYMOND FENARD, French admiral
He was Vichy's delegate general in North Africa at the time of the crucial Torch invasion. Admiral Darlan was staying at Fenard’s home when the Allies landed. Darlan’s presence negated Fenard’s role in Torch.
KIRSTEN FLAGSTAD, Norwegian opera singer
Her most famous role was Brunnhilde in Wagner’s Ring. Her husband was in Quisling's cabinet. Moreover, she’d been outspoken in supporting the Quisling regime. That put her in a tiny minority, and many Norwegians later denounced her. Her status got her off and enabled her to resume her career. She was back at the Met in 1950. She lived 1895-1962.
PIERRE ETIENNE FLANDIN, French premier
His government of 1934-35 lasted longer than most French governments of the era. In later speeches, he backed appeasement of Hitler, then, during the early months of the Vichy government, he spoke so eloquently of French revival that Petain named him foreign minister. That was in November 1940, and things happened very quickly the next few months. First, he infuriated Otto Abetz, the German ambassador, with various remarks. But on December 13, 1940, Petain fired Pierre Laval and made Flandin the No. 2 man in Vichy--behind only Petain himself.
Flandin had no idea just how much he’d have to toady to the Germans. When he opposed helping them militarily, Petain had to fire him. He was out of the government after February 1941, but that short tenure labeled him a collaborationist. After the Liberation, de Gaulle dealt with him as severely as with any of the Vichy leaders, but la Haute Cour eventually acquitted him of collaboration. He lived 1889-1958.
RENE FOUSQUET, Vichy chief of police
He was prefect of the Marne until Pierre Laval appointed him chief of the national police during the Vichy government. He was assassinated in June 1993 while awaiting trial for crimes against humanity.
HANS FRANK, governor-general of occupied Poland
Born May 23, 1900, he was a son of a barrister disbarred for corruption. In the late '20s, young Frank became Hitler's personal lawyer. Later, as gauleiter of Poland, he bragged about exterminating Jews. He eventually broke with Hitler. During the show trial he tried suicide unsuccessfully. He was hanged Oct. 16, 1946.
RAILTON FREEMAN, propaganda broadcaster
He was born Oct. 6, 1903, son of a Royal Navy commander. After entering Sandhurst in 1922, he earned a commission in the Royal Air Force. He served as a pilot before retiring in 1931. He then joined the British Union of Fascists.
Recalled to duty in 1940, he became an RAF instructor. He still few some missions, and it was during one that he crash-landed. The Germans captured him. Learning of his political views, they soon enlisted him as a propaganda broadcaster. He worked in the same operation as William Joyce and shared an office with Norman Bailie-Stewart. In 1944 he joined the Waffen SS. On May 9, 1945, the British captured him. He got off with 10 years in jail. “The Germans would have had the honesty to shoot me,” he said sarcastically.
WILHELM FRICK, Nazi minister of Interior
Born March 12, 1877 to a schoolmaster, he earned a doctorate from Heidelberg. After going into police work, he embraced ultra-right causes. He wouldn't testify at the main trial at Nuremberg. He was hanged Oct. 16, 1946.
HANS GEORGE von FRIEDEBURG, German admiral
As the war wound down, he took over the German navy when Karl Doenitz became fuhrer. After signing surrender documents three times he committed suicide on May 23, 1945.
HANS FRITZSCHE, Nazi chief of radio propaganda
Goering was standing in for Hitler at the trials; Fritzsche was standing in for his boss, Josef Goebbels. He was born April 21, 1900 into the family of a civil servant. After becoming an editor, he went into broadcasting. Eventually he controlled the dissemination of news in Germany and also was as a well-known news commentator for Hitler. Still, he was a small fry at the main trial; he expressed repentance and was acquitted. He was re-tried later, served a short sentence and died in Cologne in 1953.
WALTHER FUNK, Nazi president of the Reichsbank
He was born Aug. 18, 1890. He worked his way up from financial journalist to editor of a conservative Berlin newspaper. Eventually he became Reich minister of economics, then headed the Reich bank. One writer said Funk was "greasy-looking" and further called him "a notorious homosexual and habitual drunkard." At the first Nuremberg trial, he was sentenced to life in prison. The tribunal decided that he'd never really held a high post in the government--a mitigating factor. He was released from Spandau in 1957 because he was ill. He died in Dusseldorf in 1960.
FRIEDRICH WILHELM, German crown prince
Born in 1882, he was Kaiser Wilhelm II’s oldest son. His father wouldn’t let him run for German president against Paul von Hindenburg in 1932. He supported Hitler during World War II but was always ready to become kaiser, if anybody asked. He died in 1951.
WILHELM FURTWANGLER, German symphony conductor
As conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic in 1922-45, he was the lead entertainer when the Nazi hierarchy attended concerts. A de-Nazification court cleared him in 1945 but his image was tarnished. He won reappointment in 1950 and died in 1954.
OTTO GALLAND, German general
He was born in 1911. He flew 300 missions for the Condor Legion during the Spanish Civil War, then flew many during the battle of Britain. After becoming the most famous German ace of WWII, he commanded the Luftwaffe Fighter Arm in 1941-45. When the war ended, he went to Argentina to be a technical advisor to Dictator Juan Peron’s air force for six years. Later he was a consultant in Dusseldorf. He’s also worked as a consultant for movies made about the battle of Britain..
MAURICE GUSTAV GAMELIN, French general
He was born in 1872. Working on Joseph Joffre’s staff, he came to the fore as head of the operations section of the French general headquarters during WWI. A good military bureaucrat, he personified the efficient staff officer of his era. That was hardly the same as commanding all French armies during the period between wars. When WWII began, he was 68 and seemed much older. As he tried to lead the French and British in resisting Hitler’s drive westward, subordinates ridiculed him as "Gagamelin." Premier Daladier observed: "When Gamelin speaks, it's like running sand through one's fingers." Besides being too old, he proved a poor soldier, utterly unable to coordinate or rally his troops. Maxime Weygand, even older, replaced him. He was among defendants in the aborted trial at Riom.
REINHARD GEHLEN, German director of Foreign Armies East
He was born about 1905. A career Wehrmacht man, he headed an intelligence unit that was independent of Himmler. This unit had been spying on the Soviets since 1942. Gehlen, knowing Hitler didn't want to hear bad news, developed a Madison Avenue treatment, making his reports razzle-dazzle multimedia events. As the end of the war neared, he and his top deputies microfilmed all the unit's records, then headed for the Alps to surrender to the Americans. They offered their records--and their services--to the Americans, much as von Braun and his underlings did. At first there were no takers. Then John Foster Dulles learned of Gehlen and his availability. The German espionage unit then went to work for the Americans. It operated out of the OSS compound in Frankfurt. Gehlen apparently brought all his agents in the East, including those in the USSR, over to the Allied side.
MARCEL GENSOUL, French vice admiral
He commanded the fleet at Mers-el-Kabir, Algeria, when Britain’s H Force attacked it July 3, 1940. His ships took a severe beating in the controversial battle between former allies.
KURT GERSTEIN, Nazi official
Born in 1905 he became a minor official in the Institute of Hygiene in Berlin. Assigned to demonstrate the gas Zyklon B at death camps, he tried to inform the world, through various means, of Nazi atrocities. Basically, he failed. He committed suicide in a French prison July 17, 1945.
WALTER GIESEKING, concert pianist
Born in Lyon oin 1895, he began his career in Hamover, then successfully performed in Nazi Germany. After the war, many people boycotted his concerts. But, it was said, many of those same people would play his recordings–especially his Bach, Ravel, Debussy and Mozart--in their homes. He died in London in 1956.
MILDRED ELIZABETH GILLARS, “Axis Sally”
She was born November 29, 1900 in Portland, Maine. After attending Ohio Wesleyan, she worked as a musician, actress and deejay. At her trial in Washington, D.C. in 1949, her lawyer maintained that she’d renounced U.S. citizenship by swearing allegiance to Germany. Convicted of treason, she was sentenced to 10 to 30 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. She served 12 years. She died June 25, 1988 in Columbus, Ohio. (See CPC’s The Story of Axis Sally.)
HENRI GIRAUD, French general
Born in 1879, he became a French hero of both world wars. He commanded the 7th Army when the Germans invaded in April 1940. In the ensuing rout, he was captured May 19 at Sedan (where Napoleon III was captured in 1870).
While imprisoned with several other generals in a fortress in Konigstein in Saxony, he plotted how to free France: the Resistance would begin guerrilla warfare, the Vichy army (the so-called "Armistice Army”) would turn on the Germans, and the Americans and British would invade southern France.
When friends smuggled him a rope in his POW packages, he lowered himself down a wall in April 1942 and fled to Switzerland. Authorities there detained him. When the Germans demanded his return, the Swiss refused, saying he was a retired officer, not a POW.
He then went to Lyon in Vichy to live in retirement. The Germans tried to get him back from there, too, but Marshal Petain worked out a compromise: Giraud could live freely in Lyon by staying out of politics. Vichy police and the Gestapo kept him under surveillance.
The Americans, considering an invasion of North Africa, needed someone around whom Frenchmen would unite. FDR, disliking Charles de Gaulle, picked Giraud. Even at 63, he remained tall, slender and dignified; he personified a man of action. Moreover, he was a full general of long standing, two ranks above De Gaulle. He was untainted; he hadn't been a defeatist and he hadn’t collaborated. Granted, he hadn't distinguished himself in the 1940 debacle, but what Frenchman had? (Some detractors noted that Giraud was basically a fascist himself, which the Americans were willing to overlook.)
Giraud discussed possibilities with other senior generals in Vichy. When he urged them to turn on the Germans, he found little support. American officials in Vichy then put him in contact with conspirators in North Africa; these included General Charles Mast, who’d also been a prisoner in Konigstein.
Giraud agreed to be the designated hero. Smuggling him from Vichy to Gibraltar to North Africa wasn’t easy. He traveled by canoe, fishing boat, Catalina flying boat and submarine. At one changeover, he fell into the Mediterranean. Onlookers said he might have drowned if a sailor hadn’t hauled him out. During the canoe ride, he refused to sit where U.S. sailors suggested. Thinking Giraud spoke no English, the sailors referred to him as “a silly old bastard.” It was the British sub Seraph that dropped him at Gibraltar. His code name was “King-Pin” in all dispatches, indicating his importance to the Allies.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower, in charge of the Torch invasion, soon found that Giraud expected even more of the Allies than they did of him. He insisted on being supreme commander of any force invading French lands, and that France's prewar boundaries and territories be guaranteed. He wanted to lead troops and was determined that Frenchmen should determine France’s destiny.
Perhaps the sailors had been right in their appraisal. Ike quickly saw Giraud was impractical. Lacking political ambitions, he simply wasn't a political general. Reluctantly, the Allies used Admiral Jean Francois Darlan as their point man in North Africa. After Darlan's assassination, Giraud became high commissioner of French North and West Africa. This caused problems with de Gaulle, who brooked no rivals in his effort to free France.
FDR and Churchill, in meeting at Casablanca in January 1943, forged a compromise. De Gaulle had to accept Giraud as co-president of the Committee of National Liberation, which they set up in June 1943. Photographers snapped the two French generals–each 6 feet 7--shaking hands as FDR and Churchill smiled. Giraud made the cover of Time magazine in 1943.
In November 1943 Giraud signed away his position in the committee to de Gaulle, who had outmaneuvered him. Perhaps he acted naively, but he simply had no interest in continuing any rivalry with de Gaulle.
After de Gaulle nudged him into retirement, he became a dignified old gentleman living obscurely, even pathetically, in Algiers. At war's end, de Gaulle let him enter Metz as a victor.
He and a daughter were walking in his garden in Algiers about the time the war ended when an Algerian soldier fired a rifle at him. The bullet perforated his jaw. Giraud, who believed that Gaullist extremists had assassinated Darlan, blamed his shooting on the same group.
After recovering, he served in the National Assembly briefly without attracting much notice. Ultimately friends gave him a minor civil service job. When he died in 1949, he merited a state funeral and burial at Les Invalides.
EMMY (SONNEMANN) GOERING, actress, "first lady"
Actress Emmy Sonnemann married Hermann Goering on April 10, 1935. With Hitler unmarried, Emmy functioned as Germany's "first lady." Convicted in 1948 of being a Nazi, she was barred from the stage for five years. She died in Munich on June 8, 1973.
HERMANN GOERING, Reichmaraschall
Born Jan. 12, 1893, he was a son of a judge. A World War I flying ace, he bagged 22 Allied aircraft. While touring as a stunt flyer in 1922, he married Baroness Karin von Fock-Kantzow, a Swede. He also allied with Hitler, who was pleased to add a war hero to the Nazi menagerie. Seriously wounded in Hitler's putsch of 1923, he fled to Sweden, where he was confined to an asylum for dangerous lunatics. During his recovery, he became addicted to morphine. (His enemies, both foreign and domestic, said ever after that he was a crazy drug addict. His friends said that his serious injuries had caused him to rely on painkillers. Perhaps the truth was somewhere in between.) After his wife died of TB in 1931, he married actress Emmy Sonnemann on April 10, 1935. He's remembered, of course, as a collector of fine art, most of it stolen, but he also had a vast layout of electric trains. One critic called him "one-third war hero, one-third buffoon and one-third murderer.” He was the primary culprit at the famous show trial at Nuremberg. On Oct. 1, 1946, he was sentenced to death. But on Oct. 15, 1946, just before he was to hang, he swallowed cyanide.
THEODOR IGNAZ GRIEBEL, physician
As a German soldier during WWI, he apparently did his duty loyally. After that, it’s anybody’s guess whose side he was on. Leaving the German army, he came to America. After graduating from Long Island Medical College, he set up practice at 56 East 87th Street in New York City. Becoming a U.S. citizen, he joined the U.S. Army as a medical reserve officer. He also was president of the Friends of the New Germany (later the German-American Bund).
A federal grand jury subpoenaed him to testify in the espionage trial of Johanna Hofmann, a hairdresser on the liner Europa, and three other accused Nazi spies. But he fled by stowing away (or was spirited away by Germans) on the liner Breman May 10, 1938. With him he had the German intelligence code. (Note that this was before the war.)
Meanwhile, at Hofmann’s trial, Leon G. Torrou, a former special agent of the FBI, testified that Griebel was an “informer,” who’d turned in his fellow spies. Torrou testified further that Griebel had betrayed both America and Germany. (Ultimately, the hair-dresser was sentenced to four years in prison.)
Torrou denied in court that the FBI had let Griebel flee. And, once he did escape, federal authorities planned to overtake the ship, Torrou testified. That plan was dropped, he continued, because the ship’s captain agreed (apparently by telegraph) to turn Griebel over to British authorities when the ship reached Southampton. Legal technicalities there prevented any arrest, it was later alleged. The ship continued on to Bremerhaven, where German authorities conveniently arrested Griebel for traveling without a passport. He was fined 60 marks.
After the Nazis annexed Austria, he practiced medicine in Vienna, taking the office of a Jewish doctor the Germans had ousted. On Aug. 19, 1945, he went to the offices of U.S. occupation troops in Salzburg. Identifying himself as an American citizen, he showed his diploma from New York University’s medical school (sic) and asked repatriation. Capt. H.J. Downey of Pittsfield, Massachusetts, remembered Griebel’s case and arrested him. Downey reported that Griebel, acting like an errant schoolboy, readily admitted his identity. He seems not to have made the newspapers after that; perhaps his earlier deal with the government, establishing him as an informer, got him off.
Who knows? He’d apparently betrayed both sides during WWII.
SASHA GUITRY, French entertainer
He was born in 1885 in St. Petersburg, Russia. He became a celebrated French actor, playwright and impresario. During the Occupation he produced many documents to prove he wasn't Jewish. After the war he tried to have things both ways, showing a document from Otto Abetz saying the German occupiers had shunned Guitry because he was "non-Aryan." This desire to shift with the winds didn't keep him out of Fresnes prison, briefly, and it tarnished his reputation. He died in 1957.
KNUT HAMSON, Norwegian writer
He was considered his country’s leading writer. He was 84 when accused of collaborating. Charges were dropped when it became apparent he was senile.
ERNST HANFSTAENGEL, Hitler’s “court jester”
"Putzi" was born into a wealthy publishing family in Munich in 1887. His mother was American. During a decade in the United States, he graduated from Harvard in 1909. Not until after WWI did he return to Munich. Upon hearing Hitler speak, he became a Nazi, giving the movement some acceptance among the upper classes. Putzi even loaned the party money. Most of all, he was Hitler's "jester" and confidante. Gangly and good-natured, he played the piano, told jokes and enjoyed practical pranks. He wrote some march songs for Hitler--takeoffs on American football songs--and even converted the Harvard fight song, using a "Seig Heil" chorus.
As the years passed, Hitler's more doctrinaire bully-boys, jealous of Putzi, turned Hitler against him. There was one final practical joke: Putzi was put aboard a plane, then told he was being dropped behind enemy lines as a spy. He wasn’t, but, fearing for his life, he fled to England in March 1937. Then, returning to the U.S., he became a special advisor on the Third Reich to President Roosevelt. Oddly, he nevertheless was interned briefly after the war. Returning to Germany, he wrote his memoirs and died in 1975 in Munich.
ARTHUR HARRIS, British air marshal
Born in 1892, he became “Bomber Harris,” the Allies’ most controversial warrior. Believing strategic bombing to be useless, he convinced the Allies to carpet-bomb; German civilians and military targets were firebombed indiscriminately. Most Britons applauded his hard line, calling it retribution for the blitz. He made the cover of Life in 1944. Yet he was granted only a baronetcy after the war. (In the U.K.’s peculiar brand of “democracy,” more was expected.) Perhaps more telling, it was said his fellow club members snubbed him. He moved to South Africa to go into business. As the years passed, the firebombing of Dresden, for instance, came to be regarded as a war crime.
MARTIN HEIDEGGER, German philosopher
A world-known philosopher, he joined the Nazi party when Hitler came to power. He was made rector of University of Berlin, a post he held throughout the war. Fellow academics, including Sartre, saved him from prosecution.
HEKMET, Egyptian belly dancer
A star at the Melody Club in Cairo, she provided memorable entertainment for British troops. For safety, the band at the club played behind barbed wire. Eventually, Hekmet was arrested and accused of spying for the Nazis.
KONRAD HENLEIN, gauleiter
Born in Bohemia, he was a gym instructor as a young adult. He was Hitler's gauleiter of the Sudetenland when the Allies captured him. He committed suicide in custody in May 1945.
RUDOLF HESS, Nazi deputy fuhrer
He was born April 26, 1896 in Alexandria, Egypt. On May 10, 1941, he piloted a Messerschmitt-110 to Scotland. He bailed out and sought to find the Duke of Hamilton. Hess hoped he and the duke could arrange peace between Germany and Britain. (This was well before U.S. entry into the war.) Hess was simply arrested and treated as a POW the rest of the war. Everyone--the Allies and Hitler--seemed to agree that he was insane. Moreover, he’d been in jail before most of the war atrocities. Sentenced nevertheless to life imprisonment on Oct. 1, 1946, he remained controversial to the end. Why he never was released or sent to an asylum remains a mystery; the Americans claimed the Soviets insisted he serve his sentence. The last of the original defendants, he officially hanged himself at Berlin's Spandau Prison Aug. 17, 1987 at age 93. Relatives claimed he was murdered. Obviously, he continues to intrigue historians.
WERNER HEYDE, German psychiatrist
As director of psychiatry at the University of Wurzburg, he specialized in the "mercy-killing" of handicapped people. A German court sentenced him to death in absentia in 1946. He was then practicing psychiatry under a phony name in Flensburg. Local authorities shielded him until 1959, when he turned himself in to a court in Frankfurt. His trial promised to be a major event in Limburg, but on Feb. 13, 1964, five days before it was to start, he hanged himself in his cell, using his belt and a radiator pipe.
JOHANNA HOFMANN, German hairdresser
She worked aboard the liner Europa. She and three others were accused of spying for the Nazis and tried in NYC in 1938. She received a four-year prison term. See Theodor Griebel.
MASAHARU HOMMA, Japanese lieutenant general
The “Bataan Death March” remained an extremely emotional issue in the U.S. for many years. Homma was blamed for it.
The U.S. “commission” that tried war criminals in the Philippines included four U.S. generals and a Philippine general. The primary charge against Homma was that he had overseen the march, one of the major atrocities of WWII.
Homma was not a typical Japanese military commander. For one thing, he was huge–so barrel-chested and muscular that he weighed about 200 pounds. Still, he was oddly benign looking. Also, he spoke fluent English.
While Japanese commander in the Philippines, he'd confronted a problem many commanders had faced before: what to do with an overwhelming number of prisoners. In April 1942, he needed to transport 75,000 of them from the Bataan peninsula to Manila. He apparently planned as best he could; buses and trucks carried some of the prisoners. But most had to walk about 60 miles.
Some Japanese guards, apparently acting on their own volition, killed many marchers. Homma later disciplined some of his men. Passions remained so inflamed that even in 1946 the commission perhaps miscarried justice.
The commission convicted him that Feb. 11, and MacArthur approved the death sentence. A firing squad shot Homma April 4, 1946. His successor in Manila, General Tomiyuki Yamashita, was executed in February 1946.
MIKLOS HORTHY de NAGYBANYA, ruler of Hungary
He was born in 1868 in Kenderes, Hungary. He became the last commander-in-chief of the dying Austro-Hungarian empire’s navy. In 1920 he became ruling “regent” in Hungary. The traditional joke was that Hungary was a monarchy without a monarch being run by an admiral without a navy. And he ran the country like a tight ship.
Although he disliked and distrusted Hitler, he agreed to join him in fighting the USSR. In return, he received a chunk of Romania that Hungary had claimed. Horthy wasn’t an enthusiastic ally. In August 1943 he made an odd truce with the British. He promised that Hungarians wouldn’t shoot at British planes overflying Hungary on their way toward Germany. In return, the British agreed not to bomb Hungary. About this time it was obvious that the Allies would win the war, so Horthy sought a separate peace with the Soviets.
When the Germans found out about these things, they overran Hungary in spring 1944, and they manned the antiaircraft guns, too. Hitler sent commando Otto Skorzeny to handle the admiral and grown son Miki. Among other things, Skorzeny kidnapped Miki by rolling him in a carpet.
After the war, the U.S. Army detained the admiral in Bavaria, then shipped him off to Nuremberg with the major war criminals. Yet he wasn't tried, even when the Yugoslavs asked that he be turned over for tiral. Refusing to give him up, the Americans held him in “protective custody” until late in 1945. He lived out his life in Portugal, where he died Feb. 9, 1957.
CHARLES HUNTZINGER, French general
He commanded the center group of French armies trying to stop the German invasion of spring 1940. With General Maxime Weygand unable to produce the miracle needed to save France, Premier Paul Reynaud nearly put Huntzinger in command of all French armies. General de Gaulle stated in his memoirs that Huntzinger was asked if he'd take the command, and Huntzinger said yes. Huntzinger later denied that to Weygand. Reynaud stuck with Weygand to no avail. In November 1942, Petain named Huntzinger Vichy minister of defense succeeding Weygand. Huntzinger spent most of his time awarding medals. Admiral Darlan wrote him off as a "nut." He was accidentally killed in November 1941, thereby escaping eventual trial for his collaboration.
HAJJ AMIN AL-HUSSEINI, grand mufti of Jerusalem
He.collaborated with the Nazis before the war. After the Iraqi revolt of 1941, he fled to Germany. There, he recruited Bosnians and other Muslims for the Waffen SS. In helping Himmler with "the final solution," he urged it be extended to Palestine. After the war, the British feared that his prosecution would inflame the Moslem world, so he was not detained. He lived out life in various Arabian capitals.
WILLIAM INCE, propaganda broadcaster
He was an American corporal whom the Japanese captured. He allegedly worked at Radio Tokyo while a POW.
ALFRED JODL, German field marshal
He was born May 10, 1890 into a distinguished military family. Although a yes man second only to Keitel, he tried to guide Hitler's erratic military strategies along more conventional lines. He was among German leaders signing the surrender documents. During confinement, he kept his cell perfectly clean and orderly. He claimed during the trial that he was a soldier who'd followed orders.
As a professional military man, he was angry about his sentence, and his wife elicited some public sentiment for commuting it. (The fictionalized film, Judgment at Nuremberg, deals with this.) Oddly, he gained more support through his anger than Keitel did through repentance and dignity. He was hanged Oct. 16, 1946. On. Feb. 28, 1953, a de-Nazification court exonerated him. This did him no good, of course, but the court decided that he'd restricted his professional activities to operational matters that didn't violate international law.
HANNS JOHST, German poet
He was Nazi poet laureate and culture chieftain. A de-Nazification court in Munich, labeling him a "fellow traveler," fined him 500 marks. He shouldn't have appealed. When he did, he ended up with a much stiffer sentence: declared a "major offender," he was sentenced to 3 1/2 years in a labor camp; moreover, half his property was confiscated and he was barred from working at his various cultural professions for 10 years. (Was that "poetic justice?") He died in Bavaria in 1978.
WILLIAM JOYCE, “Lord Haw-Haw”
Although born in Brooklyn, he grew up in Ireland and Britain. A lifelong fascist, he broadcast for the Nazis during WWII. The British army arrested him in May 1945. Convicted in London of treason in 1945, he was hanged Jan. 3, 1946 at Wandsworth Prison. This was a bit of a stretch for authorities; he was a former American who’d become a German citizen, without ever being a British subject. See CPC’s The Story of Lord Haw-Haw for details.
ALFONSE JUIN, French general
A classmate of de Gaulle at St. Cyr, he was leading a division when captured in 1940. He then served under Vichy until going over to the Free French at the time of the Torch invasion; he was important in swinging French troops to the Allies. Later he was a senior NATO commander. He lived 1888-1967.
FREDERICK WILHELM KALTENBACH, propaganda broadcaster
He was born March 29, 1895. A former resident of Dubuque, Iowa, he attended Grinnell College, then taught school. He went to study at the University of Berlin in 1933 and married a German woman. Broadcasting for the Nazis, he was known as “Lord Hee-Haw.” He had a homey tone, reading purported letters from Iowa that praised Hitler and knocked the Allies. The U.S. indicted him in 1943. He apparently died in Soviet custody just after the war.
ERNST KALTENBRUNNER, Nazi security chief
He was born Oct. 4, 1903, son and grandson of lawyers. A boyhood pal of Adolf Eichmann, Kaltenbrunner became a practicing lawyer. He eventually controlled the Gestapo and the system of concentration camps. American patrols nabbed him in the Tyrol. He was hard to miss. At 6 feet 7, he had a lantern jaw, long dangling arms, and a saber cut across one cheek. He smoked four packs of Chesterfields a day and was an alcoholic. A heart attack delayed his appearance at the first Nuremberg trial. He was hanged Oct. 16, 1946.
HERBERT von KARAJAN, symphony conductor
He was born in 1908 in Salzburg, Austria. As a young man he often conducted the Berlin Philharmonic in 1938-42. He joined the Nazi party just after Anschluss, which furthered his career. He later claimed that was the only reason he joined. After the war he was persona non grata in Israel. Nor would Vienna-born Rudolf Bing let him perform at New York City's Metropolitan Opera during his years there (1950-72). When von Karajan died in Salzburg in 1989 he was arguably the world's most famous conductor.
TOMOYA KAWAKITA, Japanese prison guard
He was apparently the only traitor the U.S. sentenced to death immediately after WWII. He was a Japanese-American born in the U.S. about 1921. After moving to Japan, he became an interpreter at Oyama Prison Camp during WWII. American POWs there called him “Meatball” for his brutality. (Some news stories said he ran a factory in Japan where he mistreated POWs forced to work there. These stories apparently were erroneous.)
After the war he returned on his own to the U.S. A former POW recognized him on a street in Los Angeles and called police.
After his trial, he was sentenced to hang. His unsuccessful appeals went all the way to the Supreme Court. After President Eisenhower finally reduced his sentence to life in prison, he was sent to Alcatraz. Japanese officials repeatedly sought his release.
He was the focus of another controversy in 1960. His mother had died in Japan five years earlier, leaving an estate of $30,000. Normally the money would have been split between Meatball and his three sisters. But the estate included $15,000 that the U.S. government had paid as compensation for the parents’ relocation after Pearl Harbor.
Assistant U.S. Attorney James R. Dooley claimed that “It would be against public policy to allow a convicted traitor to share in the benefits of the government’s bounty.” (Originally the Kawakita family, who’d been produce merchants, asked $214,415 under the American-Japanese Evacuation Claims Act of 1948.) Apparently Meatball eventually got his share.
One of President John F. Kennedy’s last official acts was to release Kawakita from McNeil Island federal prison on the conditions that he leave the U.S. and never return. On Dec. 13, 1963, he landed in Tokyo with plans to become a Japanese citizen.
WILHELM KEITEL, German field marshal
He was born Sept. 22, 1882. As Germany's highest-ranking military officer, he earned the nickname "Lakeitel" by toadying to Hitler. (It's a play on words. "Lakai" is German for "lackey.") Keitel, seeing through the smoke that Hitler hadn’t been killed in the momentous bomb plot, embraced his leader, yelling “Mein Fuhrer, you're alive! You're alive!” Although he looked every inch the military hero, many underlings considered him stupid. A beefy six-footer, he had wavy white hair and looked something like the Wizard of Oz (actor Frank Morgan, who, incidentally, was Jewish). He was among German leaders signing the surrender documents. During his trial, along with the original Nuremberg defendants, he was dignified and repentant, facing death as the professional soldier he was. He was hanged Oct. 16, 1946.
ALBERT KESSELRING, German field marshal
“Smiling Albert” generally was considered a good fellow, fond of drinking beer, playing the piano and performing conjuring tricks. A British military court in Venice tried him in 1947. That May he was convicted of ordering the Ardeantine cave massacre in Italy. His death sentence was commuted to life in prison. He was released in 1952 because he had cancer. He soon died.
PAUL von KLEIST, German field marshal
He died in a Soviet prison in 1954.
FRITZ KNOCHLEIN, German lieutenant
He was hanged for executing 100 British POWs in France in 1940.
ERICH KOCH, gauleiter of East Prussia and Reich commissar of the Ukraine
He was fired as a railway clerk in 1926 because of his political activities. Rising in the Nazi hierarchy, he terrorized conquered lands to the east. His first act as commissar of the Ukraine was to close schools, saying sub-human Slavs needed no schooling. Regarded as one of the primary war criminals, he eluded capture until the British caught him in Hamburg in May 1949. The Soviets and the Poles wanted him, and the British finally turned him over to the Poles in 1950. But not until 1958 was he brought to trial, accused of killing 400,000 Poles. In ill health, he could say during the trial only that he was a good “Christian,” a good “socialist” and a friend of workers. He was condemned March 9, 1959, but Polish law prohibits execution of bedridden convicts. Some people maintained he’d bargained for his life by revealing the whereabouts of looted art work. He died Nov. 12, 1986 in Bartchero prison.
ILSE KOCH, "Bitch of Buchenwald"
She’ll be ever-remembered for decorating with lamp shades of human skin. Husband Karl, commandant of Buchenwald, was convicted of corruption before the end of the war. She was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Buchenwald trials in 1947; she was soon released, however. Re-arrested in 1949 she was tried in a West German court for killing German citizens. Amid national sensation in 1952 she was sentenced to life imprisonment. She committed suicide in 1967 at a prison in Bavaria.
PAUL KOCH, commandant of Buchenwald
After taking his post in 1939, he acquired a fortune through on-the-job corruption. SS General Josias Erbprinz von Waldeck-Pyrmont prosecuted him in 1944 and had him executed. Wife Ilse survived him.
PIERRE KOENIG, French brigadier general
Tall and blue-eyed, he was known as the “Old Rabbit” to his men. Rommel besieged Koenig and his Free French troops at Bir Hacheim in Libya. Several times Rommel asked Koenig to surrender; Koenig refused, then led his men in fighting their way out; 2,700 of his 3,600 men made it.
On April 26, 1945, Marshal Petain surrendered voluntarily to French authorities at Vallorbe on the Swiss border. It was Koenig who picked up the marshal and his wife. Petain extended his hand. Koenig refused it and put the Petains on a train for Paris.
KUNIAKI KOISO, Japanese general, premier
Born in 1880, he replaced Tojo as premier in July 1944. The U.S. postwar tribunal sentenced him to life in prison. He died in a U.S. army hospital in 1950.
MAX OTTO KOISCHWITZ, propaganda broadcaster
A native German, Dr. Koischwitz became a naturalized American while teaching at Hunter College in New York City. In 1939 he returned to Germany to work for German radio. He and Mildred Gillars (“Axis Sally”) fell in love (although he was already married). In 1943 he got her transferred to his propaganda section aimed specifically at American GIs. She and Koischwitz toured POW camps, trying to interview Americans. The two broadcast from Chartres and Paris in France, from Hilversum in the Netherlands, and from Berlin itself.
His broadcasts were anti-Semitic, anti-British, anti-Roosevelt and anticommunist. Among other things, he propagandized for the United States to join the Germans in fighting the USSR. A U.S. grand jury indicted him in absentia, along with Jane Anderson, Edward Delaney and others, in 1943.
He died on or about September 1, 1944, apparently in Berlin. When Gillars was tried, her lawyer made much of her love for her “hypnotic mentor.” Koischwitz was portrayed as a brooding Svengali. Some newspapers later reported that Gillars had studied under Koischwitz at Hunter College; this seems not to have been discussed at the trial.
PRINCE FUMIMARO KONOYE, Japanese premier
He was Tojo’s predecessor as premier. He killed himself before he could be tried. He'd long advocated peace. His Princeton-educated son Fumitaka (called “Butch”) got 25 years at hard labor from a Russian tribunal; he died in Siberia in 1956. The prince’s brother Hidemaro directed the Tokyo Symphony.
JOSEF KRAMER, concentration camp commandant
He was commandant of Birkenau and Bergen-Belsen; he was dubbed “The Beast of Belsen” by the press. British troops arrested him and on Nov. 17, 1945 a British military court at Luneberg condemned him to death.
ALFRIED KRUPP von BOHLEN und HALBACH, industrialist
This mighty German industrialist, who lived 1907-67, wasn’t tried at the show trial, nor was his father. No plausible reason seems to have been stated for this; apparently one must read between the lines.
Some say Alfried ran the Krupp empire during the war because his father was to old to do it. Alfried counted his slave laborers by the hundreds of thousands, helped in extermination programs, and was an ardent Nazi. After the war, he shifted the blame to his aging father, which is said to have confused the Allies.
After the Canadian army did arrest him, he faced the Nuremberg Military Tribunal along with nine other directors of Krupp industries, but that was long after the show trial. On July 31, 1948, he was sentenced to 12 years' imprisonment, and his vast fortune was confiscated. On Feb. 4, 1951, he was released from Landsberg prison under an amnesty for industrialists. John J. McCloy, the U.S. high commissioner, issued the amnesty, under which Krupp even got all his property back. He then took over the Krupp empire again. According to some reports he’d actually served only about a year in prison. He died of heart failure in 1967.
GUSTAV KRUPP, industrialist
Gustav Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach was born Aug. 7, 1870 in The Hague. His father was a wealthy banker. Gustav married Bertha Krupp (hence the "Big Bertha" cannon), then eventually took over her family's Krupp industries. In becoming "king of the munitions makers," he used slave labor. When the slaves became used up, they were killed. Allied prosecutors considered Gustav, then in his mid-70s, a major war criminal. Upon examination, he was adjudged senile. Colonel Telford Taylor of the U.S. prosecution team reported later that there was great confusion about which of the Krupps would be tried, Gustav or son Alfried. The implausible outcome was that neither was tried at the show trial.
OTTO KUUSINEN, Finnish politician
He was a Finnish communist living in exile in Moscow in 1939. When the USSR invaded Finland, Stalin installed Kuusinen to head a puppet government there. Stalin tried to justify this by saying that his stooge had asked that the USSR send troops, which was a little like the chicken-and-egg problem. After the bitter Russo-Finnish War finally ended, Stalin dropped the Kuusinen government in return for other Finnish concessions. “Kuusinen” is synonymous with “traitor” in Finland.
JEAN de LABORDE, French admiral
He was admiral of the French fleet at Toulon in November 1942 when Admiral Darlan ordered it to put to sea, out of Hitler’s grasp. De Laborde correctly noted that Darlan no longer was his superior. The Germans occupied Toulon on Nov. 27, 1942 and promptly swarmed into the dock area. De Laborde then ordered the fleet to be scuttled. French sailors, many manning deck guns, held off the Germans long enough for 70 ships to be scuttled. Hitler didn’t get the ships, but neither did the Allies.
HANS HENRICH LAMMERS, Nazi functionary
He was chief of the Reich Chancellery and Hitler's closest legal advisor. Prosecutors alleged he had a part in Hitler's “final solution,” leading to the Military Tribunal sentencing him to 20 years in prison. The U.S. high commissioner halved that, then later reduced it further. He was freed from Landsberg prison Dec. 16, 1951 and died in 1962.
PIERRE LAVAL, French premier
He was Time’s man of the year in 1931 and again made the Time cover in 1942. There’d been a lot of water under the bridge–and switching sides–in the interval.
“Laval” is a palindrome, reading the same left or right. Frenchmen had long joked about this, comparing it to his politics: whether he was representing the left or the right, he was still the same greasy crook.
He shifted with the winds in 1940, too, acting as Marshal Petain’s top deputy in the Vichy government. After the Liberation, the French didn’t waste time; Laval, perhaps the most hated Frenchman ever, was convicted Oct. 9, 1945 in Paris and shot at Fresnes prison Oct. 15.
JACQUES LECLERC, Free French general
He was wounded and captured in the fall of France. After escaping, he joined de Gaulle and the Free French. He led a unit across the desert from Chad to Tripolitania to fight in the North African campaign, then ultimately led the Liberation troops into Paris on Aug. 25, 1944. After he died in an air crash in 1952, he was posthumously made a marshal of France. He pronounced Leclerc “le claire,” but his real name was Philippe Francois Marie, Vicomte de Hauteclocque.
PHILIPP LENARD, physicist
This German Nobel prize winning physicist was an enthusiastic Nazi who described Einstein as a “Jewish fraud.” He purged non-Aryans from the academic community before the war, then, with the help of others of his ilk, retained his academic standing after the war.
ROBERT LEY, German minister of labor
He was born Feb. 15, 1890. As a WWI pilot, he was shot down and captured by the French. After working as a chemist for I.G. Farben, he ran Germany's so-called labor unions. A rabid Jew-hater and alcoholic, he amassed a fortune, much of it through corruption. He stammered when excited. The Americans captured him and scheduled him for the original Nuremberg trial. He committed suicide in his cell Oct. 24, 1945.
PAUL de MAN, Belgian art critic
He was the Nazis' artistic advisor during the Occupation, picking works of art to be transported to Germany. He not only ducked culpability, he achieved postwar academic respect in the art world as a founder of the “deconstructionist criticism” concept.
ERICH von MANSTEIN, German field marshal
He was born with the Polish surname Lewinski, which he dropped after the Manstein family adopted him. He was one of Hitler's great tacticians and fully supported the brutal "Commisar Order" to execute immediately all Soviet political officers in the East. (Most German army leaders disregarded it.) On Dec. 19, 1949, a British tribunal sentenced him to 18 years in prison. Later, the sentence was cut to 12 years, but he was paroled in August 1952 because he was ill. He was formally freed in May 1953. He worked as a military advisor to the Germans before dying in 1973, more than two decades after his illness. Critics said he got off much too easily for sending countless Jews to their deaths. Those critics said he’d lied under oath at the trial, which helped save his neck. Allied bungling helped, too, and so did his reputation as a successful commander.
YOSUKE MATSUOKA, Japanese foreign minister
Born in 1880, he was raised by a Methodist family in Oregon and remained a Christian. After earning a law degree from the University of Oregon, he became a businessman in Japan. Next he tried politics, becoming Japan's foreign minister in September 1940, he quickly proved so unpopular that he was forced out in July 1941. That was before Pearl Harbor, of course, but the postwar military tribunal nonetheless concluded that he'd helped start the war. TB killed him just as he went to trial. His enemies had long characterized him as a troublesome, arrogant and devious blabbermouth.
CHARLES EMMANUEL MAST, French general
A stint as military attache in Tokyo gave him a broader outlook than that of most French military men. Like Giraud and other French generals, he was captured in 1940 and imprisoned in Konigstein. But by 1942 he was deputy commander of Vichy’s XIX Corps in Algeria. A friend of Giraud, he was the first to commit to aiding the Allies if they invaded North Africa. Mast, after meeting secretly with U.S. General Mark Clark, was crucial to the Torch landings. However, he and other French commanders weren’t told of Torch’s exact date until just before the troops hit the beach. Mast was angry that he hadn’t been trusted fully. Soon, though, he did swing his men over to the Allies..He later fought in the Kasserine Pass and other North African battles.
WILLEM MENGELBURG, symphony conductor
He conducted the Concertgebouw orchestra in Amsterdam during the war. Afterward, the Dutch expelled him for collaborating with the Nazis. He died in exile in Switzerland in 1951.
JOSEF MENGELE, “doctor death”
He was born March 16, 1911 in Gunzburg, Bavaria. He received his medical degree from the University of Frankfurt am Main. As camp doctor at Auschwitz, he selected who worked, who died, and who would undergo his horrific medical experiments. Held in a British hospital after the war, he escaped via Rome to Buenos Aires. Although perhaps the most wanted of all war criminals, he died a free man, apparently while swimming in Paraguay.
MOSES MERIN, collaborator
Although Jewish, he collaborated with the Nazis in France. He was on their Jewish Council and helped pack Jews off to die. “I will not be afraid to sacrifice 50,000 of our community in order to save the other 50,000,” he said, voicing the collaborator’s familiar rationale. He and his associates discouraged French resistance.
WILHELM "WILLI" MESSERSCHMITT, aeronautical designer
He was Germany's great airplane designer. The extraordinarily successful ME-109 was his baby. In 1948 a de-Nazification court labeled him a fellow-traveler. He then worked in the prefabricated home business for a decade before returning to aeronautical design, this time for NATO and West Germany.
FRANCOIS MICHELIER, French admiral
He had overall command of Vichy defenses in North Africa, both army and navy. He refused to conspire with the Allies before the Torch invasion.
ERHARD MILCH, German general field marshal
The Military Tribunal in Nuremberg sentenced him to life imprisonment on April 17, 1947. In January 1951 the American High Commissioner commuted his sentence to 15 years. He was released with amnesty in 1954 and went to work as an industrial consultant. He died in 1972.
MISTINGUETT, French entertainer
After Jeanne-Marie Bourgeois went to work at the Moulin Rouge, she became world famous as “Mistinguett,” the dancer with the perfect legs. She took young Maurice Chevalier as a lover, starting him on the road to fame, and she was accused of having German lovers. She lived 1875-1956.
WALTHER MODEL, German field marshal
He shot himself April 18, 1945 rather than surrender.
MARTIN JAMES MONTI, defector
He was an American flyer who deserted, taking a U.S. plane with him. He broadcast as “Martin Wiethaupt, an American officer.” Besides that, he applied to join Hitler’s elite guard. He was tried in January 1949 in Brooklyn. He got 25 years for broadcasting for the Nazis. Mildred Gillars testified later at her trial that she’d refused to work with him. He was released in 1960.
ALFRED NAUJOCKS, German intelligence officer
Born in 1911, he started out as a boxer. Before long, he was beating up communists on the streets. After graduating to espionage under Reinhard Heydrich, he staged the phony incident that triggered WWII: a "Polish" attack on a radio station in Upper Silesia on Aug. 31, 1939. German troops, supposedly retaliating, invaded Poland the next day. On Nov. 8, 1939, he drew a similar assignment designed to give the Germans a pretext for invading Holland. (This adventure involved kidnaping two British spies.) In 1944 he deserted to the Americans, who locked him up as a war criminal rather than put him to work. After the war, he escaped before he could be tried. Later it was alleged he and Otto Skorzeny ran ODESSA, which helped Nazis relocate after the war. It was reported that he worked as a businessman in Hamburg until dying in 1960.
CONSTANTIN von NEURATH, "protector" of Czechoslovakia.
Born Feb. 2, 1873 to an official in the former kingdom of Wurttemberg, he was German foreign minister in 1932-38. On Oct. 1, 1946, he was sentenced to 15 years in prison at the main trial in Nuremberg. He was released from Spandau in 1954 because he was ill. He died in 1956 in Enzweihingen.
AUGUSTE NOGUES, French general
He spent most of his long career in Rabat, Morocco, attaining five stars. As resident general of Morocco and commander in chief of North African operations, he was the Third Republic’s top man in North Africa in 1940. When the German invasion sent the French government into flight in June 1940, he urged that France continue to fight. He adamantly refused to give up even as the government was dissolving. When his superior, General Weygand, rebuked him, Nogues appealed to Petain, urging that the French government be moved to North Africa.
When matters were most confused, and loyalties most vague, Weygand ordered Nogues to meet him in Bordeaux, where most political leaders had fled. Nogues begged off, obviously not trusting Weygand. Just as Nogues advocated continued fighting, Weygand felt, at least, that France needed the armistice to catch its breath. The Nogues-Weygand fallout continued for years.
Later that summer, after the armistice, Nogues assured Weygand, then Vichy minister of defense, that French forces could hold North Africa against invasion. Nogues, his misgivings notwithstanding, functioned as Vichy’s resident general in Rabat. Critics said he repressed Jews in North Africa.
He stuck to the book in 1942, resolutely refusing vague overtures to side with the Allies. He felt duty-bound to protect Morocco from invasion, whether by Germans or Allies. The latter thus turned to a subordinate, General Emile-Marie Bethouart, who agreed to capture and immobilize Nogues should the Allies invade. But at the actual Torch landings, Nogues eluded Bethouart, organizing resistance in Morocco. Finally, on Nov. 12, 1942, Nogues flew to Algiers to meet with his superior, Admiral Darlan. The latter halted resistance to the Allies; as part of the arrangement, the Allies agreed not to alter the French administrative control of North Africa. With Darlan, General Alfonse Juin, General Charles Mast and other key officers going over to the Allies, Marshal Petain named Nogues to replace Darlan himself.
U.S. General George Patton, the Allied commander in the area, then worked closely with Nogues, a fellow conservative, often to the detriment of General Bethouart and other Frenchmen who’d aided the Allies from the beginning.
Robert Murphy, FDR’s spy in North Africa, admired Nogues’ administrative skills and dedication to protecting the French empire. But Murphy detested Nogues personally, calling him “unreliable" and "insincere.” Murphy said Nogues lived “in constant fear of the bogey of communism and the return of the Popular Front in France . . . .”
KARL OBERG, Nazi official
A WWI vet and a businessman, he became Reinhard Heydrich's top deputy. In 1942 Himmler sent him to Paris, where he headed the SS and police in Occupied France until the Liberation. American MPs found him in a Tyrolean village in June 1945. Although a German court condemned him, he was extradited to France on Oct. 10, 1946. On Feb. 22, 1954, he appeared before a French military tribunal at Cherche-Midi prison. On Oct. 8, 1954, he again was sentenced to death. A presidential pardon of April 10, 1958 commuted his sentence to life in prison. A decree on Oct. 31, 1959 further cut the sentence to 20 years' labor. In 1965 French President Charles de Gaulle pardoned him. Repatriated to Germany, he died there June 3, 1965.
OTTO OHLENDORF, Nazi official
Hitler’s security chief was tried at Nuremberg and sentenced to death in April 1948. But he wasn't hanged until June 8, 1951 at Landsberg Prison (along with three cohorts).
FRANZ von PAPEN, diplomat
He was born Oct. 29, 1879 into a conservative noble family. He became Reich chancellor in 1932 but later worked under Hitler. The Americans arrested him in 1945 and prosecuted him at the first Nuremberg trial. He was acquitted Oct. 1, 1946. But on Feb. 1, 1947, a German de-Nazification court ruled him a "major offender" and sentenced him to eight years in a labor camp and to forfeiture of property. He appealed and was released in January 1949. He wrote his memoirs and died in 1969.
GEORGE PATTON, U.S. general
He was born in 1885 and was in the West Point class of 1909. He was with General John Pershing in the Villa expedition into Mexico, then fought in WWI. An expert in tank warfare during WWII, he was one of the Allies’ most energetic and ruthless commanders. As one of General Eisenhower’s top lieutenants, he was on the cover of Time twice in 1944 and once in ‘45. Frequently controversial, he was disciplined for slapping a supposed malingerer and transferred for criticizing the de-Nazification program. He sometimes espoused near-Nazi sentiments. He died in a road crash near Heidelberg, Germany in December 1945.
FRIEDRICH von PAULUS, German general
He was the German commander at Stalingrad. After the Soviets captured him there in 1943, he broadcast for them. He also testified for the Soviet prosecutors during the Nuremberg trials, but was held in prison until 1953. When finally freed, he settled in East Germany. He died there in 1957.
HENRI PHILIPPE PETAIN, French marshal, Vichy head of state.
“They shall not pass,” he declared in becoming the hero of Verdun in 1916. By 1940 he was France’s foremost living military hero. Conservatives especially loved him.
On June 22, 1940, Petain, 84, signed an armistice, on behalf of France, with Hitler. No one else would do it. On July 2, he set up a new French “state” in Vichy, and, generally, his government was known as the Vichy government. Many French despised it for collaborating with the Nazis. (Vichy didn’t include Paris and northern France. That was the German Occupied Zone.) Instead of Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite, he substituted Travail, Famille, Patrie.
With Allied forces nearing Vichy in late summer 1944, the Germans evacuated Petain, Laval and other Vichy leaders to Sigmaringen. After the war he had trouble finding anyone who’d represent him in court. After Petain was condemned to death, de Gaulle commuted the sentence to life in prison. He died on the Ile d’Yeu in 1951.
OSWALD POHL, Nazi official
This SS official, hiding out, passed as a farmhand until arrested in May 1946. On Nov. 3, 1947, an American military tribunal sentenced him to death. He was hanged June 8, 1951 at Landsberg Prison. (see Ohlendorf.)
EZRA POUND, poet
He was born Oct. 30, 1885 in Hailey, Idaho. After attending the University of Pennsylvania and Hamilton College he moved to London. While spending the early 1920s in Paris, he achieved acclaim as a poet. He, Gertrude Stein and Ernest Hemingway were leaders of the American expatriates there.
He moved to Papallo, Italy in 1924. During World War II he broadcast propaganda from Rome. He was one of eight Americans indicted in 1943 for broadcasting for the Nazis and was the first to be apprehended. He was returned to Washington, where a federal court ruled in February 1946 that he was mentally unsound. He was hospitalized in D.C. until 1958. Discharged, he returned to Italy. He died in Venice on Nov. 1, 1972.
JOHN DAVID PROVOO, U.S. soldier
He was born in 1917 in San Francisco. Enlisting in the U.S. Army when WWII began, he was a staff sergeant when captured at the fall of Corregidor in 1942. Honorably discharged in 1946, he later reenlisted.
Then in 1949 came a surprise: he was arrested. Someone from his past had emerged. Provoo was charged with collaborating with the Japanese seven years earlier. Specifically he was accused of causing the execution of an army captain, trying to make a colonel betray secret codes and beating an American POW for refusing to give his boots to a Japanese officer.
He was to be tried on 12 counts in New York City in December 1949 but things kept getting delayed. When he was taken to Bellevue Hospital in NYC for psychiatric examination, the trial was reset for January 1950. But not until 1953 did it begin. The defense admitted he broadcast for the Japanese--but only under duress. He’d also told the Japanese that Captain Burton Thomson was “uncooperative” and anti-Japanese. A firing squad then shot Thomson.
Provoo, convicted on four courts, was sentenced to life in prison. The Supreme Court eventually freed him, saying he was denied his constitutional right to a speedy trial. He then went to Japan to study Nichiren Buddhism. About 1966 he moved to Hawaii, where Buddhist teachers fluent in English were needed. Later ordained a Buddhist priest, he sometimes used the name Nichijo Shaka.
In 1968 he told a Honolulu reporter that life after his trial “was like towing a shipwreck after you.” He also said: “I was disenchanted with the jury that convicted me of treason, but I never gave up faith in America. I never had any idea of changing my allegiance to my country.”
He died Aug. 28, 2001 in Hilo Medical Center at age 84. He was buried in Hawaii Veterans Cemetery No. 2 but not until that Oct. 8. A friend, a professor emeritus at the University of Hawaii, said Provoo had “a magnetic personality,” was “extremely brilliant at times,” but drank too much.
PIERRE PUCHEU, Vichy minister of Interior
On Aug. 21, 1941, the French resistance killed a young subaltern, Alfonse Moser, in the Metro Barbes, apparently at random. In seeking reprisals, the Germans told Pucheu, the Vichy minister of Interior, to execute six Frenchmen on the Place de la Concord. Pucheu negotiated that three French Communists would be executed, which they were at Sante prison. (The deal was typical; while placating the Germans, he “saved” three Frenchmen, and, besides, rid fascist Vichy of three communists.)
He later tried to change sides, eventually throwing himself on the mercy of the Free French.
They tried and executed him in North Africa in 1943.
VIDKUN QUISLING, Norwegian politician
He was born in 1887 in Fyresdal, a town in Tellemark County about 100 miles southwest of Oslo. Record-high grades at military school earned him a succession of government posts. After a term in the cabinet, he founded a political party that became the Norwegian Nazis. On December 14, 1939, he visited Hitler in Berlin. At that meeting and another soon afterward, he urged Hitler to invade Norway before British troops did. Quisling apparently expected that he would then head a Nazi government. Hitler is said to have paid Quisling 200,000 gold marks for expenses. Although Quisling was “minister president” during Nazi Occupation, he had little authority. Convicted of treason, he faced a firing squad October 24, 1945 in Oslo. His surname has become synonymous with “traitor.” See CPC’s The Story of Vidkun Quisling for more details.
FRANZ RADEMACHER, Nazi functionary
He was the Nazi Foreign Office's "Jewish expert." Soon after the Americans arrested him in September 1947 they released him as a "small fry." But in February 1952 he was sentenced to three years and five months in prison for the Serbian massacres. That September he jumped bail. Smuggled out of the country via Marseille, he went to Damascus. In July 1963 the Syrians arrested him as a NATO spy, and, besides that, for slandering the Syrian government. After beating the spying charge, he was freed in October 1965 because he was ill. He was broke, too, and somehow got to West Germany, only to be re-arrested in September 1966. Another trial left him with a 5 1/2-year prison term, but he was soon freed because of time already served. In January 1971 the Federal court in Karlsruhe ordered a new trial. Before it began, he died in Bonn in March 1973.
ERICH RAEDER, grand admiral
He was born April 24, 1876 into a middle-class family. As top man in Germany's navy, he disagreed with Hitler over strategy before his forced retirement Jan. 30, 1943. At the show trial in Nuremberg, he looked much like a head waiter. On Oct. 1, 1946, when sentenced to life imprisonment, he asked that this be "commuted" to death. He was released Sept. 26, 1955, wrote some unexciting memoirs and died in 1960. He’d appeared on the cover of Time in 1942, incidentally.
NORMAN REYES, propaganda broadcaster
He was a Filipino lieutenant who allegedly worked at Radio Tokyo during World War II while a POW.
PAUL REYNAUD, French premier
He was born in 1878. As new premier of the endangered Third Republic, he formed a government March 21, 1940. That May 19, four days after the German army broke through at Sedan, he brought in Weygand to replace Gamelin as military comander, and he named Petain deputy premier. After the Germans took Paris, he wanted to continue to fight but Petain and Weygand didn't. Rather than surrender, Reynaud resigned June 19, 1940.
The Vichy government arrested him September 6, 1940. In early 1942 he went on trial with several colleagues in an infamous show trial at Riom. The Vichy government tried to show that the defendants led France into war unprepared, then quickly lost that war through their negligence. The defendants showed their accusers to have been culpable. After Petain ordered the trial stopped, Reynaud was taken to Germany. He was held in Schloss Itter castle in Austria from 1943 until freed in 1945. He died in 1966.
JOACHIM von RIBBENTROP, prime minister
He was born April 30, 1893, son of an officer. As a young man, he spent considerable time in Britain, Canada and the United States. His many critics in Germany belittled him as a "champagne salesman." Although notorious for his vanity, be became slovenly in prison. Convicted of war crimes at the first Nuremberg trial, he was hanged Oct. 16, 1946.
GEORGIA von RICHTER (nee James), propaganda broadcaster
She was a daughter of a Cleveland advertising man. She married Hans von Richter while he was stationed in Cleveland, thereby becoming a German citizen. That meant she wasn’t breaking the law when she later broadcast for the Germans.
LENI RIEFENSTAHL, actress, film maker
Daughter of a wealthy businessman, she was born Aug. 22, 1902 in Berlin. She went from ballet dancer to film star to film maker. Her widely acclaimed productions celebrated the 1936 Olympics and the Nazi Party. After the war, first the Americans, then the French detained her. She spent nearly four years in prison. Her films and filming equipment were confiscated and her three residences, in various cities, were sealed shut. A de-Nazification court cleared her in 1952, enabling her to try to resume her career; her efforts in various directions fell far short of her earlier success. She remained active past age 100, a character from the past. She died Sept. 8, 2003.
ALFRED ROSENBERG, Nazi party philosopher
He was born Jan. 12, 1893 in Estonia. He was violently anti-Semitic and anticommunist. Convicted at the first Nuremberg trial, he was hanged Oct. 16, 1946 at Nuremberg.
GERD von RUNDSTEDT, German field marshal
Held by the British, he faced trial for turning over captured British commandos to the Gestapo in 1942. But he was so ill the charges were dropped. He died in Hanover in 1953.
JEAN-PAUL SARTRE, French writer
He escaped from a POW camp on the Luxembourg border in March 1941. Returning to Paris, he became what his detractors called a collaborationist writer. His lover, Simone de Beauvoir, did likewise. After the war, he helped many other collaborators get off the hook.
FRITZ SAUCKEL, plenipotentiary-general for labor mobilization
He was born Oct. 27, 1894. His father clerked in a post office. Young Sauckel was a merchant seaman, then a factory worker. He soon turned to politics in Thuringia, then to labor mobilization for the Reich. The latter involved pressing 5 million people into slave labor, prosecutors at the first Nuremberg trials maintained. Sauckel's Hitler-styled mustache didn't help his case. He was hanged Oct. 16, 1946.
HJALMAR HORACE GREELEY SCHACHT, president of German Central Bank
He was born of a Danish family in Schleswig-Holstein. After the family emigrated to the United States, the father became an American citizen. Hjalmar, after growing up in America, returned to Germany for college; he remained there. “I desire a great and strong Germany,” he once said, “and to achieve it I would enter an alliance with the devil.” Schacht was prosecuted at the first Nuremberg trial. He was acquitted Oct. 1, 1946, despite Soviet objections.
Then a de-Nazification court in Stuttgart classed him as a "major offender" and gave him eight years in a labor camp. He appealed and on Sept. 2, 1948 the court in Ludwigsburg acquitted and freed him. In November 1950 a German court cleared him of all possible WWII charges. He began a second career as a financial consultant to developing countries and he founded a foreign trade bank. He made another fortune.
WALTER SCHELLENBERG, German spy master
The American tribunal at Nuremberg acquitted him of genocide. But he was convicted April 2, 1949 of involvement in the execution of Soviet POWs and sentenced to six years. He was released in September 1950 and died in Italy in summer 1952.
BALDUR von SCHIRACH, Nazi youth leader
He was born in Berlin on March 9, 1907 to a German father and an American mother. Some references say his father was half American, making the young man three-fourth American. The mother claimed that two of her ancestors had signed the U.S. Declaration of Independence. When arrested, von Schirach still looked like a college student. His face and figure suggested "a surfeit of cream buns," someone observed. He was servile during detention and was undergoing a divorce.
Prosecuted at the first Nuremberg trials, von Schirach was sentenced to 20 years in prison. He was released from Spandau in 1966. He came to believe he should have listened to his American mother. She'd wanted him to live in the U.S. He thought he could have done well working on Wall Street or going into politics. He died in his sleep in a hotel in Kroev Aug. 8, 1974.
MAX SCHMELING, boxer
As world heavyweight champion in 1930-32 he unintentionally became a symbol of Hitler’s supposed Aryan superiority. In 1936 he amazed the sports world by knocking out Joe Louis in Yankee Stadium (when neither was champion). Ownership of a Coca-Cola franchise made him rich. His actress-wife Anny Ondra made films in Germany until 1951. Their long and successful marriage ended in 1987 when she died of a stroke. He died in his sleep Feb. 2, 2005 near Hamburg. He was just months short of his 100th birthday.
WALTHER SCHULTZE, Nazi functionary
He was wounded in WWI. As Hitler's "university lecturer," he faced the de-Nazification court in Munich, but not until 1960. That May he was sentenced to four years in prison for, among other things, complicity in at least 380 "mercy-killings." He died at home in August 1979.
ELISABETH SCHWARTZKOPF, opera singer
Although one of the world’s best-known sopranos, she was unwelcome at the Met in New York City while Vienna-born Rudolf Bing was running it in 1950-72. He felt she’d been too cozy with the Nazis.
LUTZ GRAF SCHWERIN von KROSIGK, German finance minister
On April 2, 1949, the Nuremberg International Tribunal sentenced him to 10 years' imprisonment. He was released from Landsberg in January 1951 and died the next year.
ARTUR SEYSS-INQUART, gauleiter of Holland
He was born July 22, 1892, son of a secondary-school teacher. After recovering from serious wounds in WWI he became a lawyer. He was Hitler's top man in Austria, then ruled in Holland for the Fuhrer. An affable and religious man, he personified the bureaucratic murderer. He was among the original defendants in Nuremberg. He expected that he'd be hanged, and he was, on Oct. 16, 1946. He made no protest.
OTTO SKORZENY, German commando
Hitler's favorite commando was one of the most colorful characters of WWII. Born in Austria in 1908 he became a hulking 6-foot-4 protege of Ernst Kaltenbrunner. In September 1943 he used gliders to rescue Benito Mussolini from mountain-top captivity in Italy. The adventure was as successful as it was sensational and improbable. Josef Goebbels' propaganda machine then made Skorzeny a national hero and the “most dangerous man in Europe.”
In October 1944 he kidnapped the son of the Hungarian regent, Admiral Horthy, who was planning to surrender to the Soviets. That December he and 2,000 English-speaking Germans in U.S. uniforms went behind the lines to create confusion. They did, but many of them were killed. The Americans captured him May 15, 1945 at Styria. An American tribunal at Dachau tried him as a war criminal. After a British officer testified that Skorzeny had done nothing the Allies didn't do, he was acquitted Sept. 9, 1947. German authorities re-arrested him, but he escaped in 1948 before he was tried. He then reportedly founded ODESSA to help Nazis relocate. In the late 1950s he bought a 170-acre farm in Ireland, where he bred horses and spent his summer months. He died in Madrid on July 4, 1975.
JULIUS STREICHER, editor of Der Sturmer
He was born Feb. 12, 1885 and became known as Germany's foremost Jew-baiter. His publication fostered hatred of Jews. American novelist Rebecca West said he looked like "the sort of old man who gives trouble in parks." Convicted at the show trial, he was hanged Oct. 16, 1946 in Nuremberg.
ALBERT SPEER, minister for armaments and munitions
Born March 19, 1905, he followed his father's profession as an architect. He controlled all German production as the war progressed. At the show trial in Nuremberg he was sentenced to 20 years in prison, although the Russians wanted to hang him. He was released from Spandau in 1966. He wrote two best-selling books and died rich in London in 1981.
HUGO SPERRLE, German field marshal
Operating from the Palais du Luxembourg, he commanded the Luftwaffe in France. As Albert Speer noted: “The field marshal’s craving for luxury and public display ran a close second to that of his superior, Goering; he was also his match in corpulence.” Sperrle was tried at Nuremberg and acquitted. He died in 1953 in Munich.
GERTRUDE STEIN, poet
Although she and lover Alice B. Toklas were Jewish, they had no great fear of the Nazis. After closing up their Paris apartment, they remained in the Vichy area the rest of the war. Local authorities didn't bother them. (Conversely, poet Max Jacob, a French Jew who'd become a Catholic, died in a concentration camp.) Stein admired Marshal Petain greatly, even translating many of his speeches with the intention of publishing them. Among her many Vichy friends, who protected her, was Bernard Fay, who ran the Bibliotheque Nationale. (After the Liberation, Stein testified for Fay to no avail; he was imprisoned as a collaborator.)
RICHARD STRAUSS, composer
Born June 2, 1864, he became one of the world's foremost composers of classical music. Hitler named him Reichskapellmeister of music, meaning he was officially Nazi Germany’s musical leader. He was an Austrian who supported Anschluss, but, otherwise, his involvement with the Nazis was vague; he also had a Jewish daughter-in-law. A de-Nazification court declared on June 8, 1948 that he hadn't participated in the Nazi movement or benefitted from it. He died Sept. 8, 1949.
KURT STUDENT, German general
A British military court convicted him in 1946 of ordering executions of civilians in Crete. This later was overturned and the executions ruled justifiable.