- historical event:
- The executioner was John C. Woods, a sergeant in the U.S. Army, who is sometimes accused of having done a poor job. The rope was allegedly too short and the trapdoors too narrow, so that some of the hanged men suffered bloody wounds when they were dropped. Keitel's death was allegedly the longest – it supposedly took as long as 28 minutes.
On this day the Nazi leaders were sentenced to death at the famous Nuremberg Trials. Of the 22 defendants, 12 were sentenced to death. However, Martin Bormann (Hitler’s personal secretary) was tried in absentia, while Luftwaffe commander Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering committed suicide before he was executed. Those sentenced to death included:
Wilhelm Keitel – Field marshal and chief of the Wehrmacht Supreme Command (Oberkommando der Wehrmacht)
Ernst Kaltenbrunner – SS-Obergruppenführer and chief of the Reich Main Security Office (Reichssicherheitshauptamt)
Joachim von Ribbentrop – Hitler’s Foreign Minister
Alfred Jodl – Chief of the Operations Staff of the Armed Forces High Command
Arthur Seyss-Inquart – Imperial Commissioner for the occupied Netherlands (Reichskommissar)
Hans Frank – Governor-General of a part of occupied Poland
Wilhelm Frick – Hitler’s Minister of Interior
Alfred Rosenberg – Minister for the occupied territories in the East
Fritz Sauckel – Organizer of forced labor
Julius Streicher – Publisher of the Nazi paper “Der Stürmer”
The execution of the aforementioned 10 was performed in the Nuremberg Prison. The method was hanging. It is interesting that the “long drop” method wasn’t used, even though it is less painful (it snaps the person’s neck almost instantly thus causing instant death). Instead, the “standard drop” method was used, where the condemned drops only 1.2 to 1.8 meters. The hanged Nazi leaders allegedly took a long time to die, some of them more than 25 minutes. Ribbentrop and Sauckel supposedly died after 14 minutes of agony, while Keitel’s death was the most painful – he took as long as 28 minutes to die.
The executioner was John C. Woods, a sergeant in the U.S. Army, who is sometimes accused of having done a poor job. The rope was allegedly too short and the trapdoors too narrow, so that some of the hanged men suffered bloody wounds when they were dropped. However, Woods allegedly bragged about how he had done a good job, having executed all ten of them in 103 minutes.