The Huppenkothen Message

  Walter Huppenkothen

 

  Walter Huppenkothen

Photo: Waiting for permission to publish


In the afternoon of Sunday 8 April 1945 a special court martial (Standgericht) opened at KL Flossenbürg against the last prominent members of the German resistance movement involved in the assassination attempt on Hitler on 20 July 1944. In this mock process against Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, General Hans Oster, Heereschefrichter (Chief Army Judge) Dr. Karl Sack, Hauptmann (Captain) Ludwig Gehre and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer the prosecutor was SS-Standartenführer Walter Huppenkothen. The court, which took place in a room in the Flossenbürg administration building, was proceeded over by SS-Sturmbannführer Dr. Otto Thorbeck. One assessor was SS-Obersturmbannführer Max Kögel, the camp commander. The other assessor, apparently well known to Walter Huppenkothen, is unknown. Huppenkothen always refused to reveal his identity.

The court proceedings against the five men went on with small interruptions until the early morning of the next day. At 4 am SS-Obersturmführer Wilhelm Gogalla, the chief of the Gestapo prison in Prinz-Albrechtstrasse in Berlin, continued his journey to KL Dachau taking with him the pregnant wife of Walter Huppenkothen. Between 6 and 7 o’clock on this day, Monday 9 April 1945, the five convicted men, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, General Hans Oster, Dr. Karl Sack, Captain Ludwig Gehre and pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, were hanged in the court yard of the Flossenbürg prison block in the presence of Walter Huppenkothen and SS-Standartenführer Dr. Hermann Fischer, the camp doctor.

In the late afternoon Walter Huppenkothen sent the following report to SS-Gruppenführer Heinrich Müller, the chief of Gestapo.

09.04.1945 – Nr. 69 – Kr – 1633 – 4tle – 1tl – 248 – UFC KHR –

Geheim. SS-Gruppenführer Glücks. Persönlich.
Bitte SS-Gruppenführer Müller, fernmündlich, fernschriftlich
oder durch Boten schnellstens folgendes mitzuteilen.

1. Auftrag befehlsgemäß erledigt. Bestätigung nicht erforderlich.

2. Gogalla seit 9.4, 4 Uhr auf dem Weitermarsch. Nimmt 3
Buchenwalder mit.

3. 55 Buchenwalder Sippen- und Sonderhäftlinge befinden sich
mit weiteren 12 Zellenhäftlingen in Schönberg, Kreis Grafenau,
mit Begleitkommando Stapo Weimar unter SS-Untersturmführer
Bader. Unterkunft unzulänglich. Hilfslazarett, frühere Schule.
Weitere Verfügung an Stapo-Leiter Regensburg erbeten.

4. Bin Morgen Vormittag PA 2. Falls dort keine Befehle
unverzügliche Weiterreise Berlin beabsichtigt.

5. Funk oder andere Befehle für mich bisher hier nicht eingegangen.

Gezeichnet
Huppenkothen, SS-Standartenführer

English translation:

Secret. SS-Gruppenführer Glücks. Private. Please inform
SS-Gruppenführer Müller as quickly as possible by phone, telex
or through messenger of the following.

1. Mission carried out as ordered. Confirmation not necessary.

2. Gogalla is since 9 April at 4 am on the onward journey.
Takes with him 3 Buchenwald prisoners.

3. 55 Buchenwald family and special prisoners together with
further 12 cell prisoners are at Schönberg in the district
Grafenau with an escort commando from Stapo Weimar under
the command of SS-Untersturmführer (Lieutenant) Bader.
Accommodation insufficient. Emergency hospital, former school.
Further orders requested to Stapo leader Regensburg.

4. Will be at PA 2 tomorrow morning. In case there are no further
orders there intend immediate continuation of the journey to Berlin.

5. Radio messages or other orders for me have so far not arrived here.

Signed
Huppenkothen, SS-Standartenführer

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All rights to the material described on these pages belong to
Geoff Sullivan & Frode Weierud, © April 2005


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