Death of Martyr Peiper

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In the late evening of July 13 1976 Joachim Peiper was murdered and this solemn event starts the “Month of Martyrs” which concludes on August 17 with the death of Rudolf Hess.

After working for a short time for both Porsche and Volkswagen in the late 50s after his release from prison Jochim decided to move his family to France due to increased threats from leftist and Jewish groups in Germany.

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Thanks to his French nationalist friend Gauthier, he managed to buy a property near a watermill in Traves. But the building was in bad condition and Peiper did not have the necessary means to restore it. SS-Obersturmbannführer Erwin Ketelhut finally took over the mill and Peiper had a house built for his family in  1960. The house was like a military fort – surrounded by bushes and was not seen from the street. For 16 years he lived in relative peace but was threatened from time to time and received anonymous phone calls, but he still lived peacefully and was determined as was common to a soldier.

In Haute-Saône, Traves, France, Peiper earned a living as a translator.

On June 11, 1976 Peiper was in a shop in Vesoul buying wire to build a fence for his dog. The salesman, Elsassian Paul Cacheux, a member of a communist party, recognized by his accent that he was German and asked him if he had been in France during the war. Peiper paid with a check that had his name and address. Cacheux checked the “brown lists” that contained all names of wanted Germans for Peiper’s name. He forwarded the information on Peiper to the French left-wingers. On June 22, 1976 a French communist newspaper “L’Humanite” published an articled entitled: “What is this Nazi doing in France?”. People demanded the government to make Peiper leave France. Leaflets were distributed in Traves where Peiper was called a war criminal and a Nazi. On the walls in Versoul people wrote: “Peiper, we’re gonna do July 14 for you!” (July 14 is a national holiday in France).

In the morning of July 13 Peiper sent his wife who had cancer to Germany. He did not want to leave the house himself because he was afraid that it would be burnt down. His neighbour Erwin Ketelhut proposed that Peiper could spend a night in the watermill but Peiper refused. He also didn’t want Ketelhut to stay with him because Ketelhut might shot the attackers. “No,” said Peiper, “There has been enough killing already.” Jochen Peiper waited on his roof terrace from where he could see the whole area. Ketelhut had lent his gun to Peiper. At 11.30 PM he heard some kind of rustle in the bushes and saw a dozen men climbing up the steep shore. He shot in the air to scare the drunk men away. They yelled at him to come out. He opened the door to talk to them.

What happened next, only those  who were there know. Obersturmbannführer Jochen Peiper’s corps was burned and only a meter long, it had no arms or legs. He had died approximately 1 AM. The house was burnt down, the roof had fallen in. What had happened between 11 PM and 1 AM? Was the Obersturmbannführer still alive when he was crippled? A mixture of gasoline and oil was poured on the floor and then lit. Peiper was in his bedroom, on the leftside, with his back towards the wall, one arm across the chest. Nothing had fallen on him. He had died because of the heat. His body was not cremated, but it had shrunk.

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Erwin Ketelhut and some French men who knew and respected him, thought that this kind of chivalric man, who had to face so many dangers in his life, should not have died like this. The murderers had driven their car over the meadow to the river, where they had two boats waiting. They crossed the river with their boats and then climbed up the shore. After the murder, they ran away over the meadow.  The French police investigated this case for six months. The communists and resistance members of Vesoul were interrogated. No one knew anything! The area of Traves is sparsely inhabited, there are approximately 10 inhabitants on one square kilometer. Everyone knows their neighbors and their secrets.

The inhabitants of Traves knew who the murders were, but they kept quiet.

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On the night between the 13th and the 14th July we commemorated the Obersturmbannführer and the Cavalier of the Knight’s Cross Jochen Peiper.

Sayings by Peiper:

  • “I admit that after the battles of Normandy my unit was made up mostly of young fanatic soldiers. Most of them had lost their parents and siblings during the bombings. They had seen thousands of corpses in Köln after the terrorist attacks. Their rage was so strong that they could not control it.”
  • “Imagine being approved and an admirable national hero for millions, but six months later you’re sentenced to death by hanging.”
  • “My men are the product of a war, who grew up without education, on the shattered cities’ streets. The only thing they knew was how to use a weapon on behalf of the Reich. They were young people who had heard a lot and desired to won or die for their homeland, doesn’t matter if it was wrong or right. Seeing these accused men today, I cannot see the Peiper attack unit anymore. All my old friends and comrades are lost forever. The real reward is waiting for me in Valhalla.”
  • “History is always written by the winners, the history of the losers belongs to the decreasing circle of the participants.”
  • “I was a Nazi and will always be one. The Germany of today does not have one great nation, it has become a province for Europe.” – a response to a French writer in 1967. A quotation from Michael Reyolds’ book “The Devil’s Adjutant.JP1Photographed in 1976 weeks before murdered.

 

 

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Published in: on July 13, 2017 at 9:07 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Heil The Losers! Heil Joachim Peiper!

    It is much better to be the defeated and the Loser than the Victor in this world!

  2. In the back & off they go. Masked & never showing who they are! Cowards in Eternity : those who haven’t the courage nor the sincere conviction belonging only to honorable men! Rats in the night, surely they belong to good family in the day : in a hypocritical world filled with play-soldiers & supposed “resistants”.

    It’s well known, in any case by those who’d been involved in the French Resistance; that many who claimed to be with de Gaulle, had been cowards hiding in the cellar, exploiting the black market, becoming rich during the War!

    Unworthy of whom they dared, kill.

    Heil Joachim Peiper!


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