Mass Murder in the Weimar Webicht

The 35-year-old jurist Hans-Helmut Wolff had come to Weimar shortly before Easter 1945. He had been with the Gestapo for seven years, serving among other things as a Gestapo chief in the Netherlands and a department head in the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Chief Office of National Security) – a fanatic Nazi.

His assignment in Weimar: phase out the Gestapo office, burn the files, carry out murders. Starting on 3 April, the Tuesday after Easter, he had 149 men and women prisoners taken out of the city’s jails, shot to death in a forested area known as the Webicht, and buried anonymously. Only 85 of them have been identified to date. Among the victims were the French abbé Louis Jacquat, Wolfgang, Luise, Marie-Luise and Dr. Kurt Schmidt of Ruhla, the Social Democrat Guido Heym and members of his resistance group, forced labourers from more than ten countries, and Dr. Fiszel Altman, a Jewish Buchenwald inmate.

Wolff and his Gestapo men committed murders in many locations as they withdrew from Thuringia. They were never brought to justice for the mass murder in Webicht.

(Harry Stein)

Reference: Marlis Gräfe, Bernhard Post and Andreas Schneider (eds.), Quellen zur Geschichte Thüringens, vol. 24/2: Die Geheime Staatspolizei im NS-Gau Thüringen 1933–1945, Erfurt 2004.