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ceegee

Sheffield's "Great Escape" - 1945

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I have just finished reading Pierrepoint - A Family of Executioners by Steve Fielding - it's been that type of New Year

At the begining of Chapter 7 the aptly named "Hangman's Holiday" he refers to Albert (Pierrepoint) being back in North London (Pentonville) to carry out the double hanging of two German POW's ARNIM KUELNE & EMIL SCHMITTENDORF. It appears that a month or so before the war ended inmates at a German POW camp on the outskirts of Sheffield were enraged when a tunnel which was near to completion was discovered. They had spent many months tunnelling. Suspecting an informer they rounded on a GERHARDT RETTIG who had been seen talking to guards near the tunnel entrance. Furthermore in a camp that had a large National Socialist contingent, he was not a Nazi. Once threats were made, it was decided by the Camp command to move him to another camp but before this could be enacted he was kicked to death by an angry mob. Four ringleaders were tried, two were acquitted but ARNIM KUELNE & EMIL SCHMITTENDORF were hung on November 16th 1945.

Steve Fielding asserts that GERHARDT RETTIG was not an informer by the way

I wonder if anyone has got any additional information on the incident and the aftermath.

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Some additional information from

http://www.powcamp.fsnet.co.uk/German_And_...eat_Britain.htm

Camp 17: Lodge Moor Camp, Sheffield.

A planned break out was given away and later the prisoner believed to have been responsible for giving the escape attempt away, Gerhardt Rettig, was chased around the camp by a howling mob before he was severely beaten. He was taken to hospital but died from internal bleeding.

The trial of 4 POWs took place at the London cage in Kensington Palace Gardens:

Unteroffizier Heinz Ditzler

Soldat Juergen Kersting

Feldwebel Emil Schmittendorf

Armin Kuehne

(2 days after Gerhardt Rettig died, both Schmittendorf and Ditzler managed to crawl under the wire. After a short spell of liberty, they were recaptured)

Heinz Ditzler and Juergen Kersting were acquitted because of insufficient evidence. 18 year old Kuehne and Schmittendorf were found guilty and were executed on the 16th November at Pentonville Prison in London.

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On 04/01/2008 at 17:48, ceegee said:

I have just finished reading Pierrepoint - A Family of Executioners by Steve Fielding - it's been that type of New Year

 

At the begining of Chapter 7 the aptly named "Hangman's Holiday" he refers to Albert (Pierrepoint) being back in North London (Pentonville) to carry out the double hanging of two German POW's ARNIM KUELNE & EMIL SCHMITTENDORF. It appears that a month or so before the war ended inmates at a German POW camp on the outskirts of Sheffield were enraged when a tunnel which was near to completion was discovered. They had spent many months tunnelling. Suspecting an informer they rounded on a GERHARDT RETTIG who had been seen talking to guards near the tunnel entrance. Furthermore in a camp that had a large National Socialist contingent, he was not a Nazi. Once threats were made, it was decided by the Camp command to move him to another camp but before this could be enacted he was kicked to death by an angry mob. Four ringleaders were tried, two were acquitted but ARNIM KUELNE & EMIL SCHMITTENDORF were hung on November 16th 1945.

 

Steve Fielding asserts that GERHARDT RETTIG was not an informer by the way

 

I wonder if anyone has got any additional information on the incident and the aftermath.

Some interest in the Camp Is being reported in the Guardian!

https://amp.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/04/biggest-second-world-war-prisoner-camp-unearthed-in-yorkshire-lodge-moor

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