SS Standartenführer Joachim (Jochen) Peiper
Autor Gerry Frederics, angeregt von ´stahlhelm.org´
The simple step of a brave human being is to refuse to conduct oneself according to the ruling Zeitgeist. A single word of truth weighs far more heavily than the big lie.
After graduating from the Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Oberrealschule (a sort of upper-level Junior college with an emphasis on languages and the humanities) in 1934 he embarked on a military career, something he had already dreamed of as a child. While attending school, he proved to be a formidable scholar, particularly linguistically. His command of the French language was practically flawless and the only thing which gave him away was his habit of speaking too quickly. As was customary in German education of the times, aside from the language he had emerged himself in the culture of his neighbors. French literature, painting, philosophy and the art of gastronomy were second nature to him. Jochen Peiper had become a Francophile – a person who honors French culture. He was open and tolerant relative to the cultures and habits of other peoples, never overbearing or arrogant, even though he was accused of exactly that by amongst others the great SS General Sepp Dietrich. This impression was based on his superiority in every way. He was intellectually, culturally, physically and appearance-wise (he was blessed with movie star looks) a bit overpowering – in short he simply was a superior man and was consequently looked upon by lesser men as being ´arrogant´.
It didn´t help a bit that he was an individualist – something of an anomaly in the military. He was openly a-political and refused to join the Nazi party, something which was absolutely de rigueur at the times, particularly for a member of the elite SS. But that which was a given for the majority, meant nothing to a man of his character. To be German and to represent the very best German values and characteristics was the only thing that mattered to him – and indeed, he was German! He never doubted, he never gave up, he never wavered, he was always brave, knightly in his behavior – he was an inspiration, a German leader á la Götz von Berlichingen or Marshall Blücher men who also were individualistic to an extreme. In short, he was an officer in the very best Prussian tradition.
His military and personal qualifications brought him into the Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, at the time the crème de la crème of the new German Wehrmacht. This is the more astounding when considering that English and American military historians such as Captain Basil Liddell Hart (English), Major General Michael Reynolds (English), Major James Lucas (English), General George Patton (American), A. Korganoff (French), Gordon Williamson (English) – ad infinitum have essentially stated he entire German Wehrmacht, no matter which branch to have been ´elite´.
Whether he was the only member of this elite squad not to have joined the party is not known, even though it is more than likely. Nevertheless, he was picked to become the Adjudant of Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler putting him near the very top of the pyramid of absolute power. This was a dream job. He could have remained at or near the pinnacle of power, safely ensconced at headquarters, but as an honorable man and soldier, he volunteered at once for front line service during the Polish campaign.
This decision started a military career which was extremely varied since he was constantly transferred from one hot spot to the other. This was so because wherever Peiper appeared any precarious, nay disastrous military situation was brought under control due to his decision making powers, his personal courage and his inspiring leadership qualities which caused men followed him into certain hell. Furthermore, his decisions were made on the spot with a minimum of intelligence information but still were uncannily always right. To go into detail as regards to his various exploits is outside the scope of this article – so therefore only a few of the highlights will be mentioned.
Shortly into the Russian campaign, Peiper proved to be on of the more outstanding commanders. General Postel´s 320th. Infantry Division was hopelessly encircled near Kharkow by vastly superior Russian forces. It appeared that the entire division was about to be annihilated for there was way to supply the division with the necessary supplies or replacements. Their tanks and artillery pieces had become useless due to lack of fuel. The troops had been decimated and had had no food for days on end, sometimes a week or more. It seemed to be the certain death of the division.
Enter Peiper. He evaluated the situation and insisted he could save the remnants of the division. He had recognized a weak spot in the Russian encirclement had broken through and led the 320th.to safety. His action had been so rapid, so daring, that the Russian high command had been unable to react in time. He achieved this with a small group of dedicated SS men – men who were willing to follow him into hell. It will always be his legacy, that he saved countless of thousands of German soldiers from a miserable death by torture and deprivation in the depth of Siberia.
As a member of the First Army he again proved his mettle during the breakout of the encirclement near Kamenets Podolsk. It was around this time, that a new type of unit was being created by the Germans – the ´Kampfgruppe´. There is no English equivalent to such a military unit, its meaning is: ´Fighting Group´. This simply was an ad hoc group of soldiers composed of stragglers and others who had lost their original units due to their having been wiped out. There simply was not enough manpower left to rebuilt decimated divisions or even regiments. Therefore a Kampfgruppe might have been made up of 1 dozen men or of 2000 men. They were even made up of anti-aircraft (no more anti-aircraft ammunition), naval (no more naval power) or supply personal (no more supplies to be handled) at the end of the war. These Kampfgruppen (plural of Kampfgruppe) were named after their respective commanders.
To return to Peiper ---
It was during these trying times, that the Kampfgruppe Peiper was founded. He and his men were transferred from the eastern front to that at the Normandy beaches were the situation had become critical. He was integrated into the 6th.Panzerdivision, led by SS General Sepp Dietrich and with that unit he formed the very tip of the attack during the Battle of the Bulge.
His attack plan was typical Peiper, rush the enemy when and where he least expects it and relentlessly follow through until he has been eliminated or routed. His men attacked furiously and pushed the American troops so far back that it appeared the English Channel might be reached. This is utterly amazing, particularly considering he Americans had access to unlimited supplies, manpower, and fuel. Their supply situation was superb. The Germans conversely had to operate on a shoe string, lacking even the essentials and having to improvise wherever they went. E.g., they had to rely on capturing American fuel depots in order to drive their tanks! Everyone familiar with the genre knows how well the Americans were supplied without ever really understanding what that really meant.
Therefore I want to make very clear exactly how much better the Americans were supplied than the Germans who were at the end of their endurance anyway at this point in time. No matter, they still were ´Men of Steel¨, according to the English Major General Reynolds.
The rations of the Americans came in individual packages, one per soldier, per day. There was an almost unlimited amount of these ration packages floating around division headquarters. These packages contained the following provisions, one should actually say delicatessen.
As an aside, a long distance bomber is an attack weapons system, as are cluster bombs, phosphor bombs, block-buster bombs, time delay bombs, biological warfare agents (such as the potato bug dropped over Germany in 1944) – ALL things the Americans and especially the British designed during the 1920´s (!) and things the Germans DID NOT have and had never planned for. Now the question must arise --- Whom did the English world plan on attacking, already in the 1920´s? Hmmmmm – San Marino perhaps?
As an aside, one must wonder how it is possible for such a formidable industry to have disappeared even largely from memory. Is it too much of a stretch to say it has been made to disappear? This writer thinks not!
Todays Harley Davidson myth is wholly undeserving and is based on the Porsche (German) re-design of their machines in the early 1980´s. Without German engineering, Harley Davidson would be but a bad memory.
Despite all of this Peipers advance through the lines of the Americans was so rapid, so daring that he caused unfettered panic to spread amongst his enemies. It was this very first time during the war, that the superbly equipped and well led Americans streamed back in panic much like the poorly equipped, badly led Italians had at Stalingrad or in Northern Africa, largely causing those disaster. Only brutal methods applied by American officers to stem the flight and the incessant shortages or even total absence of supplies particularly that of gasoline on the German side, prevented the total annihilation of the American troops despite their monumental numerical and material superiority.
Jochen Peipers advance came to a grinding halt near Stavelot, not because of American bravery or military brilliance but because he had irreversibly run out of medication, food stuffs, ammunition and most importantly gasoline. When the enemy noticed his paralysis, he encircled Peiper´s Kampfgruppe which very literally was unable to move in any direction. The dream to throw the Americans back into the sea had come to an end.
Peiper was confronted with a grim, painful choice ---
For a man like Peiper the answer was harsh but clear – break out at all costs. During the preceding fighting, an American officer had been captured by Peiper´s troops. This American participated in he break-out and related after the war how impressed he had been by this man, by his undaunted courage, by his uncanny ability to instill in his battered troops the will to survive even under circumstances which appeared hopeless and how Peiper had treated him, the American as a gentleman, as a fellow soldier, honorably and decently.
Peiper had ordered all tanks (the pride of his outfit), heavy machine guns, trucks, motorcycles etc. to be dynamited. The iron discipline of his men, the firm, nay religious belief in the justice of their cause and the well documented and often times mentioned leadership capabilities of his non-commissioned officers saved his troops even though the climatic conditions approached those of the horrendously difficult Russian winters.
After the successful break-out, the remnants of Kampfgruppe Peiper rejoined Sepp Dietrich´s 6th.Division to be transferred via rail to the Hungarian front in order to stem he relentless advance of the Soviet forces in that region. The transfer was conducted under the most difficult conditions – incessant air attacks, little food, little shelter and very little rest. The transfer succeeded and Peiper´s men fought desperately against a Soviet superiority which staggers the imagination. Finally, at Sankt Pollen in the Alps the end arrived. Out of ammunition, out of gasoline, out of everything, even hope, they surrendered to American forces.
In the annals of history there are only very few examples of the self sacrifice demonstrated by the Kampfgruppe Peiper – but neither he nor any of his men could possibly imagine what awaited them.
Peiper himself was incarcerated in a hell hole (euphemistically called a POW camp) outside the ancient city of Nürnberg (which itself had been annihilated toward the end of the war in an orgy of insane destruction). This camp contained over 160.000 prisoners of all military branches. It was sheer hell, like so many of Eisenhower´s death camps along the Rhine. There were no barracks or tents. There were no toilets. There was no medical help, not even for the most terribly wounded. Hunger, incessant thirst and utter misery unimaginable in its dimensions ruled. The desperation of the prisoners thusly abused was limitless, for outside the camp food and everything else existed in great quantities for the Americans, but for those who had selflessly defended their fatherland there was only horror and incarceration far worse than that afforded the most horrid child-abuser.
The fundamental difference between these hell holes and German prison camps with terrible conditions is that the German camps were totally overwhelmed with prisoners during the latter stages of the war and during times of incessant air attacks, paralyzing all transport and making supply impossible. The desperate efforts of the German authorities (including those of Reichsführer Heinrich Himmler himself as early as 1942!) to relieve the suffering of the prisoners is well documented (even if deliberately omitted in official literature) whereas these American camps were purposefully created by General Eisenhower during peace time and during times of plenty. These American camps were deliberately designed to kill as many German prisoners of war as possible by neglect, starvation and sometimes cold-blooded murder. This has been meticulously documented by the Canadian historian James Bacque in his book ´Other Losses´. No!! It was not the Germans who deliberately starved or murdered prisoners, but it was the Americans, French and the Soviets who probably hold the world record in this odious activity. It was in this hell that an American agent found Peiper.
(Writers - Translators note); the above highlighted section is an addition to the English translation and does not exist in the original German.
As related previously, his Kampfgruppe had fought in he Ardennes under the most difficult circumstances, not only against an identifiable enemy, but also against brutal Belgian partisans who had specialized in committing heinous acts of cowardly torture-murder on captured, unarmed German soldiers. Aside from this and the incessant shortages, Peiper had also suffered from shortages in personnel. None of his companies had ever been even near company-strength.
Malmédy is a small German town which in 1919 was ceded (Versailles Treaty provision) to Belgium for unjustifiable reasons. It was there that Peipers troops took several hundred Americans prisoner without the means to either keep them contained or to transfer them behind the lines. Jochen Peiper was several kilometers away in his temporary headquarters and nowhere near this particular action. The highest ranking SS man on the scene decided to concentrate the Americans on a large meadow and to have them guarded by a handful of young soldiers manning one machine gun. Had the American prisoners stormed the tiny German contingent, they would have overwhelmed them in minutes by sheer force of numbers. The Germans were fully aware of this possibility and consequently their nerves were stretched to the breaking point.
What happened next is to this day unclear, nay it is totally murky. We do know for a fact that several Americans attempted to escape and that one young SS man opened fire at the escapees. It must be remembered here, that this man did what absolutely every soldier in any army at any time in history did, no more, no less. Had he held his fire, he would have broken his oath he would have failed in his duty and made himself subject to court martial proceedings. What we do not know is whether the Americans attempted to cease their efforts at escape before the SS man opened fire. That several Americans were shot, that is a fact. What has added to the confusion is that it has been claimed that American troops had appeared on the scene and had opened fire on the Germans with the result that hey hit several of their own men, a very real possibility in the heat of battle. Such an incident is called ´Friendly Fire´ and it is well documented that many Americans fell victim to ´Friendly Fire´ throughout the war.
The fly in the ointment called ´circumstances´.
Under what circumstances where these Americans shot? If they were shot trying to escape no blame can be placed on the SS man. Since most people have never been in he military this logic may be difficult to understand, but it is so. Had he held his fire, he would have failed in his assigned duty – to contain the prisoners. This rule applies to all armies at any time in history, crossing even cultural lines.
It was this sad tale which was the reason Peiper had been sought after by the American authorities. He had been accused of war crimes, despite the indubitable fact that rarely has their existed a commander who dealt more fairly with his enemies.
In the meantime all manner of horror-stories were being circulated by Belgian partisans as to the crimes which had allegedly been committed by Peipers men. Suffice it to say, that not a single one of these stories has ever been proved, eau contraire, under legitimate, in-depth investigation they have been found to have been stories, no more, no less. There isn´t a historical writer with a conscious extant today who pays any attention whatsoever to any of these vicious rumors.
Despite this, honorable Belgian and French men interested in the truth are being haunted mercilessly by their respective governments to this day because they have dared to uncover that the official historians are unscrupulous liars. Unconscionable men, disgracefully often times germans, repeat some of these anti-German atrocity stories to this day as if they were historically proven facts.
It must not be forgotten, that directly after he war (even today) every imaginable horror story about the Germans, no matter how grotesque was not only being propagated, but were encouraged to be told, frequently by well-paid ´witnesses´. There existed numerous professional witnesses who traveled from trial to trial to vent their unspeakable hatred in the form of grotesque tales, tales so sick they could only stem from diseased minds, tales in the meantime having been uncovered to have been no more than atrocity propaganda.
In connection to this I would like to remind the reader that the tough, formerly German-hating American general George ´Blood and Guts´ Patton stated in the summer of 1945; ´The only decent people left in Europe are the Germans´.
All officers and non-commissioned officers of the Kampfgruppe Peiper were arrested, imprisoned and tortured horribly by an ´American´ Lt. by the name of Perl in order to obtain confessions. Perl had emigrated shortly before the war from Vienna. The soldiers were uncommonly brave and endured inhuman tortures, but as the former commander of Auchwitz Höss said; ´One will sign anything whatsoever only to get them to stop.´ As an aside, Höss´ confession was written in English, a language he did not command and was splattered with his blood.
The torture methods of Lt. Perl, a man who had never in his life faced an enemy and had never even heard a bullet fly, consisted of amongst many things the following:
Finally, when his men could take it no longer and began signing confessions which were shown him, Peiper offered himself up as a martyr and accepted any and all responsibility for whatever any of his men had been accused of - whether true or untrue.
Colonel Ellis, the prosecuting attorney visited Peiper in his cell. He was polite and militarily correct and gave Peiper to understand that he personally did not believe in any of the accusations, but that he would do his best nevertheless to obtain a conviction and to hang Peiper. A more perverse manner of thinking is quasi impossible to fathom.
The trial itself took place at Dachau. During the trial evidence of innocence was prohibited. Grotesque stories by paid (!) witnesses were patiently listened to and meticulously noted for he record, whereas a defense was made impossible due to the defense not being allowed to call material witnesses. The prosecutions star witness, a certain Sergeant (US Army) Ahrens (disgracefully ethnic German) was later uncovered to have been a shameless liar and his entire damning testimony on which basis dozens of Germans had been executed was discredited.
Confessions obtained under unspeakable torture were accepted at face value and none of he witnesses were ever subjected to cross examination.
Even though the confessions, without an exception, had been made under torture and despite the fact that every one of those who had signed such a confession recanted in open court, 43 of the dishonored and disfigured (remember the crushed testicles) SS men were sentenced to death by hanging. 30 more received long term prison sentences. The date was July 16th.1946.
Peiper himself was sentenced to death as well. His men and he accepted the decision stoically. Peiper however was not executed because the Junior Senator from Wisconsin, McCarthy had proved the courts perfidy and the innocence of Peiper and his men. This did not help those men who had been strangled to death before the inquiry ever began.
McCarthy uncovered and publicized the tortures, the inhuman conditions of the prison, the perfidy of the court, the courts running rough shod over any and all legal principles and he called the trial what indeed it had been – a Lynching party and a disgrace for the United States.
While on death row at Landsberg prison, Jochen Peiper wrote the following:
The defensive frontline positions of Western Civilization form a wide circle, from the Caucasus to the land of he Finns. Representatives of our entire civilization are there to this day, guarding us quietly. Despite their graves being plundered and their fatherlands being ashamed of their most noble sons, we are indebted to this avant-garde of the European idea, for it is because of them, that the descendents of Genghis Kahn have not stationed their tanks on the coast of the Atlantic.
Peiper spent many years on death row, until in 1951 his sentence was commuted to life in prison. In 1956 he was released from prison to make his living the best he could. He began a career as an automobile salesman for a Porsche agency in Frankfurt. Shamefully, he was let go under pressure from disgraceful persons of influence. VW had heard of his plight and offered him a position in Stuttgart, thence he moved with his faithful wife who had believed in him always and had stood by him during the worst possible times. This had been very difficult since the pressure to denounce her ´war criminal ´ husband had been enormous. Soon dishonorable german cowards and the dark forces which controlled them discovered his whereabouts (was he denounced?) and put tremendous pressure on VW via a disgusting, malignant hate-campaign to fire him.
It became clear to Peiper that he had no future in his fatherland. He had defended it to the last breath, had suffered tremendously, had been victimized by dishonorable American military torturers and ´judges´ and instead of honoring him a revolting campaign of biblical hate was unleashed against him - unequalled in its dishonesty and murderous intent.
It must be mentioned here, that the heinous injustice committed during his trial, the tortures and all the rest, have never (until this very day!) been made public in Germany. Very literally no one knows, for the information is not allowed to be published! Most Germans believe (and believe to this day) that this trial and many other similar ones were conducted fairly according to internationally accepted norms of jurisprudence. What is really shocking is that the majority of Germans do not even entertain the idea that something might be wrong. They refuse to accept the documented proof, that they have been lied to and misdirected for the period of over two generations!
In 1940, Peiper had gotten to know and love the area known in French as the Langresplateau. In those years, family acquaintances in Reutlingen had a conscripted French worker on their farm. It was at that time that the Berlin government negotiated an agreement with the Vichy government, that for every one voluntary French worker who came to Germany, two French POW´s would be permitted to go home. The French worker of the family whom Peiper knew was allowed to return to his family in France due to Peiper´s influence and Mr. Gauthier (already a pro-German French nationalist) never forgot the his kindness.
It was this selfsame Mr. Gauthier who when Peiper decided in 1957 to relocate in France with his family sold him a mill in the town of Traves. However, the mill was in urgent need of repairs - a task beyond the financial capabilities of Peiper. The former Obersturmbannführer SS Erwin Ketelhut bought the mill from Peiper, which enabled him to build a homestead well out of view high on the banks of the river Saone. There he and his small family lived in comparative peace for 16 years. There were the occasional threatening anonymous phone calls (are there any other kind?), but essentially he lived unmolested and was known in the small town simply as ´The German´. He used his old passion, his command of the French language to earn his living as a translator of various texts from one language into the other and vice versa.
On June 11th.1976 he went to the provincial capital Vesoul with the intention to buy some wire for a dog-pound he was building. The person who sold him the wire was a Frenchman – Paul Cacheux - from the former German province of Elsass-Lothringen (Alsace-Lorraine).
In 1936 (French control) there lived 1.885.823 people in this region of whom only 202.554 (slightly more than 10%) claimed he French language as their mother tongue. That much for the French nature of the population the history books allege! This undefended (!) province had been invaded and annexed contrary to all international norms by the French emperor Louis the 14th, re-annexed to Germany in 1871 and again stolen from Germany via the so-called Treaty of Versailles of 1919, a treaty which was no more than a go-ahead light to plunder Germany and which was signed by the German delegation under duress and official protest. No treaty or contract of any kind signed under duress is legal anywhere, in any forum, under any legal system anyplace on earth!
(Translator´s note; the above highlighted is an addition to the English translation and does not appear in the German original).
Paul Cacheux, the hardware store clerk, noticed Peipers slight German accent and decided to check the ´Brown List´. This list had been compiled by the communist party of France and had been circulated amongst its members as an aide in identifying alleged German war criminals or Frenchmen who had collaborated (such as the few former members of the SS division Charlemagne who had survived) with the German forces. Peiper had paid by check, a document which identified him clearly by name and address.
Imagine this absurdity! More than 30 years after the war people were (and still 60 years later are!) hunted for alleged having committed war crimes, regardless whether proven or not, regardless of whether they had long ago paid for their misdeeds, and regardless whether or not those alleged misdeeds had in the meantime been thoroughly discredited.
In contrast, the well documented massive crimes committed by the so-called Résistance (about 100.000 cold blooded murders of French men and women within a 6 months period after July 1944) are totally ignored, nay some of the criminal perpetrators have been hailed as French heroes and the crimes have been vehemently denied, all the forensic (!) evidence to the contrary! In the 1980´s a young French filmmaker made a movie about this, a movie shown once in Paris and since having totally disappeared! Unfortunately, this says more about Germany´s neighbors than anyone had ever asked to know!
Cacheux found Peipers name on the list and immediately notified his superiors at the communist party. This resulted in an obscene hate-campaign against a man who had lived peacefully and productively as a citizen in his little home-built house. This infamous action was openly directed by he communist party. Their newspaper L´Humanité (what a name for the official organ of a political party which has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to have been the most murderous in the history of mankind, a political movement unequalled in ferocity, dishonor and disdain for human dignity) printed an inflammatory article asking what this ´Nazi´ was doing in France. The communists printed flyers defaming Peiper as a criminal and promising to prepare him a ´hot July 14th. (French national unity day). These flyers were widely distributed in Traves, the little town which had been home to the long suffering Peiper family. The hatred unleashed had a surreal, Kafkaesque character, it was Old Testament type hatred, the sort which is impossible to fathom by a healthy thinking human being – it was pure irrational hysteria. To make matters worse, it was the Stasi (secret police of communist controlled Germany) which actively supported this infamy. When the DDR fell and the Berlin wall came down, all the Stasi documents relating to the Peiper case either had disappeared, or were destroyed – the latter being the most likely scenario.
The traitors of the Stasi were never called to account. Eau contraire, the German taxpayer supported these monsters via obscene retirement income checks. The injustice screams to high heaven.
One day previous to the attack, the 13th.of July, Peiper decided to send his beloved wife and daughter to their family in Germany. His wife had been suffering from cancer and Peiper was convinced he would be unable to protect his family adequately in case of an attack. He refused to leave his home fearing if empty it would be burned to the ground. The fear his friend Ketelhut would shoot at any attacker caused him to refuse his friend´s offer to spend the night at his house.
´No´, he said. ´There has been already too much killing´. Ahhhhhh, so typically German - to actually believe that honor and decency would ever enter the minds of assassins.
Ketelhut however insisted Peiper at least accept his hunting rifle, which he did in order to appease his good friend. Subsequently Peiper went to the small roof garden of his house from whence he was able to watch over his property. Around 22.30 hours (11.30 pm) he heard men moving through the bush covered approaches from the river. In order to chase the apparently drunk fellows off, he fired several shots into the air. They called out to him to come out of the house – they wanted to talk to him. In an effort to appease (how does one appease assassins bent on murder?) he opened the door to his homestead. This is all we know for sure. What happened next is known only to those responsible for the insidious deed.
When the corpse of Peiper was found, it had been burned to a crisp. He was found lying on his bead – his hands and feet had been hacked off. Allegedly it was impossible to determine whether the poor man had been alive when he was maimed so cruelly. Assassins of this sort never maim anyone when he is dead – that we know for sure! We know that the Greek, Italian, Belgian, French and Russian partisans of WW-2 (communists all, under direct direction from Moscow and actively supported by the USA) all committed such atrocities as a matter of course. These monsters were the same, only of one generation later and we must sadly conclude that this certified honorable war hero died a horrible death.
In the nearby village, shots were heard around midnight emanating from the direction of Peipers house (called ´The Bunker´ by the locals), but the police and the fire department arrived too late. Sadly it must be concluded, that the authorities deliberately took their time in responding, since the time of Peiper´s death has been determined to have been around 1 o´clock in the morning.
The monsters, after inflicting horrible tortures on this war hero until about 1 o´clock in the morning had assured the total destruction of the home by pouring a mixture of heating oil, used motor oil and gasoline on the floors of the house which resulted in heat so intense, that his body did not burn, but rather was carbonized, much like the hundreds of thousands of German women, children and men who died a similar horrible death at the hands of the American and British air forces during their bombing holocaust designed to murder the German nation. The latter observation is not an allegation (like most allegations, presented as historical ´facts´ against the Germans), rather is a well documented truism.
Peipers French friends and of course his good buddy Ketelhut expressed the unanimous opinion his death had been totally unjustified, for had he accepted Ketelhut´s invitation to spend he night at his house, the murder would never had occurred.
The cowardly assassins had crossed a meadow with a wagon to the river front on which two floats lay in waiting, manned by accomplices. It was with these floats hat they crossed the Raone and once arrived at the opposite shore, climbed through the underbrush toward the victim´s house. After the gruesome deed they made their get-away by running in the opposite direction to the street below, where apparently a waiting car picked them up and spirited them away. The fire department dragged the river bed in search of the missing body parts and found nothing. The investigation lasted 6 months during which every known member of the local communist party was interviewed with the predictable result, that no one knew anything.
Subsequently, the investigation was closed and all documents were stored in the ´dead file´ of the local police. What is awful is that the investigation conducted by the police department apparently was haphazard and sloppy. This conclusion is inescapable for the following reasons;
The claim to have been unable to find out anything about this well organized, meticulously planned and announced (!) attack is ludicrous. One is left with impression that the police did not want to get to the bottom of the crime. It has also been claimed that possibly out-of-towners had planned and committed the deed. This lacks credibility, since not a shred of evidence has ever been found connecting anyone outside the immediate area to the crime. Therefore this claim appears to be no more than a smoke screen planted by the police.
The district court of Vesoul finally, after many years, declared the murdered man as being dead. However, under pressure (and probably threats) they lacked he decency to acknowledge that he had been murdered. Peipers family requested the return of the remains of their beloved father to Germany. When the coffin arrived it was opened in the presence of representatives for the District Attorney of Munich. It was found that disgracefully only parts of the mutilated, charred body had been returned. The entire head was missing making it impossible for the German authorities to identify the remains due to the missing dentures. Polite inquiries by Peipers family of the French court were left unanswered. The district court in Vesoul handled the matter by simply stating disdainfully that Peiper was dead and that the case was closed. That is the way justice works in one of the modern ´democracies´!
It was the great Mahatma Gandhi, a lawyer himself, who stated succinctly; ´Where law rules, there is injustice.´
Colonel Peiper, murdered – for Germany he had fought bravely, an unforgettable warrior.