One of the most despicable henchmen of he Nazi regime was Roland Freisler. The only redeeming factor he had was that he also tried high-ranking Nazis . You could be for 90% certain that if you would appear before his court you would be sentenced to death or to life imprisonment.
On 20 August 1942, Hitler appointed Freisler as president of the People’s Court.This court was instrumental in securing the Nazi stranglehold over Germany
Not only would Freisler sentence defendants.often for no real reason or without any evidence, he would also humiliate them.
One time he yelled at one defendant“You are crying!” who started to cry in court, “What do you want to tell us with the tears in your eyes?” Freisler sentenced that man to be hung with a thin rope so that he would, as per Hitler’s orders, suffer a slow death.
However on February 3rd, 1945 Judge Freisler got his comeuppance. USAAF Lt. Colonel Robert Rosenthal led a bombing raid with his B-17 over Berlin.
Freisler was conducting a Saturday session of the People’s Court at the time and although the air sirens were sounding,Freisler refused to evacuate the building.
He stayed behind to get files for the trial of Fabian von Schlabrendorff, one of the July 20 plot conspirators. Freisler planned to sentence von Schlabrendorff to death that day.
However things didn’t turn out the way he planned.A sudden direct hit on the court-building shortly after 11 am caused a partial internal collapse, with Freisler being crushed by a masonry column and killed while still in the courtroom.
Schlabrendorff’s life was spared but ironically Freisler received the swift justice he had been such a fan of.
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