Peter Stumpp –Werewolf of Bedburg

I am always fascinated by the popularity of serial killers. Everyone will know at least the name of one serial killer. The one thing that isn’t clear is who actually first coined the term serial killer, it is either, FBI Special agent Robert Ressler, criminologist Ernst Gennat or journalist John Brophy.

One might be forgiven to think that Jack the Ripper was the first serial killer, but there have been quite a few before him. We often associate serial killers with the US or UK, but there have been many of them across the globe.

Peter Stumpp was a German farmer and alleged serial killer, accused of werewolfery, witchcraft and cannibalism. He was known as ‘the Werewolf of Bedburg’.

The most comprehensive source on the case is a 16-page pamphlet published in London in 1590, the translation of a German print of which no copies have survived. The English pamphlet, of which two copies exist (one in the British Museum and one in the Lambeth Library), was rediscovered by occultist Montague Summers in 1920. It describes Stumpp’s life, alleged crimes and the trial, and includes many statements from neighbours and witnesses on the crimes.Summers reprints the entire pamphlet, including a woodcut
The Werewolf of Bedburg
From George Bores, 1590:

… Thus continuing his devilish and damnable deeds within the compass of a few years, he had murdered thirteen young children, and two goodly young women big with child, tearing the children out of their wombs, in most bloody and savage sort, and after ate their hearts panting hot and raw, which he accounted dainty morsels and best agreeing to his appetite.

Moreover, he used many times to kill lambs and kids and such like beasts, feeding on the same most usually raw and bloody, as if he had been a natural wolf indeed, so that all men mistrusted nothing less than this his devilish sorcery…”

The sources in Peter Stumpp vary, and around 1590 a pamphlet of 16 pages has been published in London as a translation of a German print, however, no copies of the original have survived. The document describes Stumpp’s live and all alleged crimes as well as his trial. Stumpp was born at the village of Epprath near the country-town of Bedburg in the Electorate of Cologne. Unfortunately, his exact birthdate is unknown as the local church registers were destroyed during the Thirty Years’ War. It is believed that the name “Stump” or “Stumpf” may have been given him as a reference to the fact that his left hand had been cut off leaving only a stump, in German “Stumpf” and it was alleged that as the ‘werewolf’ had its left forepaw cut off, then the same injury proved the guilt of the man. Stumpp’s name is also spelled as Peter Stube, Peter Stub, Peter Stubbe, Peter Stübbe or Peter Stumpf, and other aliases include such names as Abal Griswold, Abil Griswold, and Ubel Griswold. It is assumed that Stumpp was a farmer in his rural community and he possibly was a widower with two children. According to the judiciary at the time, Peter Stumpp committed at least 16 murders, rapes and incest over a period of 25 years in Epprath and Bedburg in the Rhineland in the guise of a werewolf. He was also accused of sorcery and living with a “she-devil”.

There were whisperings of a wolf-like creature roaming the countryside killing both humans and livestock. The creature was described as “greedy… strong and mighty, with eyes great and large, which in the night sparkled like unto brands of fire, a mouth great and wide, with most sharp and cruel teeth, a huge body and mighty paws.”

People were soon traveling from town to town only in large, heavily armed bands. Travelers would sometimes stumble on victims’ remains in the fields, raising the level of terror even higher. When a child would go missing, the parents would immediately assume all was lost and that the wolf had taken another victim. Although every effort was made to try and kill the creature, it eluded capture for several years until 1589 when a group of men tracking the wolf with their hounds encircled it.

When they moved in for the kill, the wolf was nowhere to be seen. They instead found Stubbe. There seems to be some confusion as to whether they actually saw him transform back from being a wolf or if he just happened to be traveling through the woods at this inopportune moment. Either way, under the threat of torture he confessed to the murders of 13 children, two pregnant women and one man.

The execution of Stumpp, on 31 October 1589, alongside his daughter Beele (Sybil) and mistress, Katherine, is one of the most brutal on record: he was put to a wheel, where “flesh was torn from his body”, in ten places, with red-hot pincers, followed by his arms and legs. Then his limbs were broken with the blunt side of an axe head to prevent him from returning from the grave, before he was beheaded and his body burned on a pyre. His daughter and mistress had already been flayed and strangled, and were burned along with Stumpp’s body. As a warning against similar behavior, local authorities erected a pole with the torture wheel and the figure of a wolf on it, and at the very top they placed Peter Stumpp’s severed head.

Strangely enough, the most modern source on the medieval life and times of Peter Stumpp, otherwise known as the Werewolf of Bedburg, can be found in the lyrics of the rock band Macabre, a group of American troubadours who specialize in the obscure genre of “murder metal.” Paring down the meat of the story to bare bones, their song works in harmony with history yet offers little in the way of understanding. That heartier version can only be found in time-worn sources from the past, all of which provide a feast of gruesome details on the world’s most famous werewolf.

Over 400 years ago
The people were terrorized
Around Bedburg and Cologne
In the German countryside
According to the pamphlet
Published at that time
A man named Peter Stumpp
Committed atrocious crimes

Walter Seifert-Adolf Hitler the 2nd.

The case of Walter Seifert is a disturbing one. It is also an indication on something that I have argued for a long time, the Denazification program after World War 2 did not work. It was merely a political bit of veneer.

For you who don’t know what the Denazification program was;Denazification (German: Entnazifizierung) was an Allied initiative to rid German and Austrian society, culture, press, economy, judiciary, and politics of the Nazi ideology following World War 2.

It was attempted through a series of directives issued by the Allied Control Council, seated in Berlin, beginning in January 1946. “Denazification directives” identified specific people and groups and outlined judicial procedures and guidelines for handling them. Though all the occupying forces had agreed on the initiative, the methods used for denazification and the intensity with which they were applied differed between the occupation zones.

Although I have seen no records to show that Walter Seifert had been subjected to the program, it is sage to presume that he did. As a former sergeant with the Luftwaffe in the fact he joined the Germany security police at the end of 1945, one can conclude from this that he must have been a subject to the Denazification program.

On 23 August 1946 he was treated for a bronchial catarrh, and an examination by a specialist on 5 September diagnosed with tuberculosis in the right lung, resulting in his dismissal from the police on 30 September, as he was unfit for service. From then on Seifert attempted to enforce his claims for subsistence, feeling he was being treated unfairly by the government which he claimed was cheating him of his war pension.

He reportedly fell apart after his wife died of an embolism during premature birth on 11 February 1961. Holding the doctors responsible for the death of his wife he wrote a 120-page letter titled “Muttermord — Einzelschicksal und Analyse eines Systems” (Matricide – Individual fate and analysis of a system), and sent it to agencies, doctors and pharmaceutical manufacturers. Therein he tried to prove that the treatment of his wife’s embolism was done wrong, called society a criminal system and equated doctors with murderers, writing:

“The doctor is the greatest mass murderer of the poor in the history of mankind (…) What to do? Appeal to their ‘conscience’ – useless, whoever does something like that has no conscience. Does the aforementioned science count before any court? No, thus begins the vigilante justice, the terror of the medical society in the pluralistic chaos of criminality. But terror can only be extirpated with counter-terror, and whoever denies me the protection of the law forces the cudgel into my hand.”

While doctors said he had schizophrenia, they did not consider him violent.

However on June 11,1964, his 42nd birthday ,he entered a Catholic elementary school in Cologne, located at the Volkhovener Weg 209-211, with a homemade flamethrower and a long lance, reportedly yelling, “I am Adolf Hitler the Second!” He used the flamethrower to start fires in classrooms, stabbing victims with his lance. Killing eight pupils and two teachers, and wounding twenty-two others. When police arrived at the scene, he fled from the school compound and poisoned himself by taking cyanide.. He was taken to a hospital, where he died the same evening.

The victims:

Teachers; Gertrud Bollenrath, aged 62, Ursula Kuhr, aged 24.

None of the children died immediately. Some suffered for more then a week before they died.

Dorothea Binner, 9, died on 15 June, Renate Fühlen, 9, died on 19 June, Ingeborg Hahn, 9, died on 30 June, Ruth Hoffmann, 10, died on 20 June, Klara Kröger, 9, died on 16 June, Stephan Lischka, 9, died on 16 June, Karin Reinhold, 11, died on 20 June, Rosel Röhrig, 12, died on 18 June.

I know he may have been diagnosed with schizophrenia. But I think the fact that he had actively been a Nazi ,he was still indoctrinated with that ideology, and that ideology was not rooted out with the Denazification program, because it was successful on only very few Nazis.

Walter Seifert basically had a chip on his shoulder and suffered from this sense of entitlement that so many Nazis had.

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sources

https://amok.fandom.com/wiki/Walter_Seifert

https://murderpedia.org/male.S/s/seifert-walter.htm

http://www.findingdulcinea.com/news/on-this-day/May-June-08/On-this-Day–Walter-Seifert-Goes-on-Killing-Spree-in-Cologne–Germany.html

Reached the age of 9 years

Hannelore

“Reached the age of 9 years” may seem like a very matter of fact and brutal title , but the brutal honesty is many of the 1.5 million children murdered during the Holocaust did not even reach that age.

Reached the age of 9 years should never be said of any child as the age of death.

Reached the age of 9 years should never be said of any child as the age of death because of murder.

But reached the age of 9 years was the reality of Hannelore Cahn, born on 31 May 1935 in Wesseling near Cologne, Germany. Murdered on 25 October 1944 in Auschwitz.

It is not clear how Hannelore ended up in the Netherlands . She was the daughter of Emil Cahn and Irene Löwenstein. In 1939  she and her 2 brothers Kurt and Josef came from Cologne in Germany to the Netherlands and resided at the Jewish orphanage in Utrecht,

Her brother Kurt reached the ag15 years, he was born om April 10,1929 39 years before I was born. He was murdered on 28 February 1945, not clear where he was murdered.

Her brother Josef reached the age of 19 born in Wesseling, 25 August 1925 and died in Germany just before the war ended on 2 May 1945.

All 3 Cahn children I presume were sent by their parents to the Netherlands, to escape the Nazi regime.

Their Father Emil, ended up in the British army and shortly after the war he enquired about his children, only to find out they all were killed. No Father should ever have to go through that.

Reached the age of 9 years a brutal reality because of a warped ideology.

Source

https://www.joodsmonument.nl/en/page/121861/hannelore-cahn

Why the story of Edith Stein is still relevant.

Edith Stein

An increasing amount of people say that stories of the Holocaust are no longer relevant and should be left in the past. I don’t subscribe to that point of view, remembering the Holocaust is now more important then it ever has been.In a time where some politicians are making policies based on hate, it is relevant to remember it could cost the lives of millions.

The story of Edith Stein also has personal relevance to me. It is a story that intrigues me because it shows how much the Nazis hated the Jewish people, and I do apologize for the phrase but I don’t think there is any other way of saying it. to the Nazis once a Jew always a Jew. It also highlights an ignorance I had as a youngster.

I will not go to deep into the life of Edith Stein because so much is already written about her, and I will not be able to add any value to that.

1938

Edith Stein was born to Jewish parents in Breslau on 12 October 1891, the youngest of 11. In 1921 she converted to Catholicism, as did her sister Rosa Stein.

Edith entered the Discalced Carmelite monastery St. Maria vom Frieden (Our Lady of Peace) in Cologne in 1933 and took the religious name of Teresa Benedicta of the Cross.

In 1933 the Nazis also came to power, according to their Nuremberg Race laws both Edith and her sisters were considered to be Jewish, despite the conversion to Catholicism, therefor to avoid persecution by the Nazis, Edith and her sister were transferred to a monastery in Echt in the Netherlands.

Klooster

As I mentioned my youthful ignorance before, Echt is only about 15 km away from my birthplace. It is a small town in the province of Limburg in the south east of the Netherlands. In my late teens and early twenties I would often frequent a nightclub’the Majestic’ in Echt. which was really a stones throw away from the monastery. I also would go there by train and would get off on the very same station which was used decades earlier to transport Edith and Rosa to Camp Amersfoort. And I was completely oblivious to all of that.

station

The Stein sisters were arrested by the SS on 2 August 1942. They were imprisoned at the concentration camps of Amersfoort and Westerbork before being deported to Auschwitz. A Dutch official at Westerbork was so impressed by Edith’s  sense of faith and calm, he offered her an escape plan. She  refused his assistance, stating, “If somebody intervened at this point and took away her chance to share in the fate of her brothers and sisters, that would be utter annihilation”

Edith and Rosa among 985 other Jews were sent to Auschwitz on August 7,1942. It is believed that Edith and her sister both died in the gas chambers on August 9th 1942.

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The Bombing of Cologne-90 minutes that changed the city.

Mass_bomber_raid_on_Cologne

One of my favourite cities in Germany is Cologne. known for Eaux de Cologne and for its many landmarks like the Cathedral.

The Cologne of the 21st Century is a vibrant and multicultural metropolitan city only about 80 km away from Belgium and about 95 Km from the Netherlands.

1000px-Cologne_-_Panoramic_Image_of_the_old_town_at_dusk

This location and the fact that the Rhine flows through it add the industrial hinterland made it a prime target for the allies.

Cologne had been bombed throughout the war the first time on the 17th of May 1940. In total there had been 262 separate air raids. However one of the most devastating raids happened on the 30th of May 1942.

On the 30th of May 1942 , a thousand-plane raid on the German city of Cologne was launched by Great Britain. Almost 1,500 tons of bombs rain down in 90 minutes, delivering a devastating blow to the Germans’ medieval city as well as its morale.

Codenamed Operation Millennium, the massive raid was launched for two primary reasons:

  • It was expected that the devastation from such raids might be enough to knock Germany out of the war or at least severely damage German morale.
  • The raids were useful propaganda for the Allies and particularly for RAF Bomber Command head Sir Arthur Harris, 1st Baronet’s concept of a Strategic Bombing Offensive.

Air_Chief_Marshal_Sir_Arthur_Harris

Bomber Command’s poor performance in bombing accuracy during 1941 had led to calls for the force to be split up and diverted to other urgent theatres i.e. Battle of the Atlantic. A headline-grabbing heavy raid on Germany was a way for Harris to demonstrate to the War Cabinet that given the investment in numbers and technology Bomber Command could make a vital contribution to victory.

paper

At this stage of the war Bomber Command only had a regular front line strength of around 400 aircraft, and were in the process of transitioning from the twin engined medium bombers of the pre-war years to the newer more effective four-engined heavy bombers such as the Handley Page Halifax and Avro Lancaster.

By using bombers and men from Operational Training Units (OTUs), 250 from RAF Coastal Command and from Flying Training Command, Harris could easily make up the 1,000 aircraft. However, just before the raid took place, the Royal Navy refused to allow the Coastal Command aircraft to take part in the raid.The Admiralty perceived the propaganda justifications too weak an argument against the real and pressing threat of the U-boats in the Battle of the Atlantic. Harris scrambled around and, by crewing 49 more aircraft with pupil pilots and instructors, 1,047 bombers eventually took part in the raid, two and a half times more than any previous raid by the RAF.

In addition to the bombers attacking Cologne, 113 other aircraft on “Intruder” raids harassed German night-fighter airfields.

Cologne was not Harris’s first choice; he wanted to bomb Hamburg. Poor weather made Hamburg a poor choice; in addition, Harris was advised by Dr. Basil Dickins, a scientist who was section head of RAF’s Bomber Command’s Operations research, to choose Cologne, which was within GEE range.

This was the first time that the “bomber stream” tactic was used and most of the tactics used in this raid remained the basis for standard Bomber Command operations for the next two years and some elements remained in use until the end of the war. It was expected that such a large number of bombers flying in a bomber stream through the Kammhuber line would overwhelm the German night fighters’ control system, keeping the number of bombers shot down to an acceptable proportion. The recent introduction of GEE allowed the bombers to fly a given route at a given time and height. The British night bombing campaign had been in operation for some months, and a statistical estimate could be made of the number of bombers likely to be lost to enemy night fighters and flak, and how many would be lost through collisions. Minimising the former demanded a densely packed stream, as the controllers of a night fighter flying a defensive ‘box’ could only direct a maximum of six potential interceptions per hour, and the flak gunners could not concentrate on all the available targets at once. Earlier in the war four hours had been considered acceptable for a mission; for this raid all the bombers passed over Cologne and bombed in a window of 90 minutes, with the first having arrived at 00:47 of 31 May. It was anticipated that the concentration of bombing over such a short period would overwhelm the Cologne fire brigades and cause conflagrations similar to those inflicted on London by the Luftwaffe during the Blitz.

 

In the raid, 868 aircraft bombed the main target with 15 aircraft bombing other targets. The total tonnage of bombs dropped was 1,455 tons with two-thirds of that being incendiaries. Two and a half thousand separate fires were started with 1,700 classed by the German fire brigades as “large”. The action of fire fighters and the width of the streets stopped the fires combining into a firestorm, but nonetheless most of the damage was done by fire and not directly by the explosive blasts. 3,330 non-residential buildings were destroyed, 2,090 seriously damaged and 7,420 lightly damaged, making a total of 12,840 buildings of which 2,560 were industrial or commercial buildings. Among the buildings classed as totally destroyed were: 7 official administration buildings, 14 public buildings, 7 banks, 9 hospitals, 17 churches, 16 schools, 4 university buildings, 10 postal and railway buildings, 10 buildings of historic interest, 2 newspaper offices, 4 hotels, 2 cinemas and 6 department stores. The only military installation damaged was the flak barracks. The damage to civilian homes, most of them apartments in larger buildings, was considerable: 13,010 destroyed, 6,360 seriously damaged, 22,270 lightly damaged.Amazingly the Cathedral survived.

1,047 aircraft were dispatched, this number being made up as follows:

    • 1 Group – 156 Wellingtons
    • 3 Group – 134 Wellingtons, 88 Stirlings
    • 4 Group – 131 Halifaxes, 9 Wellingtons, 7 Whitleys =

147 aircraft

    • 5 Group – 73 Lancasters, 46 Manchesters, 34 Hampdens =

153 aircraft

    • 91 (O. T. U.) Group – 236 Wellingtons, 21 Whitleys =

257 aircraft 92 (O. T. U.) Group – 63 Wellingtons, 45 Hampdens = 108 aircraft Flying Training Command – 4 Wellingtons

The number reported killed was between 469 and 486, of whom 411 were civilians and 58 combatants. 5,027 people were listed as injured and 45,132 as “bombed out”.It was estimated that from 135,000 to 150,000 of Cologne’s population of nearly 700,000 fled the city after the raid. The RAF lost 43 aircraft (German propaganda claimed 44) 3.9% of the 1,103 bombers sent on the raid. 22 aircraft were lost over or near Cologne, 16 shot down by flak, 4 by night fighters, 2 in a collision, and 2 Bristol Blenheim light bombers lost in attacks on night fighter airfields. A posthumous Victoria Cross was awarded to Flying Officer Leslie Thomas Manser who sacrificed himself so his crew could abandon the aircraft.

Leslie_Manser

 

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