The Second World War: PART 10 - Otto Krause - Nuremberg (1946)
It was blisteringly cold on the morning of October sixteenth in the south-eastern state of Bavaria.
The Palace of Justice, or Justizpalast as it is in German, was constructed in 1909 and housed the local court, regional court and appellate court. It also had a large prison complex and at five-forty prompt that morning, an officer of the Gestapo was politely woken from his refreshing sleep and from his cast-iron bed.
He was shaved, washed and clothed before taking his breakfast at the dinner table in his cell. The meal consisted of two farm eggs, boiled for two minutes and twenty seconds precisely, the only way to have it, garnished with a few shakes of pepper on a bed of buttery brown toast. The German also insisted on a fresh pot of English breakfast. Of which, he took a single teacup’s full before cleansing his palate with a fresh glass of orange juice. A moment prior, a more senior guard checked the rim of the glass for cyanide residue. There was none.
A British Air Force colonel, assigned with the RAFP, stood before the west-facing wall in the rear courtyard of the Palace.
Some minutes later, the German was marched to the wall and a blindfold was wrapped around the eyes of Otto Krause, blotting out the light, or the little of it, for the last time. The judge mumbled his right to expel his last words but the significance of it was lost on the cracking of four Lee-Enfield rifles as the soldiers cocked them.
‘Take your aim,’ the RAFP Colonel called.
The crash of rifle fire, when it came, caused no echo in the eastern wing where courtroom number six hundred sat was being readied. The riddled body slumped over onto its right side and the Colonel delivered the final coup de grâce with a Smith & Wesson Model 10. Two shots were delivered cleanly to the head and the heart. Otto Krause was executed away from the public eye due to the nature of his abhorrent crimes. The many of which were unuttered and didn’t feature in the newspapers.