Spring Auction 2019 Sale 75
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/30/2019
KURT MEYER (1910–1961) was a high-ranking member in the Waffen-SS and commander of the SS Division “Hitlerjugend.” He participated in the invasions of France and the Soviet Union, the defense of Normandy, and other campaigns, and was a recipient of the Knight's Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords. In course of the war, Meyer came to be regarded as capable military commander, but also earned notoriety for ordering the mass murder of civilians and prisoners of war. An important grouping of material used by a judge sitting on the tribunal that tried Kurt Meyer for war crimes in late December, 1945. Included is a bound legal file: “ABSTRACT [and “SUPPLEMENTARY ABSTRACT”] of the EVIDENCE to be adduced at the trial of BRIGADEFUHRER KURT MEYER”, 50pp. legal folio, [n.p., n.d., but prepared at the Naval Barracks at Aurich, November, 1945], the cover marked “SECRET” and “COPY 12”. This document was prepared for the war crimes trial of Kurt Meyer, held by the Canadian military at Aurich, Germany in December, 1945. The seven charges specifically concern Meyer’s poor treatment and subsequent execution of Canadian P.O.W.s captured in Normandy. There follows summaries of testimony by 23 civilian and military witnesses from both sides. The content includes first-hand accounts of various murders, recovery and autopsy of Canadian soldiers, civilian reports of German attempts to hide the soldiers’ graves, confirmation of the order that: “…We take no prisoners…”, etc. The owner of this file was Brigadier IAN S. JOHNSTON (1908 - ?), a lawyer, commander of the 5th Canadian Armored Division, and a member of the tribunal that tried Meyer. In many cases, Johnston added pencil notes giving additional detail on the summarized testimony. Also included is Johnston’s signed order to present himself for service as a member of the four-man panel hearing the case at Aurich on Dec. 10, 1945. The order was issued at Bad Zwischenahn, Germany, Nov. 23, 1945 and is hand-signed by Canadian Major Gen. CHRISTOPHER VOKES (1904-1985), who had ordered the trial. The trial found Meyer guilty of the first, fourth and fifth charges, but acquitted him of the second and third. This meant that he was deemed guilty of inciting his troops to give no quarter to the enemy, and of the responsibility for his troops killing eighteen prisoners at the Abbaye Ardenne, but not responsible for the killings of twenty-three at Buron and Authie. Included in this lot is Johnston’s 3pp. printed list of the separate charges, each of which he has annotated as “Guilty” or “Not Guilty” (pages brittle, margins chipped). Finally, there is Johnston’s printing of an extract of: “Canadian War Orders and Regulation…The War Crimes Regulations”, 8pp. 8vo., Ottawa, August, 1945, and a photo of Johnston outside a building. Overall very good condition. Interestingly, Meyer was sentenced to death, and Vokes refused to approve an appeal. Shortly before the date of his execution, Vokes reconsidered and commuted the sentence, commenting: "…there isn't a general or colonel on the Allied side that I know of who hasn't said, 'Well, this time we don't want any prisoners'". Meyer was released in 1954, and later proclaimed: “SS troops committed no crimes, except the massacre at Oradour, and that was the action of a single man".
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $100.00
Final prices include buyers premium: $0.00
Estimate: $200 - $300
Auction closed on Wednesday, May 1, 2019.
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