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Entrance of the Landsberg Prison
Landsberg Prison is a penal facility located in the town of Landsberg am Lechmarker in the southwest of the Germanmarker state of Bavariamarker, about 65 kilometers west of Munichmarker and 35 kilometers south of Augsburgmarker.

The prison was used by Allied power during the Occupation of Germany for holding Nazi War Criminals. In 1946 General Joseph T. McNarney, commander in chief, U.S. Forces of Occupation in Germany renamed Landsberg: War Criminal Prison Nr. 1. The Americans closed the war crimes facility in 1958. Control of the prison was then handed over to the Federal Republic of Germanymarker.

Landsberg is now maintained by the Prison Service of the Bavarian Ministry of Justice.

History

Landsberg prison, which is in the town's western outskirts, was completed in 1910. Its four brick-built cell blocks are orientated in a cross-shape which allows guards to watch all wings from a central location.

Landsberg, which was used for holding convicted criminals and those awaiting sentencing, was also designated a Festungshaft (meaning fortress confinement) prison. Festungshaft facilities excluded forced labor and featured reasonably comfortable cells. Prisoners were also allowed to receive visitors.

In 1924 Adolf Hitler spent eight months incarcerated in Landsberg after being convicted of treason following the Beer Hall Putschmarker in Munichmarker the previous year. During his imprisonment, Hitler dictated and then wrote his book Mein Kampf with assistance from his deputy, Rudolf Hess.

Post-War

During the occupation of Germanymarker by the Allies after World War II, the US Army designated the prison as War Criminal Prison No. 1 to hold convicted Nazi war criminals.

The first prisoners sent to Landsberg prison arrived in December 1945. They were war criminals sentenced to death for crimes against humanity at the Dachau Trials that had begun a month earlier.

In total the prison housed 110 prisoners convicted during the Nuremberg trialsmarker between 1945 and 1946, a further 1416 war criminals from the Dachau hearings and 18 prisoners convicted in the Shanghai trials. (These were military tribunals conducted by the American forces in Japan between August 1946 and January 1947 to prosecute 23 German officials who had continued to assist the Japanese military in Shanghai after the surrender of Nazi Germany.)

In five and half years, Landsberg prison was used to execute 275 war criminals . The last hangings took place on June 8, 1951. These were the last executions conducted within the Federal Republic of Germany. Bodies that were not claimed were buried in the cemetery next to the Spöttingen chapel.

The war criminal prison was closed in May of 1958 when the last four prisoners were released. They were former SSmarker officers who had been convicted during the Einsatzgruppen Trials.

See also



References

  1. The Landsberg Prison for War Criminals.
  2. the so-called Shanghai trial ( )
  3. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,814963,00.html Case closed


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