Arrest and Conviction

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Elisabeth von Thadden was arrested by the SS at the soldiers’ home in Meaux near Paris, where she has been assigned as Red Cross worker, on January 13, 1944, before she was even able to take up the post assigned to her in Cherbourg.

From then on, she was moved from one infamous prison to another on Prinz-Albrecht-Strasse and in Oranienburg, Ravensbrück and Brandenburg. She was brought from Oranienburg to Berlin for interrogations on a daily basis, usually at night.

Her faith gave her the strength to endure imprisonment and harassment. The consolation of family sustained her. The Bible verses sent her by Provost Hildegard von Thadden especially helped her through the period of self-reproach. She learned many passages of the Gospel According to John by heart.

The indictment of June 22, 1944 charged Thadden with having aided and abetted wartime enemies of Greater German Reich by undermining the war effort and by conspiring to commit high treason.

The trial presided over by Roland Freisler was held on July 1, 1944 with an appointed public defender, a Nazi through and through. Elisabeth von Thadden attempted to make her personal views clear. Met by Freisler’s scornful laughter, she pitted her aristocratic origins and convictions against the upstart “aristocracy” of the SS. The trial, which had begun at eight in the morning, ended at 9:45 p.m. when Kiep and she received death sentences.

Source / title

  • © Behörde des Bundesbeauftragten für die Stasi-Unterlagen Berlin, MfS HA IX/11 AS 190/67 Bd. 1