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British executioner Harry Allen
Harry Allen was narrating anecdotes about his time working as assistant to Albert Pierrepoint, the doyen of British executioners. Both men were publicans as well as hangmen, but had very different personalities. The taciturn Pierrepoint never bragged about “the job”.
When you were at Nuremberg,” I ask Allen, “did you give them six weeks in the condemned cell before you hanged them?”
“Did we hell – we’d still be there if we had,” he replies. “What most people don’t realise is there wasn’t just the major trial with Göring, Hess, Speer and the rest of ’em. There were a dozen or more courtrooms round the city. Trials non-stop for a year. Hundreds of the buggers. If they were sentenced to death their appeal was heard within an hour. If that went down they were hanged an hour or two after that. They built a scaffold in a gymnasium that could take four at a time so we’d hang them in batches.” He takes a sip of whisky. “We’d wait until we had a few, then we’d have a session. On one afternoon we did 27 in two hours forty [minutes].”
“Fuck me!” says someone.
“Aye, but it got worse,” Allen continues. “There were hangmen from each of the four powers: America, France, Britain and Russia. But a couple of the executioners the Yanks sent over were gas-chamber lads. Hadn’t a clue about hanging. They started by dropping them too far, were pulling the heads off them! Then they overcompensated so they weren’t dropping far enough and they were strangling. We had to take over their quota. Here in Britain we normally leave them hanging for an hour or so. Hadn’t time for that nicety. We’d do four, the doctor would immediately go under the scaffold, have a listen with his stethoscope. Then it was on to a trolley and away with them.”
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/ ... arry-allen
John Clarence Woods
(June 1911 – July 1950) was a United States Army master sergeant who, with Joseph Malta
, carried out the Nuremberg executions of ten former top leaders of the Third Reich on October 16, 1946, after they were sentenced to death at the Nuremberg Trials.
Woods had been discharged from the US Army in April 23, 1930 after being examined by a psychiatric board and diagnosed with "constitutional psychopathic inferiority without psychosis"
. But he was inducted into the United States Army again in August 1943.
When in autumn of 1944 military executions of US soldiers by hanging were scheduled in France, the US Army looked for a volunteer and accepted Woods, who falsely claimed previous experience as assistant hangman in two cases in Texas and two in Oklahoma. He was lying!
There is no evidence that the U.S. Army made any attempt to verify Woods' claims. Because if they had checked, it would have been easy to prove that he was lying: the states of Texas and Oklahoma had both switched to electrocution during the period he claimed to be a hangman. The last ever hanging in Texas took place in August 1923 when Woods would have been twelve. And Oklahoma did not carry out hangings during the relevant period, the last one taking place three months before Woods was born. Plus all but one execution in Oklahoma between 1915 and 1966 was carried out by electric chair.
So Woods had no pre-war experience as a hangman at all.
Woods at that time he volunteered was a private in the 37th Engineer-Combat Battalion, so the Americans promoted him to Sergeant and allowed him to perform as the primary executioner in the hangings of thirty-four American soldiers at various locations in France over 1944–1945. He also assisted in at least three other hangings.
U.S. Army reports suggest that Woods participated in at least eleven bungled hangings of US soldiers between 1944 and 1946.
The Yanks and Jews running the Nuremberg show-trials picked this psychopath and liar to execute the top Germans on trial.
There is a happy ending though. While serving with the 7th Engineer Brigade in Eniwetok on the Marshall Islands, Woods was electrocuted while attempting to repair an engineer lighting set. It killed him. This was on July 21, 1950.
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