Bernhard Siebken

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Bernhard Seibken
HIAG organisation laying a wreath at the grave of Bernhard Siebken.jpg
HIAG members laying a wreath at Siebken's grave in 1959; photo originally appeared in HIAG's periodical Der Freiwillige ("The Volunteer")[1]
Born 4 April 1910
Died 20 January 1949(1949-01-20) (aged 38)
Allegiance  Nazi Germany
Service/branch Waffen-SS
Rank Obersturmbannführer
Unit SS Division Leibstandarte
SS Division Hitlerjugend
Battles/wars World War II
Awards Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross

Bernhard Siebken (4 April 1910 – 20 January 1949) was a German SS commander during World War II and a convicted war criminal. He was sentenced to death for the killing of Canadian prisoners of war and was executed in 1949.

Siebken was one of the original members of the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler (LSSAH).[2] He took part in the invasion of Poland in 1939 and went on to serve on the Eastern Front. In 1944, Seibken commanded the 2nd Battalion, 26th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment and later the 25th SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment; both with the SS Division Hitlerjugend. Siebken was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross on 17 April 1945.

After the end of the war, he stood trial for war crimes related to his activities while in command of the 2nd Battalion, 26th Panzer Grenadier Regiment of the LSSAH He was found guilty in the shootings of Canadian prisoners of war and hanged on 20 January 1949.

Following the reburial of executed war criminals in Hamelin in 1954, the cemetery became the focal point for veterans' reunions, with distinct Nazi overtones. In 1959, for example, the convention of the lobby group and revisionist organisation of former Waffen-SS members, HIAG, concluded with "comrades gathering around [Siebken's] tomb" and laying a wreath.[1]



  1. ^ a b Ward 2015.
  2. ^ Margolian 1998, p. 76.
  3. ^ Scherzer 2007, p. 704.


  • Margolian, Howard (1998). Conduct Unbecoming: The Story of the Murder of Canadian Prisoners of War in Normandy. Toronto: University of Toronto Press. ISBN 978-0802083609. 
  • Scherzer, Veit (2007). Die Ritterkreuzträger 1939–1945 Die Inhaber des Ritterkreuzes des Eisernen Kreuzes 1939 von Heer, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, Waffen-SS, Volkssturm sowie mit Deutschland verbündeter Streitkräfte nach den Unterlagen des Bundesarchives [The Knight's Cross Bearers 1939–1945 According to the Documents of the Federal Archives] (in German). Jena, Germany: Scherzers Militaer-Verlag. ISBN 978-3-938845-17-2. 
  • Ward, Richard, ed. (2015). A Global History of Execution and the Criminal Corpse. New York: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-1-137-44399-1.