Franz Strasser

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Franz Strasser
Karl Morgenschweis prays for Franz Strasser.jpg
Father Karl Morgenschweis prays for Franz Strasser seconds before his execution.
Born 1899
Died 2 January 1946 (aged 46)
Landsberg Prison, Landsberg am Lech, Bavaria, Germany
Occupation Former NSDAP Kreisleiter and convict
Criminal penalty Death
Criminal status Executed by hanging
Spouse(s) Unnamed wife
Children 3
Conviction(s) Murder

Franz Strasser (1899[1] – 2 January 1946) was an Austrian-German former NSDAP Kreisleiter and convicted murderer.


In December 1944, in Kaplitz, Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic), Franz Strasser killed two American allied airmen by shooting them with a Thompson submachine gun. They were members of a group of five[2] who stayed with pilot Warren Woodruff [3] when he landed their plane in a field. They had voluntarily surrendered and were taken away in a truck. A Captain Lindemeyer, who later committed suicide, reportedly killed the other three, and the court verdict suggests that the killings were originally Lindemeyer's idea.[4][5]

Trial and execution[edit]

On 24 August 1945, Strasser was tried, with someone translating for him.[6] He was found guilty and was sentenced to execution by hanging at Landsberg Prison. On 2 January 1946, he was hanged and died instantly as German Catholic priest and longtime hospital chaplain Karl Morgenschweis prayed for the convicted murderer.[7][8]


  1. ^ Find a Grave
  2. ^ the Air men were of the 20th Bomb Squadron
  3. ^ Jack R. Myers Shot At And Missed: Recollections Of A World War II Bombardier 2005 -- Page 299 "The co-pilot, 1st Lt. Donald L. Hart, and three other crewmem- bers, 2nd Lt. George Mayott, the radar operator, and two of the gunners, Technical Sgt. Frank Pinto and Staff Sgt. Joseph Cox, remained in the plane with Warren."
  4. ^ United States v. Franz Strasser, an Austrian national, Case No. 8-27, 14 October 1945 at Jewish Virtual Library (pdf)
  5. ^ Jack R. Myers Shot At And Missed: Recollections Of A World War II Bombardier 2005 -- Page 299 "In the rear with the five captured Americans were Franz Strasser, a local Nazi official, and Capt. Karl Lindemeyer, the chief of police of Kaplice. The group was driving toward Kaplice and was ten miles down the road when Strasser ordered the ..."
  7. ^ Nazi war criminal sentenced
  8. ^ Pictorial History of the Second World War: A year of victory - Page 2152 "A Nazi is hanged for killing American fliers December 10, 1945 ONE FOR TWO. Franz Strasser, former Nazi official, is strung up for killing two American fliers who were forced down in Germany during the war. "