Michael Lippert

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Michael Lippert
Born (1897-04-24)24 April 1897
Died 1 September 1969(1969-09-01) (aged 72)
Allegiance  German Empire
 Weimar Republic
 Nazi Germany
Service/branch Flag of the Schutzstaffel.svg Waffen-SS
Rank Standartenführer
Commands held SS-Freiwilligen Legion Flandern
SS Division Frundsberg
Battles/wars World War II

Michael Lippert (24 April 1897 – 1 September 1969) was a mid-level member in the Waffen-SS of Nazi Germany during World War II. He commanded several concentration camps, including Sachsenhausen, before becoming a commander of the SS-Freiwilligen Legion Flandern and the SS Division Frundsberg. He is known for murdering SA leader Ernst Röhm on 1 July 1934.

Career in the SS[edit]

Lippert joined the Nazi Party (number - 246,989) In June 1930 and the SS (number - 2,968) in March 1931. He became the adjutant for Theodor Eicke, then commandant of Dachau concentration camp in 1933.[citation needed]

Execution of Ernst Röhm[edit]

Ernst Röhm (right) with Kurt Daluege (left) and Heinrich Himmler (behind them), August 1933.

On 1 July 1934, just after the Night of the Long Knives, Hitler gave the order that the imprisoned Ernst Röhm was to be murdered. Himmler communicated Hitler's order to Eicke, ordering that Röhm be shot, and that he first be offered the chance to commit suicide. Accompanied by Lippert, and SS-Gruppenführer Ernst-Heinrich Schmauser, Eicke travelled to Stadelheim Prison in Munich where Röhm was being held.

After telling Röhm that he had forfeited his life and that Hitler had given him a last chance to avoid the consequences, Eicke laid a pistol on a table in Röhm's cell and told him that he had 10 minutes in which to use the weapon to kill himself. Eicke, Lippert and Schmauser left and waited in the corridor for 15 minutes, during which time no shot was heard. Finally Eicke and Lippert drew their pistols and re-entered Röhm's cell. Both fired at the same time, and Röhm fell to the floor. One of the two then crossed to Röhm and administered a coup-de-grace, firing a bullet through Röhm's heart at point-blank range.[1][2]

Postwar criminal conviction[edit]

In 1956, the Munich authorities began an investigation into the Night of the Long Knives and in August arrested Lippert and Sepp Dietrich for their part in it. They were bailed, and the trial itself did not commence until 6 May 1957. They were represented by the lawyer Dr. Alfred Seidl who had defended Rudolf Hess at the Nuremberg Trials. Lippert and Dietrich were charged with manslaughter, in Lippert's case for the death of Röhm. Lippert asserted that he had remained outside Röhm's cell, and only Theodor Eicke had gone in. On 10 May the case was summed-up and the prosecutor demanded a two-year sentence for Lippert. On 14 May the President of the Court found both Lippert and Dietrich guilty and sentenced both men to 18 months. He described Lippert as "filled with a dangerous and unrepentant fanaticism".[3]

Lippert died on 1 September 1969.

Summary of SS career[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Stein, George (1984). The Waffen-SS: Hitler's Elite Guard at War 1939–1945. Cornell University Press. p. 8. ISBN 978-0-8014-9275-4. 
  2. ^ Sydnor, Charles W. (1990). Soldiers of Destruction: The SS Death's Head Division, 1933-1945. Princeton University Press. pp. 16–17. ISBN 978-0-691-00853-0. 
  3. ^ Messenger, Charles (2005). Hitler's Gladiator: The Life and Wars of Panzer Army Commander Sepp Dietrich. Conway. pp. 204–205. ISBN 978-1-84486-022-7.