DESCRIPTIONS of persons wanted for Interview in connection with the Court of Inquiry :

Description of Stabsfeldwebel Hermann Vieseler,

Organization: 744th Grenadier Regiment, 711 Infantry division, or the 'Standartenkommandantur', FPN 42171
Age: About 35
Height: 1.82 or 1.80 or 1.70m ("very tall")  [about 6 ft tall]
Build: Thin 60-70kg Thin 70Kg   [9½ to 11 stone]
Hair: Dark or Dark Blond / Light Brown
Complexion: Dark
Eyes: Dark Green
Characteristics: Had a "Chinese look" about the eyes.
Gold Teeth
Semi-circular or horizontal scar beginning about 1cm above and to the left of nose and extending to opposite outer point of eye; also an oblique scar beginning opposite left bridge of nose and extending about 1cm or longer toward left cheek bone. Limped "had an awkward walk".

Description of Wilhelm Nieburg

Unit: 744th Grenadier Regiment, 711 Infantry division, or the 'Standartenkommandantur', FPN 42171
Age: "About 38"
Height: 1.70m to 1.75m [5ft 7in to 5ft 9in]
Hair: Blond, "nearly red"
Eyes: Blue
Scars: A horizontal scar about one inch long immediately below lower lip

Description of "Corporal Fritz"

Unit: 744th Grenadier Regiment, 711 Infantry division, or the 'Standartenkommandantur', FPN 42171
Age: "About 33"
Height: 1.70m; "fat"    [5ft 7in]
Weight: 85kg; "he was big" [13+ stone]
Hair: Blond, "nearly red".

Description of "Corporal Ricard"

Unit: 744th Grenadier Regiment, 711 Infantry division, or the 'Standartenkommandantur', FPN 42171
Age: "About 29"
Height: 1.70-1.75m   [5ft 7in to 5ft 9in]
Weight: 70-75kg   [11 to 12 stone]
Hair: Bond; very fair
Eyes: Blue
Scars: Vertical scar on left side of chin

Description of George Koureck

Unit: HQ Detachment, 744 Grenadier Regiment, employed as cook. Polish nationality.
Height: 1.60m to 1.62m  [5ft 3in to 5ft 4in]
Weight: Approx 65-70 kilos  [10 to 11 stone]
Figure: Heavy
Hair: Fair
Eyes: Blue
Complexion: Pinkish, very livid skin
Nose: Hooked
Civilian occupation: Pork Butcher and/or cook.



United Nations War Crimes Commission- dated 7 August 1945
United Kingdom charges against German War Criminals Charge No.UK-G/B 186


Name of Accused: Hermann Vieseler, Stabsfeldwebel, 744th Grenadier Regiment, 711 Infantry Division or the Standartenkommandantur FPN 42171

Date and Place of Commission of alleged crime: 6th June 1944 Château de Grangues, near Dives-Sur-Mer, Calvados, France.

Number and description of crime in war crimes list: No.1 Murder

References to relevant provisions of national law: Breach of the law and usages of war.

Short statement of facts:
On 6th June 1944 a party of eight British Airborne troops were taken prisoner. The accused, for reasons stated by him that the eight prisoners had not surrendered all their arms, shot and killed them.

Particulars of Alleged Crime:
1. Early in 1944 a German detachment of the 744th Grenadier Regiment bivouaced in the ground of the Château
de Grangues and remained in this position until June 1944. The field post number of these German troops at this time was 42171

2. On the night of 5/6 June 1944 British airborne troops landed in the vicinity of Dives-Sur-Mer.

3. At about 0200 hours on the 5th June 1944 a French Civilian named MRB saw eight British soldiers in the grounds of the Château
 de Grangues. The soldiers were in uniform, unarmed and unresisting and under the control of an armed German guard.

4. At about 0235 hours on the 6th June 1944 a French civilian named CRN was told by the accused who commanded the German detachment that he had taken eight prisoners.

5. At about 0800 hours on the 6th June 1944 the said Frenchman MRB was told by the accused that he, the accused, shot the prisoners, and the accused indicated to MRB where the shooting occured and said that the reason therefore was that after the prisoners had said they had disarmed themselves, arms were found upon them.

6. At about 1200 hours on the 6th June 1944 the accused told the said Frenchman CRN that he, the accused, had shot the prisoners, given the same reason as above mentioned.

7. At about 1500 hours on the 6th June 1944 the accused told a French civilian named MET that he, the accused, had shot the prisoners at 0600 hours that morning and he further stated the position where the shooting had occured and he repeated to Witness MET the same reason for the shooting.

8. Later on 6th June 1944 a helmet, certain belongings and a pool of blood were found by witnesses MET and MRB in the vicinity of the place described by CRN and MET as that where the accused had stated that one of the prisoners had attempted to escape and had been shot.

9. On 8th /9th March 1945 Captain Robert Rankin exhumed, examined and identified among other things, eight bodies from the grave described by the said French civilians as that in which the accused had indicated he had buried his prisoners when shot.



Notes on the case:
The accused freely admitted, it might also be said boasted, to the witnesses that he had shot or caused to be shot the eight British prisoners of war in circumstances which can afford no justification.

It is clear that the offence was committed on the accused's own initiative, no probable defence is disclosed, and the case would appear to be complete.


George [or the Polish spelling 'Jerzy'] Koureck reportedly surrendered to the Allies on 21 Aug 1944 at Forge Moisy. It is unknown what became of him after that date or whether he was ever interviewed in relation to the case. His POW files are probably held in Switzerland with the Red Cross and may one day be digitised and available to glean more information.

Hermann Vieseler has a very unusual surname. There are no accounts that I have found of his existance under that name.
However perhaps something has been lost in translation.
The German pronunciation of the surname Wieseler would be 'Vieseler', and the French language does not have the 'w' character in its alphabet. All the witnesses that reported his identity were native French speakers.

According to a 2006 Nordhausen publication by Reinhard Glaß "Die Opfer des Zweiten Weltkrieges (1939–1945) und alliierter Besatzung (1945–1949)" [The Victims of WW2 (1939-1945 and Allied  Occupation  (1945-1949)], on page 44 , item no. 151: a Hermann Wieseler, of the same rank: Stabsfeldwebel, of the right age: born 14 Aug 1909 in Niedersachswerfen; was reported last seen 11th September 1944 at the Dutch port of Breskens. His last recorded place of residence was Nordhausen.
'Officially' he is classed as Missing in Action.

The Court of Inquiry was held in March 1945, seven months after his unit's last known position at a farm south east of Grangues, and six months after Stabsfeldwebel Hermann Wieseler was reported as last seen.
This could be purely coincidental, but on balance of evidence, the Hermann Wieseler mentioned in the book, must be a very strong candidate for the missing Stabsfeldwebel Herman Vieseler incharge of Kavalleriepferd (cavalry horses), for Kompanie 9 (9th company), Grenadier-Regiment 744 at Grangue.

Was he killed in Holland or did he evade and return to the equestrian business after the war, or take up some other occupation? That will be for someone else to investigate at some future date. At any rate, he was not brought to account for the massacre at Grangues and was the only member of the unit mentioned in the enquiry, found guilty of the War Crime.


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