Landsberg Prison is a penal facility located in the town of Landsberg in the southwest of the German state of Bavaria, about 65 kilometres (40 mi) west of Munich and 35 kilometres (22 mi) south of Augsburg.
The prison was used by Allied power during the occupation of Germany for holding Nazi War Criminals. In 1946 General Joseph Taggart McNarney , Commander in Chief, U.S. Forces of Occupation in Germany renamed Landsberg: War Criminal Prison Nr. 1. The Americans closed the war crimes facility in 1958. Control of the prison was then handed over to the Federal Republic of Germany. Landsberg is now maintained by the Prison Service of the Bavarian Ministry of Justice. General McNarney died age 78 on 01-02-1972 in La Jolla, California.
Landsberg prison, which is in the town’s western outskirts, was completed in 1910. The facility was designed with an Art Nouveau frontage by Hugo Höfl. Within its wall, the four brick-built cell blocks were constructed in a cross-shape orientation. This allowed guards to watch all wings simultaneously from a central location, based on the Panopticon style.
In 1924 Adolf Hitler spent 264 days incarcerated in Landsberg after being convicted of treason following the Beer Hall Putsch in Munich the previous year. During his imprisonment, Hitler dictated and then wrote his book Mein Kampf with assistance from his deputy Rudolf Hess. with this typewritter.
During the occupation of Germany by the Allies after World War II, the US Army designated the prison as War Criminal Prison No. 1 to hold convicted Nazi war criminals. It was run and guarded by personnel from the United States Military Police, MP.
The first condemned prisoners arrived at Landsberg prison in December 1945. These war criminals had been sentenced to death for crimes against humanity at the Dachau Trials which had begun a month earlier.
Between 1945 and 1946, the prison housed a total of 110 prisoners convicted at the Nuremberg Trials, a further 1416 war criminals from the Dachau trials and 18 prisoners convicted in the Shanghai trials. These were military tribunals conducted by the American forces in Japan between August 1946 and January 1947 to prosecute 23 German officials who had continued to assist the Japanese military in Shanghai after the surrender of Nazi Germany.
In five and half years, Landsberg prison was the place of execution of nearly 300 condemned war criminals. 259 death sentences were conducted by hanging and 29 by firing squad. Executions were carried out expeditiously. In May 1946 twenty eight former SS guards from Dachau were hanged within a four-day period. Bodies that were not claimed were buried in graves in the cemetery next to the Spöttingen chapel. One of them was Oswald Pohl, SS Obergruppenführer and Chef des SS Wirtschaftsamt.