Gräwe, Ernst

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Gräwe, Ernst, born 01-10-1914 in Unna, Nordrhein-Westfalen as the son of a wealthy family. His parents had a fur trade. Ernst was well educated and was a talented accordionist.
Ernst had a younger brother and a sister. He was married with Hildegard Bernhardine Latta. The couple had one child, a son named Udo.  Ironically enough Udo died from pneumonia on 09-04-1945 a day before his father. After World War II, on May 02-05-1952, she married Heinz Neuhaus. Heinz Neuhaus. They had two children, a son and a daughter. Hildegard and Heinz divorced in 1965. The loss of her first born child and the circumstances of her first husband’s death followed Hildegard her whole life and lead to emotional and mental issues, she suffered from until her death in 1981. She died in Neheim-Hüsten and was buried there in the Friedhof Rumbecker Holz.

In the night of 7 to 8 March 1945 Hanns Albin Rauter    the head of the SS in the Netherlands was severely wounded by an attack staged by the Dutch resistance at “Woeste Hoeve” on the Veluwe, a little village between Arnhem and Apeldoorn. SS Brigadeführer Karl Eberhard Schöngarth   who was a war criminal who perpetrated mass murder and genocide in occupied Poland during the Holocaust, took over Rauter’s tasks and was generally held responsible for the execution of the culprits. As a reprisal the Germans executed 117 political prisoners at the location of the attack as well as 50 prisoners in Kamp Amersfoort  and 40 prisoners each in The Hague and Rotterdam.

One German soldier a medical man, the 30 years old Ernst Gräwe, a medic of the 1st Fallschirmjäger Regiment , refused to shoot civilians and removed his helmet as a symbolic gesture and joined together with the condemned. He was immediately shot in the head by the German Commander at the spot behind a wall. The other designated Germans for the execution carried out their assignments. Less than 45 minutes after the executions, the first Canadian liberators arrived in Deventer.

Ernst Gräwe, a great hero, was first buried on the Algemene cemetery in Diepenveen. He was reburied 25-03-1949 on Ysselsteyn German War Cemetery in plot BP.

The described event is also known as the “Twentol drama”.

After the war Hanns Albin Rauter was handed over to the Dutch government by the British and was tried by a special court in The Haque. Rauter denied committing war crimes but the court found him guilty and sentenced him to death. The death sentence was confirmed by a higher court on 12-01-1949 and he was executed by firing squad near Scheveningen on 24-03-1949, age 54.

Karl Schöngarth was executed by Albert Pierremont   on 16-05-1946, age 43 at Hameln Prison.

Almelo General Cemetery contains several Dutch war graves. Of these, one is of Lubbert Sijmen Eenkhoorn, age 47. On 08-03-1945 he was executed at Woeste Hoeve, as retaliation for the attack on Rauter.

 Another one was Tedo Hartlief Born 21-10-1910 in Appingedam 08-03-1945, age 34, executed to Woeste Hoeve Apeldoorn 1st Officer and member of the Resistance   

A memorial in Deventer was erected in memory of the drama and a plaque on it also bears Ernst Gräwe’s name. Part of the text and Gräwe’s  photo are from www.findagrave.com

 

 

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