Stärfl Franz, alias Xaver Stärfel, alias Franz Stofel, born 05-10-1915 in Hamburg, joined the NSDAP in 1934 with the 19th Infantry Regiment From October 1934 to 1935 he served in the Reichswehr, but he decided a greater opportunity to be a professional soldier was to be found in the SS , which he joined in April 1936. As a result, became assigned to the SS-Totenkopfverbände (SS-TV) at Dachau concentration camp. From March 1939 to January 1944 Stärfl headed small work details in the warehouse area of Dachau. In mid-January 1944 he transferred to the Mittelbau-Dora concentration camp complex, and from August 1944 served as Kommandoführer (Detachment Commander) for the construction of a satellite camp in Kleinbodungen. From 03-10-1944 to early April 1945 he was leader of the Kleinbodungen subcamp. It consisted of about 620 foreign prisoners forced to work in the Mittelwerk, a missile construction facility for the V-2 missile.
Near the end of the war, as the United States 9th Army under command of Lieutenant-General William “Bill” Hood approached Mittelbau-Dora, Stärfl was ordered by SS-Obersturmführer Franz Hössler to evacuate Kleinbodungen on 04-04-1945. was Franz Hössler was executed by hanging at Hameln Prison in 13-12-1945, age 39. The next day, 610 prisoners were led outside the camp by Stärfels, his deputy SS-Oberscharführer Wilhelm Dörr, and 45 SS-men to the nearest town of Herzberg to be “evacuated” by rail. Stärfl forced the prisoners on a death march to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.In Bergen Belsen. Anne Frank and her sister Margot died a few weeks before the end of the war. By 10-04-1945, after some prisoners had managed to escape, the evacuation transport came to the village of Groß Hehlen north of Celle, near the front lines. Four or five prisoners were shot while trying to escape or slow down the march. On 11-04-1945, the remaining 590 prisoners arrived at Bergen-Belsen.
Death and burial ground of Stärfl Franz, alias Xaver Stärfel, alias Franz Stofel
On 15-04-1945, the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp was liberated by British troops, where they found 60,000 survivors and 10,000 dead bodies. The SS camp personnel were detained and forced to carry away all the corpses and bury them in mass graves.
Stärfl was then arrested by British military personnel and interrogated. In the Belsen Trial, held between 17 September and 17-11-1945, he was indicted for the murders of prisoners during the death march. Stärfl was convicted on 17-11-1945, age 30 and sentenced to death, with also Wilhel Dörr
. Stärfl Franz was hanged on 13-12-1945 in Hameln prison. His executioner was also Albert Pierremont,
aided by an assistant. The British judge, Major General Horatio Pettus Mackintosh Berney-Ficklin who feared German martyrdom, ordered that Dorothea and the other hanged were buried in the Hamelin prison yard. Berney-Ficklin died age 68 on 17-02-1961 in Cape Town. In 1954 The bodies are then reburied in holy ground at Am Wehl Cemetery. The graveyard had graves with crosses but after many discussions about the Neo Nazi visits, on 05-03-1986 all 200 Iron Crosses were removed and the graveside is now a grass field.