Death of Globocnik
Globocnik's Body - with Hofle and Michalsen May 1945
4 January 1964
Dear Mr Dobson,
I attach a statement which should clear this affair up once and for all.
The retranslation of my letter of the 16th of January 1949 is of course erroneous as in it, I stated that Globocnik committed suicide (not attempted suicide).
If you require to get in touch with then Captain Wheeler he is now Lieutenant Colonel G.P.M.C Wheeler, Royal Scots Greys and is commanding the Royal Scots Greys in B.A.O.R.
If, any further corroboration is required I imagine reference to the 4th Hussars War Diary will provide the necessary information.
Statement By W. K. Hedley
When the war ended the 4th Queen’s Own Hussars were ordered to move to Paternion in the Drau Valley. The officers were quartered in the Castle at Paternion with the lock-
As the only officer who spoke German reasonably fluently I was detailed to deal with all matters which could affect the local population. This assignment sounded rather drab, but, became more exciting when it became apparent that Dr Friedrich Rainer, the Gauleiter was hiding in the neighbouring mountains and was thought to be the figurehead around whom a Werewolf Resistance Group was forming.
In the course of my duties I arrested a number of SS officers and lodged them in a local lock-
This was to the effect that SS-
A party of troops was organised and was accompanied by a number of special service officers of the parachute regiment who were attending the party in the officer’s mess. The hut was surrounded (after an arduous climb) shortly before 4 a.m, 31st May. It was locked and after both doors had eventually been opened a number of men and women were hustled out of the rather dim interior. Some were rather reluctant “to get a move on” and were encouraged with a kick in the pants.
One of them said in German “Don’t treat me like that I am the Gauleiter.” Rainer was known to have a duelling scar on his cheek and was easily identified from this and his circulated description. His presence tended to distract attention from the others in the hut, approximately seven men and three women. After a preliminary search of the building I decided to escort Rainer to Paternion and arrange for more vehicles to go to the bottom of the mountain as our bag had greatly exceeded expectations. I handed over to Major Ramsay of the Parachute Regiment, a fluent German speaker.
During the search Rainer was found to have a metal phial containing a suicide capsule as issued to all senior members of the Nazi hierarchy. Little attention was, at the time, attached to a similar empty phial found on the floor of one of the rooms.
Rainer was lodged in the local lock-
The informer insisted he was Globocnik. Major Ramsay and I decided that he (Ramsey) should sharply shout out the name Globocnik while I watched the captive’s reaction very closely. Then the name was called Globocnik’s step never falted, but his head moved fractionally. I shouted to him (in German)
You have given yourself away, you moved your head very slightly, and ordered Sowler to add him to the gang in the lock-
Captain M.M. Leigh RAMC, the Regimental Medical Officer, was quickly on the scene and he gave Globocnik two inoculations in the arm and one in the heart, but to no avail. As soon as they saw his corpse Lerch, Hofle, Michaelsen and Helletsberger who had denied their identities admitted who they were and identified the corpse as their former commanding officer Globocnik. Rainer also identified the corpse as Globocnik.
Globocnik was subsequently buried by the regimental police in the presence of Captain G.P.M.C. Wheeler.
I have tried to trace a number of photographs I have both of the corpse and the other prisoners but they are in a trunk, and I have not been able to find them -
National Archives Kew – FO 371/ 179969
Photograph – Chris Webb Archive
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