Memorial Woeste Hoeve (Apeldoorn-Arnhem)
On the night of March 6, a BMW
car, carrying the SS General Hans Albin Rauter,
was ambushed, his driver and orderly being killed. Rauter was seriously wounded.
Some hours later, the damaged car was found by German troops and Rauter,
was taken to the St.Joseph-Stichting hospital on the outskirts of Apeldoorn,
where he recovered after a series of blood transfusions.
Soon after the ambush, the SD arrived and what followed,
was one of the most notorious war crimes ever committed in Holland.
In charge of the investigation was SS Brigadefuhrer Dr.Eberhardt Schongarth,
who immediately ordered reprisals.
One hundred and sixteen men were rounded up and transported to the scene of the ambush,
where they were all shot dead, their bodies being buried in a mass grave in Heidehof Cemetery,
in the village of Ugchelen
In Gestapo prisons all over Holland, prisoners were taken out and shot in reprisal for the ambush.
In all, a total of 263 people had been shot in reprisal.
The irony was, that the Dutch underground fighters had intended to ambush and steal a German lorry,
and had no idea that the car they shot up contained a German General. Rauter himself survived the war.
He was arrested by British Military Police in a hospital at Eutin and turned over to the Dutch.
Before a Special Court of Justice in the Hague,
he was sentenced to death and on March 25, 1949,
he was executed by firing squad in the dunes near Scheveningen Prison.
Schongarth was tried by a British Military Court, found guilty on another war crime charge and sentenced to death.
He was hanged in 1946.
© The Hins 1999 - 2002