Gerhard Sommer (SS member)

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Gerhard Sommer (born June 24, 1921 in Hamburg ) is a former German SS-Untersturmführer of the 16th SS Panzer Grenadier Division "Reichsführer SS" , who was involved in a massacre in the Italian village of Sant'Anna di Stazzema . He and nine other Waffen SS officers were sentenced to life imprisonment in Italy for their war crimes committed during World War II .

Early life

After his twelfth birthday, Sommer joined the Hitler Youth in July 1933 and achieved the rank of young platoon leader in the German Young People . On September 1, 1939, at the age of 18, he was accepted into the NSDAP ( membership number 7.111.565) and then accepted into the Waffen SS (SS number 474.378) as a simple soldier on October 23 of the same year .


In the SS division " Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler " he was deployed on the fronts in the West, in the Balkans and in the Ukraine. There he was wounded twice and received the Iron Cross 2nd class. In November 1942 he resigned from the Evangelical Church. In 1943 he applied to be an SS reserve leader. After training in Proschnitz , he was promoted to SS-Untersturmführer on January 30, 1944. First as platoon leader, then as company commander, he belonged to the 7th Company of the 2nd Battalion / SS Panzer Grenadier Regiment 35 of the 16th SS Panzer Grenadier Division "Reichsführer SS" . This battalion was responsible for the Sant'Anna di Stazzema massacre , which killed around 560 civilians. On August 19, 1944, he received the Iron Cross 1st Class. At the end of the war he was a member of the 23rd SS Volunteer Panzer Grenadier Division "Nederland" .

Late legal work-up

Judgment in Italy

On June 22, 2005, Sommer, along with nine other defendants , was convicted by an Italian military court in La Spezia of "continued murder with particular cruelty" of residents of the mountain village of Sant'Anna di Stazzema and sentenced to life imprisonment and compensation payments. In addition to Sommer, Werner Bruß , Karl Gropler , Alfred Schöneberg , Heinrich Schendel , Ludwig Heinrich Sonntag , Georg Rauch , Ludwig Göring and Alfred Mathias Concina were convicted . Sommer was the highest-ranking Waffen SS officer convicted and never admitted his guilt.

Several convicts appealed, but the verdict was upheld by a military court in Rome in 2006. On November 8, 2007, the Italian Court of Cassation in Rome upheld Gerhard Sommer's life sentence.

Investigations in Germany

Investigations began in Germany in 2002, but no charges were brought. The proceedings were discontinued at the end of September 2012. On August 5, 2014, the higher regional court (OLG) Karlsruhe overturned the decision of the Stuttgart public prosecutor to dismiss in the Sommers case. This enabled the Hamburg public prosecutor's office to bring charges against Sommer. In May 2015, she closed the investigation because the accused would "have a high probability of being charged with gruesome and low-motivation murder in 342 cases", but he is permanently incapable of standing due to profound dementia.

Life after the world war

Sommer ran the business of his father's machine export company with his stepbrother for 40 years, started a family and has three children. In 2006, 70 people demonstrated the stazzema in front of his old people's home as part of a nationwide day of action on the Sant'Anna massacre. Currently ( as of August 8, 2019) he lives in a retirement home in Hamburg, called "summer residence".

See also

Web links


  1. Jan Haarmeyer: Is a hamburger partly responsible for a Nazi massacre? August 12, 2014, accessed on August 21, 2019 (German).
  2. ^ Carlo Gentile: Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS in Partisan War: Italy 1943–1945. Schöningh, Paderborn 2012, ISBN 978-3-506-76520-8 . P. 279
  3. ^ Tribunale Militare di La Spezia, judgment in the proceedings against Gerhard Sommer et al., La Spezia, June 22, 2005; Federal Archives, SSO card, fee card, Sommer Gerhard, June 24, 1921; John P. Moore, List of Waffen SS leaders, see below Sommer Gerhard, June 24, 1921.
  4. The massacre of Sant'Anna di Stazzema on August 12, 1944 - material collection 1 for a nationwide campaign to bring charges in Germany May 2006, pp. 12-14 / 17-19 / 23-24 / 30-34, (PDF 880 KB )
  5. Lars Reissmann: Conviction for the SS massacre in Sant'Anna di Stazzema confirmed  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. . Local reports Hamburg, Volume 17, No. 24, November 23, 2006, p. 8, (PDF 553 KB)@1@ 2Template: Dead Link /  
  6. Court of Cassation confirms life imprisonment for three Nazi criminals  ( page no longer available , search in web archivesInfo: The link was automatically marked as defective. Please check the link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Dead Link /   Yahoo News November 8, 2007
  7. ^ Nazi war crimes: SS massacre proceedings in Italy discontinued . October 1, 2012.
  8. ↑ The massacre of Sant 'Anna, the court finds sufficient suspicion against former SS men. In: Spiegel Online. August 5, 2014, accessed August 5, 2014 .
  9. ^ Report of the Hamburger Abendblatt dated August 5, 2014. . Accessed August 7, 2014
  10. Nana Frombach: Public Prosecutor closes investigations against alleged Nazi war criminals. May 28, 2015, accessed May 29, 2015 .
  11. a b Per Hinrichs: The unpunished mass murder of an SS officer . from June 7, 2015, on Die Welt . Retrieved October 4, 2019
  12. Peter Verdi. HH-Volksdorf: Demo against SS murderers , May 8, 2006, on indymedia. Retrieved October 4, 2019
  13. The unpunished massacre of Sant'Anna di Stazzema , August 8, 2019, on Hamburger Abendblatt . Retrieved October 4, 2019