Germany - Gruber Farm Murders, Waidhofen, Bavaria, 31 March 1922

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by Mischa, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. Mischa

    Mischa New Member

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    Hi there :)



    I decided to open a threat for a hideous and mysterious crime which was committed 85 years ago. Unfortunately there is no coverage of this case written in English available on the World Wide Web. (Except for a short article at wikipedia).



    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hinterkaifeck



    But I thought you might enjoy this as a reading on a dark and cold winter’s eve.
     
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  3. Mischa

    Mischa New Member

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    Hinterkaifeck was the name of a small and lonely Farm situated between the Cities Ingolstadt and Schrobenhausen about 70 kilometres north of Munich.

    In 1922 the whole farmer family and a female farmhand were found murdered, It was ascertained that all victims were dead for about 4 days when they were found. That meant the killer(s?) had stayed on the farm for several days and fed the animals (cows, swine, and a dog) and milked the cows.



    Neighbours told LE that Andreas Gruber, the farmer, had told them, that he found footsteps in the snow which led from the woods to the farm but not back. One neighbour offered Gruber a revolver, but he declined.

    Andreas Gruber had a very bad reputation. He was called greedy and avaricious. And it was well known that he had an incestuous relationship to his grown daughter Viktoria Gabriel.

    Viktoria was widowed. Her husband was killed in the First World War. She had two children Caecilia (7 years old in 1922) and Joseph (2). Little Joseph was rumoured to be the fruit of the

    incestuous relationship. Both Viktoria and her father were send to prison for incest.

    The farmhand named Maria Baumgartner had arrived on the farm just the evening before the murder took place.



    In the night from March, 31 to April, 1 Andreas Gruber, his wife Caecilia, Viktoria and little Caecilia were obviously lured one by one in the stable and killed with a hoe. Maria was found killed in her room, little Joseph was dead in his bassinet.

    Autopsy showed later on that little Caecilia was alive hours after she was badly injured. Laying in the straw next the bodies of her grandfather and her mother she tore out her hair in tufts while dying.

    In the days following the murder several people came to the farm for professional causes. They executed their orders and left without thinking much about no one being around. The postman came and delivered mail and newspapers, leaving it on the windowsill after no one answered his calling. A mechanic for whom Andreas Gruber had called came and repaired a motor in the barn.



    On April, 4 three neighbours came to the farm and discovered the bodies. They send a boy on a bicycle to the mayor of Wangen, (a village about 1 kilometre south-east) to asked him to call the police in Munich. By the time LE arrived (it was quite a journey then) dozens of onlookers where on the farm. The neighbours who had found the bodies, had fed the animals, moved the bodies (Although they were hidden under straw and an old door, when discovered) and one of the neighbours allegedly even had a snack in the kitchen. After that of course there was not much of securing of evidence anymore.

    On April, 5 the autopsy was performed in the barn. The doctor removed the heads from the bodies. LE took them later to some psychics in Nuremberg. Obviously they were badly in need of a clue.



    While the villagers nearly in hysterics roamed the forests and fields with axes and pitchforks looking for vagabonds and strangers, the inquiry stagnated. Georg Reingruber, the inspector from Munich, who directed the inquiry, found out quite soon about the incestuous relationship but there were few other clues. It couldn’t be asserted whether money was stolen from the farm. Although there was very little paper money, a casket with quite huge amount of money in coins was found in a cupboard.

    (One German website I found stated that the killers must have robbed a lot of paper money. But this was the time of the inflation after the First World War (Although the really bad inflation-time started not before the murder of Walter Rathenau in June 1922), and I don’t think that a character like Andreas Gruber did have much trust in paper money.)



    The police made immense efforts to investigate the crime. Although they were heavily overloaded with work, because of numerous political murders committed by the early Nazis and the Communists at this time. Over 100 suspects and witnesses were questioned, but there were also a few omissions. So was the mechanic who came to repair the motor not questioned until 10 years after the crime. Investigations went on – with intermissions of course – until 1986, when the last questioning took place. Even in 1999 an old woman came forward with a story told to her by her former landlord around 1935, which could offer a clue to what happened. And until nowadays a retired police officer named Konrad Müller investigates the case privately. He announced a book for 2007, but it wasn’t published yet.



    There were lots of rumours (of course) about the case which resulted in 3 main theories.




    • The murders of Hinterkaifeck were just another case of political murder committed by the early Nazis or another party from the far right spectrum. These kind of murders were called “Fememorde” to distinct them from other political murders. “Fememord” meant a political organisation condemned and killed one of its members (or an external confidant) for treason or embezzlement. Hinterkaifeck being quite a lonely place would have been ideal for an arsenal or as a hiding place. And the few things known about Andreas Gruber make it quite possible, that he was a man capable of treason and other crimes (especially if some monetary advantage could be taken out of it) and that he shared the political opinions of the Nazis.


    • The second theory concentrates on the fate of Karl Gabriel the husband of Viktoria who was allegedly killed in action in 1914. His body was never found and there were rumours, that he wasn’t killed at all but took a new identity and came back to kill the whole family as revenge for the incestuous relationship between his wife and his father in law. Over the years several men were questioned, because they were suspected to be Karl Gabriel. After the Second World War some men who were in Russian captivity claimed that they recognised a communist commissar as Karl Gabriel. Even the old woman’s story from 1999 is a new version of the Karl-Gabriel-Tale. The landlord allegedly told her that he travelled back to front with Karl Gabriel after a brief stint with their families. Karl told his travel companion furiously “When I came home I found my wife pregnant although I wasn’t there for months. I would like to kill the whole family!” The landlord claimed Karl was still alive in 1918 and told him that and how he faked his own death.


    • A suspect who emerged quite early in the investigation was neighbour I only want to identify as L.S. L.S. was the official father of little Joseph, he was the neighbour who offered a revolver to Andreas Gruber. He was also among the neighbours who discovered the bodies, fed the animals and removed the corpses. (And he was the one who is said to have sat down in kitchen for a snack with the bodies of Maria and little Joseph in the next room.) For all that reasons he was suspected early on. But allegedly the mayor told the investigators that L.S. was an honest man with a very good reputation and not capable of such a hideous crime and so LE went on to look for a more appropriate suspect.

    The farm in Hinterkaifeck was torn down a year after the murders occurred. Nowadays there are only fields and a memorial stone for the victims.





    As mentioned above there no English-written resources on the murder of Hinterkaifeck on the World Wide Web. There are several sites in German language. Some of the links I include below. There are two books written by a Munich journalist named Peter Leuschner in 1979 and 1997 (The second book is an extension of the first.) I read them several years ago. But not having these books at hand right now I decided only to include in my story what I can remember clearly.





    http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Parthenon/6865/hi.html





    http://br5.de/land-und-leute/artikel/0501/27-hinterkaifeck/index.xml;jsessionid=MAM3LURZJOXBOCSBUKRSFEQ





    http://www.heindl-christian.homepage.t-online.de/60301.html?*session*id*key*=*session*id*val*
     
  4. Floh

    Floh Former Member

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    Thank you for posting up this case. i'll be sure to ask around.
     
  5. Stella

    Stella Member

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    Thanks for the translation into English. I ran across the Hinterkaifeck case on the web a couple of years ago and was frustrated because it was written only in German. It's a very interesting story, even if it never gets solved.
     
  6. FLMom

    FLMom Former Member

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    JMHO. . . . .

    In a little village everyone is into everyone else's business. If the father and daughter had already been jailed for incest, it was common knowledge.

    I think that the fact that the entire family was wiped out in the manner that they were points to someone deeply religious that "cleansed" the village of this family.

    There was money left in the house----"thou shalt not steal". The animals had been cared for----you can butcher a family but still take the time to make sure that the animals didn't perish? THAT shows someone with a skewed thought process. Farm animals were in a way "sacred", in that a family's food and livelihood depended upon them.

    The village would benefit because some family would get the livestock upon the death of the family. Of course you'd keep THEM alive, even if you bludgeoned the entire family beforehand.

    Randoms thoughts on a rainy Sunday afternoon,
    FLMom
     
  7. Richard

    Richard New Member

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    Fascinating case. It would be interesting to hear what "L.S." did later in life. For instance, did he have a future with the Nazi party? His actions before and immediately after the murders certainly would raise a few eyebrows of investigators today - no matter what the Burgomaster said about him.
     
  8. KarlK

    KarlK New Member

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    The dismal state of the German economy and political instability at the time may help explain why the police couldn't investigate this crime properly. They had very little resources, judging by the way the "autopsy" was performed:

    On April, 5 the autopsy was performed in the barn. Court physician Dr. Johann Baptist Aumüller beheaded the corpses. The skulls were sent to Munich, where they were examined by three clairvoyants without useful results.

    Sounds rather medieval, even in the 1920's autopsies in most European countries used far more advanced techniques and instruments than those that were likely used in that Bavarian barn, and I don't think clairvoyants were typically part of the protocol. I think things were done that way in Germany because the state had no budget for non-essential services or even essential ones come to think of it. Perhaps this helps to explain why this murder was never solved. I'm sure the police did all they could but unfortunately with so little allocated resources they couldn't do much. Even if the investigation was revived once the situation in Germany had improved loss of crucial evidence would have become a factor.
     
  9. pageantmom

    pageantmom New Member

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    This case is scary. But I wonder why the man sees footprints in the snow leading from the woods up to his house, but no footprints leading AWAY from his house...if that happened, it should have been obvious to him that whoever walked from the woods up to his house, NEVER LEFT.
    And then he hears footsteps up in his attic.
    So why did he stay at the house??
    If I saw footprints in the snow leading up to my house, but no footprints leading AWAY from the house, then it would be obvious to me that the person WAS STILL THERE.
    :hills:
     
  10. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    Germany was a center for mass and spree murder between 1910 and 1925 including the first school massacre that wasn't related to a war situation.
     
  11. carrie

    carrie New Member

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    Exactly, and you would certainly avail yourself of a revolver if one was offered and you had to stay at the the farm. This doesn't make sense which is why I wonder whether we know for sure who Gruber supposedly told about the footsteps and attic noises? It says neighbors - plural - but that L.S. was the one who offered the revolver. I'd like to know for sure but I cant read interviews, or anything else, in German. Was just thinking, though, that if L.S. is the only source for this about the footprints etc. he could have been making it up to throw investigators off of his trail. Just a thought.
     
  12. scriptgirl

    scriptgirl Active Member

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    this case is insane. If I found those footprints and heard noises in the attic, i would be gone the next day. I think the wife's hubby did it.
     
  13. PFF

    PFF New Member

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  14. LadyL

    LadyL Active Member

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    L.S. did it IMO.
     
  15. Donamena

    Donamena Former Member

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    Me too...FWIW..:moo:
     
  16. bluenailvarnish

    bluenailvarnish New Member

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    So I read about Hinterkaifeck about a week ago. I agreed it was a strange case and forgot about it.
    Last night I was reading this book about the life of a Nazi called Rudolf Hoss. (Harding, T, (2014) Hans and Rudolf, Windmill Books, London.) The book is essentially his biography.
    From 1918 to 1928, Rudolf was imprisoned for murder. The book details his time in there briefly, but there was something that caught my eye. This excerpt from the book describes an event during his say:

    ’When not reading in his cell he listened in on conversations between other prisoners. Rudolf remembered one conversation in which an inmate bragged of robbing a game wardens house and killing a servant with an axe, before murdering the game wardens wife and four children by smashing their heads against a wall…’’

    This immediately made me think of Hinterkaifeck, which occurred in 1922. The book doesn’t say whether the multiple killer was in prison for this crime or whether he was bragging that he HANDN’T been caught for it, and there are some discrepancies between the two crimes:
    It doesn’t say when he committed the alleged murder. It could have been before 1922.
    The criminal here says it was a robbery, but as we know, there was no money taken at Hinterkaifeck
    The robber was in prison near Berlin. Hinterkaifeck is near Munich
    The criminal says he smashed their heads against a wall. Hinterkaifeck it was a pick axe.
    BUT:
    The crime was committed around the time of the Hinterkaifeck murders. How many multiple, farm house murders could there have been in Germany around this time?
    Both crimes took place in a rural setting
    Both crimes included the killing of a maid/servant and an entire family
    Both crimes included murder by blunt force trauma to the head. Perhaps Rudolf remembered the anecdote wrong. Perhaps the murderer remembered the crime wrong.
    A robbery could have taken place which is not known about. Perhaps the victim carried money on them?
    In the Hinterkaifeck murder, gypsies or vagrants were suspected of the crime. Though Rudolf was imprisoned near Berlin, it’s possible the murderer travelled to the capital after Hinterkaifeck, where he was jailed for another crime.
    The prison he was staying at (Brandenburg) could still have police files, names of people who were inside. Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone else is as intrigued in this as me? I’ve never really been into detective stuff before, and didn’t know where to begin. I figured I’d try here first.
     
  17. CMac2

    CMac2 Active Member

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    bluenailvarnish, I think that's a great theory, worthy of pursuing. Not sure how one goes about doing that at this juncture, but it's as compelling as any other speculation I've heard as to who may have committed these crimes.
     
  18. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    ....some links

    http://www.defrostingcoldcases.com/case-month-hinterkaifeck/

    http://www.ghosttheory.com/2013/06/01/from-beyond-the-woods-the-hinterkaifeck-murders

    http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2014/09/the-mysterious-unsolved-murders-of-hinterkaifeck-farm/

    [video=youtube;yR207u1FYCs]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yR207u1FYCs[/video]

    Preliminary autopsies done on the bodies showed that all of the victims had been killed with blows to the head inflicted by a pickaxe. Viktoria’s body also showed signs of strangulation as well but it was not thought to be the cause of death. The perpetrator was guessed to be very familiar with the use of a pickaxe, since all of the wounds had been precise and confidently delivered, with only a single, decisive blow to the head evident on each corpse and no such wounds to the bodies. All of victims except one were believed to have died instantly, all except Cäzilia, who showed evidence of having survived several hours after being grievously wounded, and tufts of hair had been torn from her head for unknown reasons. Most of the victims were dressed in bed clothes except Viktoria and Cäzilia, who were dressed in regular clothes. This plus the fact that Maria and Josef had been killed in bed suggested that the murders had happened in the evening, right around bed time.

    http://mysteriousuniverse.org/2014/09/the-mysterious-unsolved-murders-of-hinterkaifeck-farm/


    The murder weapon was a pickaxe which was not left with the victims, and it was assumed that the perpetrator had removed it from the scene. In 1923 the farm was razed to the ground, and the pickaxe was discovered hidden in the attic, with blood still on it.

    Witnesses reported that (LS: I'm using initials here -- Ausgirl) was very active after finding the bodies in the barn, and that he was the only one of the three people who discovered the crime who entered the house. He then used the keys to unlock the kitchen door from the inside, claiming they had been in the lock, even though Andreas Gruber had missed those keys some days previously. When the murder weapon was found in 1923, (LS) claimed it belonged to him even though a former farmhand at Hinterkaifeck testified that the pickaxe belonged to Andreas Gruber. Since (LS) would have had a personal motive, it would also explain why a large amount of money was left untouched in the house, effectively ruling out burglary as a motive. The fact that the killer must have stayed at/returned to the scene for days after the crime also indicates someone from the neighborhood rather than a passing opportunist. There is no proof, however, and all those inconsistencies can easily be explained away.

    According to a former classmate of the young Cäzilia, Cäzilia fell asleep in class some days before the crime and, when asked why, she told the teacher that she had been up all night looking for her mother, who had ran away and was found crying in the woods. (When that classmate was interviewed again years later, she said it was Cäzilia's grandmother, not her mother.)

    In 2007, a special task force of a Bavarian police department took a fresh look at the case, trying to solve it with today's forensic means. The final report of that project is kept secret, though, since there is no real evidence to support the theories. Therefore, naming a suspect, no matter how credible, would not be fair towards that suspect's descendants.

    http://www.funtrivia.com/en/subtopics/Hinterkaifeck-Germanys-Most-Famous-Cold-Case-343240.html

    Neighbours reported seeing smoke rising from the chimney on the following Sunday, and the family dog had been handled and tied up near the barn when the postman arrived on Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately the dog was later brutalised and left for dead with the family in the barn, though it survived.

    ** Ausnote: the dog was apparently a rather famously nasty-tempered Pomeranian. I wonder if it was the original, sheep-dog sized version of the breed, rather than the teensy toy version more common today. The dog was said to bark loudly at strangers. I find it VERY odd they'd tie the dog up for days, and then attack it later. What a strange detail. But it fits with the killer (killers?) moving into the house for a few days and treating it like home.

    It turns out that paternal responsibility for young Josef had long been in question. Viktoria, who was the official owner of the farmstead, was a rather promiscuous young woman. Several men later came forward, claiming to have known her intimately, but a veritable war went on between Andreas Gruber and their long time neighbour and widower (LS). It seems (LS) had also been with Viktoria, and it was believed that Josef was his son. (LS) was required to make an alimony payment to the family, and retired any rights he had in parentage. However, during these events Viktoria had elected to marry (LS), who was several years her elder, but Gruber objected, and in return allegations of incest were leveled at Gruber, and he was ultimately imprisoned for a year prior to the murders.

    An escaped mental patient was also among the suspects. Joseph Bärtle had slipped away from an asylum at Günzburg in 1921, and was apparently at large, possibly in the area of south Bavaria at the time.

    http://www.paranormalpeopleonline.com/the-hinterkaifeck-murders-and-the-devils-footprints/
     
  19. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    Autopsy results as described here:

    Cazillia Gabriel (daughter Viktoria Gruber): lower jaw shattered, cervical injury due to shock, severe head injuries. Skull was smashed with several blows and her neck revealed a wide gaping, transverse wound. On the right of her face was a circular wound. Her face was smeared with blood. In her cramped right hand fingers were hair pieces.
    Cazillia Gruber (wife of Andreas Gruber): bruising near the right eye, seven blows to her head, one in triangular shape. Signs of strangulation, skull cracked.
    Viktoria Gabriel (mother of Cazillia and Josef): nine “star-shaped” wounds to the head, strangulation marks on the neck, right side of the face smashed with a blunt object. A small round injury of a pointed tool on the upper skull. Smashed skull.
    Maria Baumgartner (maid): killed by crosswise blows to the head, face crusted with blood, one head wound was 4cm deep and blood-encrusted probably resulted from a sharp hoe.
    Josef Gruber (son Viktoria Gruber): killed by a heavy blow in the face, top of the bassinet stroller destroyed.
    Andreas Gruber (husband Cazillia Gruber): right half of the face smashed, cheek bones protruding, flesh seemed shredded, face caked with blood.

    All descriptions are awful but it looks like Viktoria and her mother received the most attacks on their heads. Also, they seem to be the only ones with signs of strangulation on their necks.


    http://www.defrostingcoldcases.com/case-month-hinterkaifeck/

    Oh WOW, I just found the 2007 re-investigation report. Am going to run it through Google translate, so sorry for the awful grammar which will inevitably occur. I'll be posting that up in parts to follow.
     
  20. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    My next few posts in obviously badly auto-translated grammar, are from this report:

    http://hinterkaifeck.net/index.php?menuid=23#19

    Incestuous relationship Viktoria Gabriel / Andreas Gruber

    During his police interrogation on 03.31.1931 (LS) testified that Viktoria Gabriel had mentioned to his late wife Viktoria, her father since the age of 16, that since 1903, had with her ​​a sexual relationship. From the minutes:

    "It was common knowledge that the old Gruber and his daughter stood in sexual intercourse. The old Gruberin has not told yes, but her daughter Viktoria Gabriel. This was then about 16 years old. She has told my first wife that they could no longer keep from her father, because he would always have sexual intercourse. "

    According to the ruling of the District Court Neuburg / Donau from 28.05.1915 Viktoria Gabriel and Andreas Gruber were convicted of incest in the period from 1907 to the summer of 1910 and although Victoria was sentenced to one month in prison and Andreas Gruber to one year in prison. It is not known who brought the criminal proceedings by a display in motion. It can be seen from the judicial file number 105/15, that the complaint must be reimbursed in 1915 earlier this year.

    According display of (LS) from 10.09.1919 Viktoria Gabriel is also 1918/1919 again had sexual intercourse with her father. In the protocol of Attorney Pielmayer it says here:

    "On 10.9.1919 (LS) indicated Viktoria Gabriel and Andreas Gruber for incest and claimed that Viktoria Gabriel him have even admitted that they had had sexual intercourse with her father."

    In the period from 09.13.1919 to ca.25.9.1919 Andreas Gruber sat because of this allegation also in custody. In criminal proceedings before the District Court Neuburg they were in 1920 but acquitted.

    The maid Kreszenz Rieger has stated in their police interrogation in 1922:

    "I was aware that the young peasant woman (had) sexual intercourse with her ​​father. On the occasion of a church-going, I was taken by some young lads then point out that the old farmer with the young woman, so with his daughters entertain sexual relations. I was previously from this matter not known yet and I am also not noticed that both caresses were exchanged. I was still curious and have particularly taken care of in the subsequent period. One day, it was in the spring of 1921, I came into the barn and wanted the old Gruber help refill the water barrel. When I got to the barn, I met Gruber in the straw lying about how he just practiced sexual intercourse with his daughter Victoria. I know for certain that I was then seen by the Viktoria Gabriel. This is because they afterwards told me that if they had known that I'm in the barn, she had her father not given up. On another occasion I heard Andreas Gruber to his daughter, Mrs. Gabriel said that they do not need to marry, because as long as he lives he is for "this" there. What he meant was that he would always satisfy his daughter in sexual ways. As Gruber said this, were engaged in repairing the dovecote in the barn and the two. This was after I had the two previously surprised in the barn in the exercise of sexual intercourse. "

    Josef step Locher, a farmer from Gröbern said on 01/07/1952 the following:

    "I know from speaking ago that the old Gruber has entertained with his widowed daughter Viktoria Gabriel incestuous relationships. I was even witnessed Gruber was arrested at the time on the meadow by the police."

    The witness Michael Poell has stated in his police interrogation on 05.04.1922:

    "Generally, in places it is known that Gruber stood with his murdered daughter Vikoria Gabriel in sexual relationship."

    Sophie Fuchs, classmate of little Cecily, testified on 14.2.1984 following:

    "The woman who Cäzilia Gruber, who has had to really participate much. She has exactly know that he has a relationship with his own daughter. And if the Viktorie is sometimes come in to the host after Gröbern, then it has the host sometimes asked what is going on, because it is so z`rupft (Aus:"plucked"??). Then Viktorie said, "Well, you guess see what he always does to me."

    The criminal records of the District Court Neuburg were performed under numbers 105/15 and 9/1920.
     
  21. Ausgirl

    Ausgirl Enough Is Enough!

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    Victoria and Charles Gabriel: An unhappy marriage?

    Viktoria and Karl Gabriel got married on 03.04.1914. Previously they have (see also here) closed on 11.3.1914 before notary Stinglwagner in Schrobenhausen a marriage and inheritance contract. Because of this marriage contract they have lived in a general community of property. Shortly after the marriage Viktoria Gabriel was pregnant. The common child Cäzilia Gabriel was born on 09.01.1915, as Karl Gabriel had already fallen.

    On 14/08/1914 Charles Gabriel has already moved into the recruit depot Kosching, so that the spouses have lived together Gabriel only about four months.

    An inquiry at the War Archives has revealed that the that master role and the remaining personnel file does not indicate whether Karl Gabriel volunteered for military service, because such an indication is not indicated in the master role and the comprehensive two sides personnel file on a voluntary disclosure is not mentioned.

    However, a further demand found in the war archive that Karl Gabriel has the military authorities against specified as Laag city.

    Karl Gabriel left his wife after a short time and marriage should be temporarily returned to his parents in Laag, is found in the statement of Jacob Sigl from 10.01.1952. Jacob Sigl here expressed to the effect that in his opinion the couple Gabriel had not gotten along and that Karl Gabriel the Victoria Gruber got married mainly because "a lot of property and money" was available on the property Hinterkaifeck and Victoria the only daughter was.

    He is but at the same time that he knows this just hearsay, since he lived to the time not in Gröbern, but in wells. Similarly, he states that his brother Josef Sigl, who had a restaurant in Schenkenau at Hohenwart, could provide more information on this issue, since this was good friends with Karl Gabriel. Josef Sigl was but at the time no longer heard.


    Documents and statements on the death of Charles Gabriel / "The murderer of Hinterkaifeck has dismissed you,"


    In a letter dated 29.4.1922 the Schrobenhausener Police Sergeant Louis Meixl suggested at the investigating officers in Munich, to have it checked because of previous unsuccessful investigation of the death of Karl Gabriel and notes: "The circumstances in which the murder was committed , can be certain presumption that the offender must have been known most accurately with the relevant conditions. "Meixl at that time was a" week in the Journal at the time Schrobenhausener published obituary "before, after Charles Gabriel was killed at Neuville on 12/12/1914.

    Shall be notified by the Central Office for proof of casualties and war graves dated 05.02.1922 on request: "Ers. Res. Karl Gabriel the 6th Company. Bavarian. Res. Inf. Regt. 13, born 12/16/88 to Laag, Oberbayr., Killed on 12.12.1914 at Neuville (Arras, northern France), is in the position of his former grave shooters. Comp. Buried. This present report is signed by the former Regts. Commander, whose accuracy will hardly be doubted. " For documents relating to active service, reference is made to the National Archives, Branch Würzburg.

    The Viktoria Gabriel widow was confirmed with date of 12/21/1914 her husband's death on 12.12.1914, yet the end of the year 1914 should have been applied for the inheritance of her with the district court Schrobenhausen be (Reg 188/14).

    As the investigation into the murder Hinterkaifeck remained still inconclusive, the end of 1923 was at the National Archives, Branch Würzburg, asked what soldiers had at the time been with Karl Gabriel in the field. Dated 12/07/1923 of the death of Karl Gabriel is confirmed on 12.12.1914 and it will be the names of 20 comrades of the KG called, the same with Gabriel on 12/08/1914 at the 6th Company, RIR Were parked 15.

    The surveys of these soldiers did not focus on, to confirm the death of Karl Gabriel. Investigators suspected that K.G. one of his comrades had told details about the financial circumstances of Hinterkaifecker, and that one of those soldiers might come as a perpetrator in question. The police forces of the hometowns of the soldiers were asked to locate these to ask her if she KG previously or only met in the field would, if they had known the victims and whether they "time, made any perceptions (have) that can possibly be brought in connection with the robbery and murder in Hinterkaifeck, or may be inferred that the person of the offender. "

    The former soldiers Xaver Steger (Oberegg Bach, BA Mallersdorf) and Ignatz Schmidl (Freihausen, BA Schrobenhausen) said KG met to have only field. Schmidl says that Gabriel "tells not the least of his family or financial circumstances" have.

    Detail - and above the prescribed questionnaire Munich investigators also - is expressed by the farmer Sebastian Huber (Aigelsbach, BA Main castle). He could at K.G. remember, this was a great man, "face as" he had known him in the recruit depot Kosching. In early December they were then turned on together in the field.

    The minutes of the testimony of Sebastian Huber from 17.12.1923 "On 11/12/14 she had arrived in Northern France and at 12.12. evening he had to proceed with Gabriel on items. That night, on 12 / 13/12. Gabriel is then equal to like, so that he had no connecting factors in the trenches or in enemy territory. "

    Based on the survey of the soldiers also one of the former managers could be determined. (?) Josef Brunner worm village (AG Rottenburg, Lower Bavaria), stated: "I was sergeant at the 15th Inf Rgt Res, 6th Company, 3rd train..... On 12/10/14 I am already the second succeeded by the times in the field. On this day it has very many people killed at Arras and. Therefore by other people all day came at the firing line. To Karl Gabriel I can remember quite well. He was a reservist replacement is likely to be only the beginning of December came into the field u. On 12/12/14 he came in my train. In the morning we went up to 10h in position to 12h and he has already fallen; it has killed a mine. His death I reported the sergeant u. Therefore, the name is still in my memory. "

    1951 appears in the "Donau-Kurier" in Ingolstadt, a ten-part serial story about the murder case Hinterkaifeck. The author, Josef Ludwig Hecker, directs it to the suspicion of a mysterious stranger in the military cloak, who had stalked the HKer in the days before the deed from the edge of the forest. Viktoria Gabriel was afraid that this might be her husband who had returned. At the end of the series he is a rumor again that allegedly made ​​the rounds in the area of Waidhofen. A soldier of World War II "wants in Russia (NB .: in a prison camp) have been asked by an old Russian who spoke flawless German, after his hometown. The Sought After calling a place in the circle Schrobenhausen. Thereupon darkened the features of the Russians. He was silent for a long time, then he asked the prisoner whether he was aware of the name Hinterkaifeck. This affirmed. (...) The old Russian said not a word. His gray gaze was lost in the vastness of the country. Then he turned and walked slowly, with drooping head away. "

    Due to the series of Hecker is Matthew Eser reported in the editorial office of the "Donau-Kurier". He claimed that he had known Hinterkaifeck already in his childhood and had been in the house after the crime after finding the victim. Towards the end of the Second World War he was a prisoner of war about a 55 year old Russian met who consults him about his home and had then dismissed him with two other men and a woman from captivity: "Sag'dort (NB .: in the home), the murderer of Hinterkaifeck I dismiss you! "

    Matthew Eser is its reporting in the episode - both to his stay in Hinterkaifeck and his release from captivity - completely revoked. But before this happens, lets Attorney Dr. Andreas Popp in Waidhofen do surveys, which was to bring about the death of Karl Gabriel in experience. Dr. Popp seems to have thought it possible that the Russian soldier with KG could have been the same person.

    Both the farmer Nicholas Haas from Rachel Bach and Josef Bichler from Waidhofen 1951 unconditionally confirm the death of Karl Gabriel. Bichler, of about 300 m from the position of K.G. was used indicates that he. some time after 12:12 - Would have learned of the death of comrades - for his replacement. Gabriel was killed instantly, "it was a mine shot". On Christmas Day, he was then with Haas to the adjacent unit to learn about the death of KG to bring in experience. Both had seen the corpse .: "They (Note .: the body) lay on his back. The forehead was split open easily, his mouth was open and they saw that the lower jaw was injured. Nevertheless, the dead man was flawless as can be seen Karl Gabriel. "Bichler was then the widow Viktoria Gabriel wrote a letter and they also visited at a later furlough.

    Josef Bichler indicates also to have been already consulted on this issue in 1922 by police officers Goldhofer Hohenwart. (NB .: If there was a protocol that statement, this should be burned with the files of the prosecutor Neuburger 1944 in Augsburg. In the Munich police files is no copy.)

    Sophie Fuchs, Gröbern, is on 14.02.1984 on the occasion of a survey by Commissioner Konrad Müller following representation: "Mei's father, the fox Michael, Reichl of Bach and the Bichler Waidhofen of which were namely the process of wie' (NB .: Rachel Bach?) s to Gabriel in the first world war eingrab'n ham. Because then all the HAM always g'steckt of a city or of a circle in a company. And then when these battles are often very many g'falln and thus was of a village often a great loss. Later they distributed the Mannsleut in other companies. "

    The statement of Charles Bichler

    I came with 5 to Waidhofen and visited the school here.One of my school friends was Charles Gabriel. He was a year younger than me. At that time the seventh grades were housed in two rooms in the school building.

    On 14/08/1914 Karl and I are engaged to recruit depot Kosching at Ingolstadt. I myself was turned on 03.11.1914 in the field. Gabriel was the first recruit depot and came only on 10 or 11:12. to remedy.

    I myself have certainly taken at a camp service in Vincy in northern France on 13/12/1914 Gabriel.I was in the seventh and Gabriel at the sixth company of the 13th Bavarian Reserve Infantry Regiment.I have also spoken that day with Gabriel.I remember why exactly so, because this was the name day my wife Ottilie.

    On the evening of the same day we went back into position. Also the company of Gabriel was used. Our position was in Neuville-St. Vaast. The company of Gabriel was left connected to ours. Both units had to defend a section of about 300 m. On the night of December 14, our section was under light fire exposure, including shrapnel.

    As we were relieved a few days later, my comrades of Gabriel told that he is on the evening of December 13, hardly that the company had gone into position, please. From whom I learned this, I do not remember. They only said that Karl was killed by a mine shot immediately. Gabriel must have been out of the dugout to observation posts. It must have been the 16th or 17th December, when I heard of his death. On December 25, I went in the early afternoon over to the 6th Company, to let tell me more about the death of my school friend.

    When I asked where Gabriel is, I learned, just before digging. You have shown me the body. She was not yet buried and was supposedly still there, as he had fallen. She was three meters in front of the trench.With me was Nicholas Haas from Rachel Bach. He was also in my company. Haas and I crawled the few feet to the body.

    Gabriel lay on his back. His forehead was split open easily, his mouth was open and you could see that the lower jaw was injured. Nevertheless, the dead could be seen properly as Karl Gabriel. The comrades have said that he is so. Haas has searched the pockets and taking a photo found. I know well that there has been a picture of the wife. What happened to the photo, I do not remember. Near the corpse also lay a tattered notebook.

    Excuse me Mr. Komissär already, but that's all so long ago, almost 40 years, I have to think now. Yes, I think Haas and I have then the corpse eingescharrt something in the earth. As we came under enemy fire, we had to be back soon again.

    Incidentally, it was foggy. If and when the body was buried properly, I can not say. It would have been the dead can easily get at the time. Why this was not done to me today is still a mystery. I wrote my wife that Charles Gabriel has fallen. In the photo of Gabriel's wife, it was a bust of ten times six centimeters thick cardboard. In this case, if I may mention that, I early

    May 1922 by police commissioner-Goldhofer from Hohenwart has already been heard.

    The statement of Nicholas Haas

    So, I'm very well known Karl Gabriel and his wife Victoria. On December 3rd and 4th, 1914, I was turned off with Bichler on the Western Front. Our section was on the road Arras-Neuville. During a field worship on the 10th or 11th of December I went with Bichler through the village Vincy to the village church. On the way I met Gabriel in front of his quarters. I asked him if he good boots for me would not have a pair, because my shoes were pretty broken. Gabriel told me to stop by on the way back with him.


    When we came out of the position after a few days, I went back to Gabriel. On behalf of the comrades I have learned that he has fallen. They said that he was killed by a rifle grenade. He is said to have sat on a listening post. We could show the body. The face was not disfigured. I know for sure that it was Karl Gabriel. When I was at Easter 1918 for the first time on holiday, me, Gabriel widow has visited Rachel Bach. She wanted details about the death of her husband know. I could tell you but not more than they already knew.

    Question: Did you then searches the formlessness of the dead?

    Answer: I - no - why ...

    Question: In addition to the dead but was a tattered notebook, What have you done with it?

    Answer: What a notebook - what you want at all ...

    Question: And you have not drawn a picture of Viktoria Gabriel from the pocket of the dead?

    Answer: No, what are you doing - I'm about suspected here ...

    Oberkomissär Kager Meier: Your comrade of that time, Mr. Bichler, has just explained you had searched the uniform of Karl

    Gabriel and his wife found a picture here.

    Haas: That's not true. How Bichler comes to such information, is beyond me. I have not had the photograph of Victoria in

    Gabriel hands in my entire life.

    Kager Meier: Tell me in detail how you have then seen the body.

    Haas: It was like that. We were in the trenches. From there out I could see the fallen before me. The Bichler, which is

    smaller than me, I had to lift so he could look across the ditch.

    Kager Meier: Do you have the body eingescharrt something before you went back to your unit?

    Haas: No!

    The statement of Sophie Fuchs, based solely on hearsay and their statement that Josef Bichler had been present at the funeral of Karl Gabriel, with some certainty is incorrect is, on the one hand attached for completeness. But it is after all in the space that other acquaintances Karl Gabriel - such as her future father - were on site and have at least gained timely knowledge of the death of G.. Not all of these witnesses are likely to have survived the war or 1951 (as Bichler and Haas were interviewed) have still been alive.

    Given the repeatedly expressed doubts about the death of Karl Gabriel all known statements were listed, which is why this post has been rather extensively. The created by Ludwig Hecker idea that the perpetrators have stalked the Hinterkaifecker days before the crime and Viktoria Gabriel had kept him for her declared dead husband, is incorporated in this paper with, because Attorney Dr. Popp this assessment in conjunction with the - false - information Eser 1951 held for examining value.

    While it was not doubted in the twenties and thirties in the death of Karl Gabriel apparently (Exception: The above-mentioned suspicion of Sergeant Ludwig Meixl), it seems to have been after the Second World War, various rumors have a mysterious Russian soldier in (different) camps surveyed men from the area around Hinterkaifeck and subsequently dismissed. Konrad Müller seems these rumors until a few years - inconclusive (?) - To be investigated. On this issue see also the contributions to Matthew Eser, Therese Großöhme and Lorenz Hausfelder here in HK - People tab.
     

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