Joachim Peiper (1915-1976)
Cover of the edition of Der Freiwillige the publication of the Waffen SS Veterans Association., which was published on the occasion of the murder of Joachim Peiper. The cover was printed in black as a mark of respect to Peiper. The usual covers are red.
Joachim Peiper was murdered by French or Italian Communists at his house at Traves in France in 1976. Peiper had built the house in 1965 and had been living there since 1972.
For an extensive treatment of the circumstances see page 593+ see the definitive reference work Jochen Peiper - Commander Panzer Regiment Leibstandarte by Patrick Agte published by J.J. Fedorowicz in English and Kurt Vowinckel-Verlag in German.
Page 599 column 2:
»Towards 1:00 AM on 14 July 1976, they three three fire bombs through the windows into the house. The Molotov cocktails shattered and the fire rapidly found fuel in the simply built fir-wood study. The fire broke out almost simultaneously at three places in the house. After the flames had taken, the perpetrators took flight. Jochen Peiper began to gather important papers and documents from the study to take them out of the house and into the garden in order to save them from the fire. To do this he had to run downstairs from the study and through the ground floor, as the glass-roofed veranda was located beneath the study window, so that that he couldn't throw the documents out of the window into the garden. He made numerous trips out of the the house and into the garden in this manner. While he was back in the study, the burning roof of the house collapsed on him and Peiper perished in a sea of flame. The house burned completely to the ground.«
In the year up to his murder he had been the subject of harassment and death threats which appeared to originate from the French Communist party. The local police were of the opinion that not only were the French Communist party involved but that this many be the result of the pressure from Moscow, relating to the recent French-German rapprochement.
This is Jochen Peiper's house was near Traves in France. It is now derelict.
In the above montage, the house when Peiper lived there and below, the house in 2003.
The road near Peiper's house. Only the power line is there to indicate the location.
The approach to Peiper's house from the opposite direction.
This Sylvan scene. The edge of woods, beyond which is Peiper's house.
Peiper's house from the pasture side. Most of the photographs were taken from this side. The end nearest us is the bathroom. The end farthest, the verandah.
The bathroom end.
The same pasture side of the house. The kitchen cooker remains.
Approaching the verandah end. The photograph of Peiper in front of the parasol was taken just behind the end of the house visible here.
The verandah end, looking beyond to the river bank.
Looking back toward the camera from inside the house.
Interior: The remains of the bathroom
The bathroom end. The pasture is visible upper left as a band of daylight. The river bank is down to the right out of frame.
The house from down by the river bank. Bathroom end left. Wood shed out of frame to the right.
The wood shed and dog house, viewed as you approach from the house.
Peiper on his verandah. The wood shed and dog house are in the background.
The wood shed and dog house, looking back toward the house, which is visible center frame through the trees.
Diagram of the location of Peiper's house. The pasture is on the left (light green) the woods and house are in the center (dark green) and the river bank to the right (blue).
I recommend you read the full text of Patrick Agte's definitive reference work Jochen Peiper - Commander Panzer Regiment Leibstandarte because even this excerpt below is insufficient to give the reader a full understanding of the lengthy context which surrounds the murder of Peiper.
The full-size images of the text may be found here.
1944 the Ardennes, Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein: Königstigers line the road.
Kampfgruppe Peiper played a central role in Unternehmen Wacht am Rhein or The Battle of the Bulge
The above map is a 1939 1:300,000 Wehrmacht map of Belgium. Overlain is the path of Kampfgruppe Peiper (red) and the location of the US Army gasoline dumps (blue). Aachen is at the top center of the map.
The map section inserted into the overall plan of Unternehmen Wacht em Rhein
This is Tiger Ausf B FgstNr 280273 number 213, the Königstiger at La Gleize in Belgium, which was part of Kampfgruppe Peiper during the Ardennes Offensive. It as abandoned during the retreat due to lack of fuel. You can read the history of its restoration here .
Higher resolution images are available here.
Higher resolution images are available here.
La Gleize is en route to motor racing circuit Spa-Francorchamps and the Nürburgring and so you often see sports cars and motorcycles visiting the site of Königstiger 213. While I was taking the photographs above, a group of pre-war racing motorcycles arrived.
+ SEE ALSO
- Tiger Ace Michael Wittmann
- Time Magazine ; Article: Monday, July 26, 1976 »FRANCE: An SS Is Among You«
- Jochen Peiper - Commander Panzer Regiment Leibstandarte by Patrick Agte published by J.J. Fedorowicz in English and Kurt Vowinckel-Verlag in German.
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