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From the Stars and Stripes archives

Stuttgart trial hears Kabus fired church

Jump ahead to more stories:
   Stuttgart authorities deny Kabus mimicks 'SS major'
   Stuttgart Nazis urged new govt. with U.S. officer
   Hitler rules from Spain, Kabus tells Stuttgart court
   Kabus is sentenced to hang; 10 others get prison terms

STUTTGART, Jan. 3 — Eleven Germans, members of an alleged terrorist gang that specialized in bombing anti-Nazi bulwarks, went on trial today as a MG (military government) court heard more than 30 charges leveled against the group.

A surprise charge of having bombed and completely destroyed a church, in addition to charges of bombing three German denazification courts and a military police headquarters building, was brought against 23-year-old Siegfried Kabus, the leader of the group and former SS major.

Prosecutor Don S. Farrens, who read the indictment against the 11 that ranged from endangering the security of the Allied forces to acting in defiance of terms imposed by the Allies, promised to prove that Kabus personally had bombed and burned the church belonging to the anti-Nazi pastor who had confirmed him.

The pastor, The Rev. Ernst Dippon, was the only witness heard today. The bombing of the church and the subsequent burning was alleged to have taken place Aug. 9, 1946.

During today's lengthy proceedings, the nine young defendants and bewildered 75-year-old Friedrich Engelhardt, along with Kabus, talked with one another, smirked and giggled as their attorneys sought to establish points of legal procedure in their favor.

All of the defendants, most of whom have pleaded "not guilty," are being tried as adults although two are not yet 18 years old. Their parents and relatives have been permitted to attend the trial.


Stuttgart authorities deny Kabus mimicks 'SS major'

By Win Fanning, Stars and Stripes staff writer
European edition, Sunday, January 5, 1947

STUTTGART, Jan. 4 — Army authorities here today denied German press reports that Siegfried Kabus, now being tried as chief of the alleged Stuttgart terror bombers, is an impostor assuming the identity of an SS Maj. Kabus reported killed in action.

The trial of Kabus and his gang of 10 pro-Nazi conspirators continued in its second day with expert ballistics testimony concerning the group's alleged October bombings of three Stuttgart area denazification tribunals and the military police headquarters, where the trial now is is being held.

The 23-year-old ringleader and the nine other youthful defendants continued to take little interest in the proceedings.

Kabus explained to Army authorities he had "awarded" himself the Ritterkreuz and had later falsely reported his death to his family in Stuttgart. Revealing that high local Nazis had sent letters of congratulation following the "award" and had written condolences to his family when he "died," Kabus produced documents backing up these contentions.

The trial of the gang will be continued Tuesday, it was announced at the close of this morning's session.


Stuttgart Nazis urged new govt. with U.S. officer

By Win Fanning, Stars and Stripes staff writer
European edition, Tuesday, January 14, 1947

STUTTGART, Jan. 13 — A new Nazi government in which it was hoped that an American could be induced to take the post of "'security minister" was revealed today as part of the plans developed by the terrorist bombing organization now on trial here before a MG general court.

Helmut P, Klumpp, a member of the gang, testified that he "had been given no explanation for the choice of an American official as a cabinet minister." The witness revealed that complete plans had been drawn up for a new Nazi government in which Siegfried Kabus, the group's leader, would take the post of "Reich's Fuehrer."

Orders were given that the alleged former SS major would be addressed by "Heil Kabus" and that "threats of severe consequences" were held over the head of any member who failed to carry out the directives of the self-appointed leader.

Klumpp stated that he "was to be tried" by Kabus for several instances of "poor cooperation" in the October series of bombings supposed to have been carried out by members of the group. He admitted having taken part in the denazification court attack in Stuttgart and in the placing of numerous posters proclaiming that the judges of the International Military Tribunal at Nurnberg had given "no verdict," but were guilty of murder. Klumpp served as an SS non-com during the war, according to his testimony.

Kabus and nine members of his gang are facing charges which carry a maximum penalty of death. One member of the group is charged only with "knowledge of weapons" in possession of the other defendants.


Hitler rules from Spain, Kabus tells Stuttgart court

By Win Fanning, Stars and Stripes staff writer
European edition, Thursday, January 16, 1947

STUTTGART, Jan. 15-Siegfried Kabus, German underground leader, told the MG general court today that Hitler was still the leader of Germany and added that he had "absolute knowledge" that Hitler escaped to Spain following the fall of Berlin.

Kabus, leader of the so-called Kabus Gang, charged with bombing three Stuttgart denazification courts and the MP jail last October, told the court Hitler is partially paralyzed.

"I made my plans only after I made sure of the facts," Kabus said, "because of Hitler's condition it became necessary for me to assume the job of leader."

The terrorist leader declared:

"Hitler will always be the supreme leader — superior to me, that is."

Court officials reasoned tonight that perhaps Kabus was preparing the way for an insanity plea.

The young underground leader also told the court he had made plans to "unite all German underground groups in a new Germany which will arise with the inevitable conflict of east and west."

He told the court that his aim was to attract attention to the Stuttgart underground group and get in touch with other German underground organizations.

"My effort was successful," he said, "because a leader of a north German underground came to me shortly before my arrest."

Kabus, who had told his followers he was a former SS major and the holder of the Ritter Cross, revealed to the court that he was actually a former SS sergeant and had the Ritter Cross fashioned for him from an Iron Cross, 2nd degree.


Kabus is sentenced to hang; 10 others get prison terms

By Win Fanning, Stars and Stripes staff writer
European edition, Wednesdaym January 22, 1947

STUTTGART, Jan. 21 — Stuttgart's bomb-plot leader, Siegfried Kabus, was sentenced to death and 10 members of his underground gang were given sentences of up to 30 years by a five-man MG court today.

Kabus, a twisted smile on his face, listened to the court president, Marshall Herro, direct that he be "hanged by the neck until dead." He then bowed to the court and to the audience.

The first to be sentenced, Kabus was found guilty on charges that included "endangering the security of Allied Forces," and "acting in defiance of the terms imposed by the Allies." Kabus' earlier insanity plea, Herro announced. had been denied.

Following their leader, the 10 members of the gang, found guilty of having bombed three Stuttgart area denazifacation centers and the MP headquarters here, stepped one by one before the bench. Nervous, and for the first time betraying signs of real fear, the men stood uneasily, blinking into the newsreel klieg lights as Herro pronounced sentence.

All but 57-year-old Friedrich Engelhardt were found guilty as charged. Engelhardt, found not guilty of being a member of the conspiracy, was given 15 years for his part in helping Kabus avoid mail censorship channels.

Walter Raff, sentenced to two-and-one-half years, and Hermann Bauer, a 17-year-old given one year on a single charge of "having knowledge of illegal possession of weapons," were placed on probation by the court. The others were given 10- to 30-year sentences.
 

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