October 16 This Day During World War ll

October 16, 1946 – The Nuremberg executions took place on October 16, 1946, shortly after the conclusion of the Nuremberg Trials. Ten prominent members of the political and military leadership of Nazi Germany were executed by hanging: Hans Frank, Wilhelm Frick, Alfred Jodl, Ernst Kaltenbrunner, Wilhelm Keitel, Joachim von Ribbentrop, Alfred Rosenberg, Fritz Sauckel, Arthur Seyss-Inquart, and Julius Streicher. The sentences were carried out in the gymnasium of Nuremberg Prison by the United States Army using the standard drop method instead of long drop. The executioners were Master Sergeant John C. Woods and his assistant, military policeman Joseph Malta. Woods may have miscalculated the lengths for the ropes used for the executions, such that some of the men did not die quickly of an intended broken neck but instead strangled to death slowly. Some reports indicated some executions took between 14 minutes to 28 minutes. The Army denied claims that the drop length was too short or that the condemned died from strangulation instead of a broken neck. Additionally, the trapdoor was too small, such that several of the condemned suffered bleeding head injuries when they hit the sides of the trapdoor while dropping through. The bodies were rumored to have been taken to Dachau for cremation, but were instead incinerated in a crematorium in Munich and the ashes scattered over the river Isar. Kingsbury Smith of the International News Service wrote an eyewitness account of a reporter watching the hangings. His historical press account of it appeared with photos in newspapers. 

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