Monday, September 10, 2012

The Wolf

Sixty Eight Years Ago
September 10, 1944

On September 10, 1944, a German Prisoner of War in Camp 132, Medicine Hat, by the name of Dr. Karl Lehmann was beaten and hung by his fellow comrades. After a lengthy investigation four German PoWs, Heinrich Busch, Willi Mueller, Bruno Perzonowsky, and Walter Wolf were arrested for the murder. After a trail held in Alberta, the four were found guilt of murder and sentenced to hang.

Walter Wolf (Source: Library and Archives Canada)
Unteroffizier Walter Wolf (ME 42576) was captured at Halfaya Pass in North Africa on 17 January 1942. He was married but had no children. He had received the Iron Cross, Second Class. Before enlisting at the age of 19 in 1937, he was a financial tax inspector. After the French campaign, he was transferred to a unit in the Afrika Korps. Arriving in Canada on 26 May 1942, he was interned at Ozada, Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Neys.

What many don't realize is that Walter Wolf spent a few months in Manitoba, working in Riding Mountain National Park.

Wolf enlisted in the Germany army in 1937 at the age of nineteen and after service in the French Campaign of 1940, he was transferred to North Africa. Captured at Halfaya Pass in January 1942, Wolf arrived in Canada in May of that year, first interned at Ozada. In the summer of 1943, Wolf volunteered for a labour project and was one of 440 PoWs that were sent to the Riding Mountain Park Labour Project at Whitewater Lake. His career as a woodcutter was short-lived as Wolf was quickly identified as a pro-Nazi and a troublemaker. Having been accused of harassing fellow prisoners, Wolf was transferred from Riding Mountain back to Medicine Hat in January 1944.

In 1946, Wolf and his comrades were found guilt of murder. On December 18, 1946, the four prisoners and an unrelated sex offender were hung in Canada's second largest mass hanging. The bodies were buried at the Lethbridge jail before being relocated to Kitchener, Ontario where they remain today.

For more details about the crime and trial, please click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment