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Kurt Henschel

August 06, 1914 - July 24, 1944
Kurt Henschel Kurt Henschel 

Kurt Henschel was born in Breslau in 1914. He became an accountant, married in 1937, and had three children. He was called up to the Wehrmacht in 1942, and deserted along with Otto Eulenstein at the end of 1943. In early 1944, the two men made their way to Berlin, where they were arrested on February 12, 1944. Otto Eulenstein and Kurt Henschel were sentenced to death in a joint trial before a court martial in mid-June 1944. The court accused them of “shirking” the grueling defensive battles on the eastern front for several months and enjoying the “good life” in the occupied hinterland. Otto Eulenstein and Kurt Henschel were murdered in Brandenburg-Görden penitentiary on July 24, 1944.

The legal opinion of the army legal department, dated June 30, 1944, included the following passage:

“In accordance with the Führer’s guidelines, the death penalty is justified for both defendants due to joint desertion... Henschel’s crime is not quite as grave as that of Eulenstein, but also warrants the death sentence. He deserted jointly with Eulenstein and also participated in the latter’s crimes to a great extent. He did not turn in the demoralizing Russian leaflet Bund Deutscher Offiziere but kept it and discussed it with comrades, thus proving an anti-military and anti-state standpoint. For all these reasons, Henschel does not deserve leniency, despite his lack of a criminal record.”