Friedrich Engel (SS officer)

Friedrich Engel (SS Officer)

Friedrich Engel (SS officer)

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Dr. Friedrich Wilhelm Konrad Siegfried Engel (January 3, 1909 – February 4, 2006) was a German SS officer who was convicted in absentia of 246 murder charges by an Italian military court in 1999 for his role in the 1944 execution of Italian captives in retalition for a partisan attack against German soldiers, and who as a result would earn the nickname "Butcher of Genoa".

Subsequently brought before a German court in Hamburg in 2002, Engel was tried and likewise convicted on 59 counts of murder, being sentenced to seven years in prison, although because of his advanced age, he was given a stay of that ruling and was able to leave the court effectively a free man.

In 2004, Germany's highest court, the Bundesgerichtshof, overturned the previous ruling on the grounds that, despite acknowledging that Engel ordered the executions, the case of criminal murder had not been proven. The court would not permit a new trial to establish murder charges given the age and health state of the then 95-year-old Engel.

Prior to this, he had been investigated by German authorities in 1969, but no charges were laid and the case ended in 1970.

Engel was born in Warnau an der Havel, part of Havelberg, and died in Hamburg.

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