Fritz Knöchlein

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Fritz Knöchlein (27 May 1911, Munich – 21 January 1949) was an SS officer, part of the 3rd SS Panzer Division Totenkopf, who was convicted and executed in 1949 for the Le Paradis massacre on 27 May 1940. Ninety-seven British troops were killed by Waffen-SS forces during the Battle of Dunkirk in the village of Le Paradis.

Knöchlein agreed that the massacre had occurred, but stated that he had not been present at Le Paradis, that the British used illegal expanding bullets banned by the Hague Convention, and that the British had lured his men to the farmhouse with a white flag before gunning them down. Finally, he accused his jailers of subjecting him to physical and mental torture. However, witnesses identified him as being present and the prosecution rejected the accusations made by Knöchlein. The Judge-Advocate said that whether the British had used illegal ammunition or abused a flag of truce was irrelevant; the German troops still had absolutely no right to execute prisoners of war without a fair and proper trial.[1][2]


  1. The Le Paradis massacre
  2. Le Paradis massacre, Wikipedia, version at 13:18, 20 February 2019