Channel Islander Imprisoned in Stuttgart Remand Prison:
By Roderick Miller
Only one Channel Islander, Emma Marshall, is known to have been imprisoned in Stuttgart Remand Prison (Untersuchungsgefängnis Stuttgart, Landgericht Stuttgart) in the German state of Württemberg. The courthouse was finished in 1879, built with a prison behind it for prisoners awaiting trial. Like all prisons in the Third Reich, the Stuttgart Remand Prison was used to incarcerate political prisoners. A courtyard in the main courthouse building was used from 1933 to 1945 to execute political prisoners by guillotine, and at least 454 people were murdered in this fashion by the pseudo-legal Nazi justice system.
No documentation has yet been found to verify the precise dates of Emma Marshall’s incarceration in Stuttgart Remand Prison, but she wrote in her application for registration as a British victim of Nazi persecution in 1965 that she was taken to ‘a very large prison in Stuttgart… we were there 8 days’. According the chronology of her testimonial, it is likely she was there from 15 to 23 March 1944.
The Stuttgart courthouse was completely destroyed by bombers of the Royal Air Force on the night of 12-13 September 1944, although the prison sustained only negligible damage. It is not known if the prison continued to function as such after the war, but the current court buildings on the site were constructed in 1953 on the west side of the block and in 1982 on the north side of the block. The main courtyard for the courthouse now occupies the site of the former prison.
Stuttgart was liberated by US and French troops on 22 April 1945. At least five Nazi judges who ordered multiple executions in Stuttgart continued post-war in their capacity as judges in the democratic Federal Republic of Germany. It was not until the 1980s that it began to be widely acknowledged in Germany that the justice system under the Nazis was not carrying out strictly legal measures, but rather committing crimes against humanity behind the cover of a Nazi-compromised pseudo-legal system. Many Nazi judges who regularly meted out death sentences to people for crimes like petty theft or supposedly ‘defeatist’ remarks were thus able to continue their legal careers well into the 1970s and collect their full retirement pensions until their deaths.
Emma Marshall survived the war, but like most survivors, she would suffer from a variety of chronic physical disabilities and post-traumatic stress disorders for the rest of her life.
Carr, Gilly; Sanders, Paul; Willmot Louise: Protest, Defiance and Resistance in the Channel Islands: German Occupation, 1940-1945, Bloomsbury Academic, London & New York, 2014.
Oberlandesgericht Stuttgart (publisher), Geschichte des Oberlandesgerichtes Stuttgart und seiner Vorläufer in Württemberg seit 1460 (in German). Link
The National Archives (TNA), Foreign Office (FO)
TNA FO 950/1185 (Marshall)