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Biography

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Overview (2)

Born in Celle, Germany
Died in Berlin, Germany  (air raid)

Mini Bio (1)

Roland Freisler rose from small-town lawyer to chief judge, prosecutor and jury at the Nazi Ministry of Justice, where he oversaw thousands of trials of opponents--both real and imagined--of the Nazi regime. A soldier in the German army during World War I, Freisler was captured by the Russians and interned in Russia, where he embraced Communism and joined the German Communist Party upon his release after the war. He soon saw the writing on the wall, however, and switched allegiance to the Nazi Party, becoming one of its more brilliant legal minds. A well regarded speaker with an innate grasp of the finer points of the law and the ability to use them to the party's advantage, he rose quickly through the ranks and was eventually appointed to head the Ministry of Justice. He became notorious for his unsparing use of the death penalty. Over 90% of all trials conducted by the Ministry of Justice during his reign ended in a death sentence--more than 5000 were handed down in trials conducted by the Ministry between 1942 and 1945, 2600 of them by Freisler himself (many of which were decided upon before the trial was even held). He usually acted as not only the judge but also the prosecutor, and was infamous for his habit of leaping up, insulting, shouting, screaming at and otherwise humiliating defendants who appeared before him, and he often pronounced the death sentence with a wave of his hand and a dismissive "Off with his head". He had many of these trials filmed--often screaming so loudly at defendants that he would cause the microphones to blow out--so there is actually footage of him "in action".

Freisler was in the courthouse in Berlin on Feb. 3, 1945, when waves of Allied bombers struck the city. He had taken refuge in the cellar when a bomb hit the courthouse. In what can only be regarded as poetic justice, the building in which he sentenced so many thousands of people to die collapsed on top of him, and a huge beam crushed him to death.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: frankfob2@yahoo.com

Spouse (1)

Marion Freisler (24 March 1928 - 3 February 1945) (his death) (2 children)

Trivia (5)

Former Communist.
Served in World War I. He was taken POW by the Russian army.
He was buried in his wife's family's burial plot in Berlin-Dahlem in an unmarked grave. There were virtually no mourners at his funeral.
After the war, Freisler's widow and children dropped his last name.
Had a younger brother, Oswald Freisler, born 29 December 1895, who committed suicide 4 March 1939.

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