Contributor: C. Peter Chen
ww2dbaseJohanna Altvater was born in Germany in 1920. In 1942, she arrived in the Vladimir-Volynsky region of Ukraine to work as the secretary of Nazi Party district leader Wilhelm Westerheide. After the war, she was accused of having held a Jewish boy by his legs and killed the child by swinging his head into a wall in a ghetto. She was also accused of throwing Jewish children out of a third-floor window of a hospital, and then dispatching staff to go out to the pavement to ensure all the children were dead. After the war, she became married and took on her husband's surname of Zelle. She served as a welfare worker for some time, but was ultimately brought to court together with her former superior Westerheide. They were ultimately acquitted in a lower court in 1979 and were again acquitted in a higher court in Dec 1982, both times due to contradictory testimonies and general lack of evidence.
ww2dbaseSource: Wendy Lower, Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields
Last Major Revision: Dec 2015
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