What is ERB in the army

On April 19, 1945 fanatics executed the soldier Karl Erb for "cowardice in front of the enemy": Victim of a senseless war

A plaque and a road remind posterity of this senseless death. The former pastor Josef Neidl wrote in his memoirs. "It was Thursday, April 19, at 7 pm, when the German soldier Karl Erb was arrested. First he was locked up in a police emise and that same evening, allegedly because of cowardice in front of the enemy, was hung from a tree below the town hall . "

Karl Erb was only 27 years old. His body remained hanging for 24 hours, probably as a deterrent, and was then actually buried in the cemetery on the lower wall without a coffin. The body was recovered and exhumed in 1957 and is now in a military cemetery on the Danube.

Pastor Neidl wrote in his memoirs: "I saw through the window how they were leading the man to the execution, from the window I gave him general absolution. He hadn't noticed."

The then police commissioner Engelbert Zeitler, who was also mayor of the city for a few days, wrote: "They picked up the Erb. He was probably a small infantryman. In the" Lamm "he was questioned by the court martial. I had nothing to do with it, but I know that he kept saying, "The captain was piled up, everyone was up ...". Then they hung him up ".

Later Zeitler couldn't understand why Erb had told the truth. "If he had lied, he could still be alive today". A housewife who was 17 at the time. "We lived on the market square. When they led the soldiers to the tree, our mother put a burning candle in the window. The colonel called out that we should put the candle down. Then the mother drew the curtains and we girls folded our hands."

The next day the dead soldier was still dangling from the linden tree in front of the town hall. The tree was exactly where the bus stop is today. Later, in 1969, the city of Mitterteich named a street in the suburb after the soldier. A memorial plaque was attached to a building there: "This street is named after Karl Erb, born on May 10, 1918 in Sickenhausen, executed on April 19, 1945 in Mitterteich, as a victim of a senseless war".

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