1944: Lilo Gloeden, Erich Gloeden and Elisabeth Kuznitzky

On this date in 1944, Berlin housewife Elisabeth “Lilo” Gloeden was beheaded with an axe in Plotzensee Prison, along with her husband and mother.

They had been sentenced — and intentionally made an example of — just three days before for hiding a fugitive from the July 20 Plot to assassinate Hitler.

As Martin Gilbert observes in The Second World War: A Complete History, the fury of Hitler’s domestic crackdown came in inverse proportion to Germany’s fortunes in war.

[The family’s] fate was then publicized, as a warning to anyone else who might try to shelter the enemies of the Third Reich.

The fate of that Reich could not, however, be seriously in doubt. On the day of Lilo Gloeden’s execution, American troops drove the Germans from Mackwiller, in the Saar, inside Germany’s pre-war frontier. In Hungary, the Red Army entered Eger, less than twenty-five miles from the central Slovak frontier.

Part of the Themed Set: Women Against Fascism.

On this day..