Peter Eduard Crasemann

* " 5 March 1891" – Hamburg
† "29 April 1950" – Werl, British military prison

In July 1944, Peter Eduard Crasemann took over command of the 26th Panzer Division at the Italian Front. On the assumption of many partisans being located there, he ordered a search of the Fucecchio Marshes. 175 civilians were killed during this operation, mainly women and children.

Crasemann took part in the First World War as an artillery officer and was promoted to captain in 1918. Afterwards he entered into a career in business. In May 1933 he joined the Nazi Party; he enlisted in the Wehrmacht in 1936. Initially serving in the German war ministry, he then moved to the Oberkommando des Heeres (OKH, Army High Command).   

In 1939, Crasemann participated in the invasion of Poland, after which he was deployed in various artillery units on the Western Front, in Africa, and on the Eastern Front. In October 1944, he was promoted to general. 

After the Ruhr Pocket capitulation, Crasemann was taken prisoner by the British, who sentenced him in 1947 to ten years’ incarceration on account of the Fucecchio massacre. He died in 1950 in the British military prison in Werl (Westphalia).

German Army, Wehrmacht
Army branch
Joined the NSDAP
1 May 1933 (no. 2.957.530)
Armed force
26th Panzer Division
Years of service
Summer 1944, Oberst, later Generalmajor
Poland 1939
France 1940
North Africa 1941-43
Eastern Front 1943-44
Occupation of Italy 1944
Western Front 1945
Confirmed Massacres

Padule di Fucecchio

Post war period

Trial on account of massacre in the Fucecchio Marshes; sentenced to 10 years imprisonment. Died in prison on 29 April 1950.

Training and experience in the war

Convinced that many partisans were located in the Fucecchio Marshes, Crasemann ordered his division’s reconnaissance battalion to comb through the area. The operation, which Crasemann said was to be ‘consciously severe’, was meant to eliminate any possible obstacle to movement of his troops.

Massacre of civilians

In Feb. 1947, Crasemann was summoned to testify as a witness in the trial of Albert Kesselring. In May, his own trial on account of the massacre in the Fucecchio Marshes opened in Padua. He was sentenced to ten years imprisonment.

The postwar period


The most important sources for reconstructing Eduard Crasemann’s biography are kept in the German Federal Military Archives in Freiburg (Pers 6/2529). Trial documents are kept in the British National Archives, London (Kew) (WO 235/335). Some important biographical information and details about his family are easily accessible on the Internet.


Dermot Bradley, Karl-Friedrich Hildebrand, Markus Röverkamp (eds.), Die Generäle des Heeres 1921-1945, vol. II, Osnabrück-Bissendorf, Biblio Verlag, 1993, pp. 474-475.

Carlo Gentile, Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Partisanenkrieg: Italien 1943-1945, Paderborn, Ferdinand Schöningh, 2012, pp. 28, 382-386, 389.

Authorship and translation

Author: Carlo Gentile

Translated from German by: Joel Golb

© Project ‘The Massacres in Occupied Italy (1943-1945): Integrating the Perpetrators’ Memories’


Text: CC BY NC SA 4.0