Siegfried Böttcher

* "28 March 1921" – Berlin
† "23 July 2006" – Tübingen (Baden-Württemberg)

During the Civitella massacre in Val di Chiana on 29 June 1944, Siegfried Böttcher led the action as the highest-ranking officer present. 

Böttcher was born in 1921 in Berlin. In 1939, he volunteered for service in the ‘General Göring‘ Regiment, from which the ‘Hermann Göring’ Division later emerged. He became a Nazi Party member that same year. In 1940, following a brief deployment he was gravely wounded in France. In 1944, he returned to the ‘Hermann Göring’ Division, which meanwhile was fighting in Italy. 

After the war, Böttcher worked in various capacities before joining the Bundeswehr. 

In 2002, the La Spezia military prosecutor initiated an investigation of Böttcher on account of the Civitella in Val di Chiana massacre. In 2006, the legal authorities in both Stuttgart and La Spezia charged him with crimes. The legal proceedings were terminated after his death on 23 July 2006. 

Nationality
German
Formation
Wehrmacht
Army branch
Luftwaffe
Joined the NSDAP
01 Sept. 1939 (membership no. 7089405)
Armed force
Wehrmacht
Unit
Parachute-Panzer Division ‘Hermann Göring’
Years of service
1939-1945
Leutnant
Offensive
France 1940
Occupation of the Netherlands 1943(?)-44
Italy 1944
Eastern Front 1944-45
Confirmed Massacres

Civitella in Val di Chiana

Post war period

puppeteer

radio announcer

Bundeswehr officer

Following Böttcher’s death, the charges filed in Stuttgart and La Spezia in 2006 were dropped

Training and wartime experience

In May 1940, as a member of the  ‘General Göring’ Regiment Böttcher fought on the Western Front. Two weeks later, the young soldier was gravely wounded at the Canal de Lens near Courrières. Albeit indirectly, Böttcher’s wounding is connected with one of the first massacres perpetrated by the Wehrmacht in France.

Participation in massacres of civilians

In their investigations of 2004 and 2005, the Dortmund prosecutor’s office and the La Spezia military prosecutor both confirmed that on 29 June 1944, Böttcher was the highest-ranking officer in the village of Civitella in Val di Chiana.

Postwar period

Sources:

Military court of La Spezia, proceeding no. 62/02 against Siegfried Böttcher, including various interrogations of Böttcher in 2004 and 2005 together with photocopies of the few existing personnel files.

Literature:

Carlo Gentile, Wehrmacht und Waffen-SS im Partisanenkrieg: Italien 1943-1945, Paderborn, Ferdinand Schöningh, 2012, p. 333, n. 126.

Carlo Gentile, Le stragi del 1944 in provincia di Arezzo ed i loro perpetratori (report written in connection with preparation of application by the Bucine, Cavriglia, Civitella in Val di Chiana and Stia communes for opening of investigation), Cologne, 1998, retrievable at: https://uni-koeln.academia.edu/CarloGentile

Authorship and translation:

Author: Carlo Gentile

Translated from German by: Joel Golb

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

2023

Text: CC BY NC SA 4.0

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