U.S. At War: Rulers of the World

Because they suspected a fellow prisoner of war of writing a "traitorous" note, five sullen and shifty-eyed Nazis had brutally clubbed him to death; an Army court-martial had swiftly found them guilty. At Fort Leavenworth last week they were hanged for their crime.

For seven U.S. soldier-executioners it was a grim assignment. First they went to a makeshift gallows, built in an elevator shaft, and practiced with a sandbag dummy. Then, shortly after midnight one night, they carried out the verdict.

First to go was Walter Beyer, a 32-year-old sergeant still wearing parts of his Afrika Korps uniform. As he heard the sentence...

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