Hugo Sperrle during his War Crimes Trial. In this picture one gets a feeling for, 'how the great are fallen', in that Sperrle now looks like a desperate and shabbily dressed man, a far cry from his days of power and influence as Commander-in-Chief West during the war. It must be remembered that although Sperrle did indeed issue the infamous orders that bear his name and had such a tragic effect on Oradour, he was not in any way behaving in an especially harsh manner for a Nazi. He was for the most part, acting as any other member of the German High Command acted. Sperrle was tried for war crimes at Nuremberg and acquitted on all charges; he died in Munich on 2 April 1953 (just after the end of the Bordeaux trial of the 21 members of Der Führer).
© Michael Williams: March 2011