21State Court

Carl-von-Ossietzky-Straße 60

Black and white image of a view through a grid window looking at a building and a yard.
Location of the guilotine in the courtyard, 2007.

The building for the district court, regional court, public prosecutor's office and court prison was built during the First World War. Its inner courtyard was the execution site for Thuringia until 1945.
Almost 200 death sentences have been carried out here since 1933. On January 5, 1945, eight men and one woman were executed, most of them members of a resistance group active in the Suhl area. Among them was Adolf Wicklein from Sonneberg, who had intercepted messages from Allied stations and maintained contact with Soviet prisoners of war. The Weimar Special Court often sentenced those accused under "special wartime criminal law" to death for petty offenses. The charges ranged from "insulting the Führer", "malice", "forbidden dealings with prisoners of war or forced laborers" to "subversion of military power". From 1943, Wehrmacht deserters were also tried and sentenced here. The medical faculty of the University of Jena collected the corpses from Weimar to use them for scientific purposes. Meticulous care was taken to ensure that the traces of the nightly executions and the "execution device", a guillotine from the 19th century, were not visible in the public building. However, the concrete corner of the courtyard and the drainage grating were clearly visible from all the windows overlooking the courtyard.
Since 1987, a memorial plaque has commemorated the almost 200 victims of Nazi justice. After the end of the war, the Soviet military tribunal was housed in the building. Two further memorial plaques commemorate five victims of Stalinism who were sentenced to death in Weimar between 1950 and 1953.