We all know that execution is the act of carrying out a death sentence or passing out capital punishment to an offender of the law. Now, Germany happens to be one of the countries among the 107 countries that have completely abolished capital punishment as de jure for all crimes, and so seeing the news of the very last person to be executed there just causes some sort of curiosity and leaves me asking lots of questions that I am sure are running through your mind right now.
Questions like, who was Werner Teske?
What was his crime? Why is he so important that his death had to be recorded? And lastly,
what was the cause of the abolition of the death sentence in Germany?
All these questions are what we will be finding out soon, but first, what is the death penalty or sentence, and what are the crimes punishable by death?
What Is A Death Sentence?
Death sentence, Death Penalty, or Capital Punishment, whatever you want to call it, refers to a legal decree pronounced or passed on by a state for the execution of a person, an offender. The death penalty can be done in different ways. It could be by hanging, firing squad, electrocution, beheading, or other
diverse ways they feel are appropriate or suit your crime.
Over the years, offenders have been put down or executed for these crimes, making these crimes now known globally as crimes punishable by death: r*pe, child r*pe, crime against humanity, genocide, murder, treason, terrorism, human trafficking, robbery, drug possession, and mass murder.
Though a lot of people frown and kick strongly against the death penalty as they feel it is rather an extreme punishment to be passed onto someone, others still stand and support the death penalty and feel it is the appropriate punishment for certain crimes.
Who Was Werner Teske?
Born in Berlin on the 24th of April 1942 and died on the 26th of June 1981, Werner was a staunch communist, a western German Hauptmann (captain), and an intelligent officer in the Stasi economic espionage division before he was executed after trial for planned treason in June 1981.
After graduating with a degree in financial economics in 1964, Werner was able to obtain a full- time job at the foreign intelligence arm of the Stasi, called Hauptverwaltung Aufklarung, in 1969.
Before his job at the Stasi, Teske was known to have worked as a collaborator after he joined the SED party in 1966. After he successfully joined the Intelligent Stasi, it was not too long until he was given important roles and partook in important missions, like being a member of the East German team assigned to accompany the East German football team to play in the 1974 FIFA World Cup.
Teske was indeed an intelligent man whose skills and work did not go unnoticed as he was soon promoted to the post of a Hauptman (a German word for Captain) the next year, and that was the final promotion he had before he was sentenced to death by the German military.
The Death Sentence Of Teske Werner
Looking from a distance, one would tag Werner Teske as someone who was happy with the job he did and was extremely devoted to his employees, but that was not the case, I guess. After Werner had attained a higher position and was what most people might refer to as someone who had started dealing with the big Dogs, Certain things the foreign intelligence of the Stasi did not sit right with Werner, and it soon began to feed his doubts. From 1970 to 1979, Werner Teske had growing doubts about East Germany, and as a result, he began looking for ways to defeat them.
He decided to serve as an insider in East Germany, giving sensitive information to West Germany, and since he was already occupying a prominent position in the Stasi Foreign Intelligence, it would be easier to gain access to dossiers which could be used against East Germany once they got into the hands of West Germany.
As a test to show his proficiency, Werner was first required by the West Germans to steal an important and sensitive dossier from the archives of East Germany, which he did and was quite successful in doing so, as it went unnoticed for a while at least, and he was yet to hand it over when the file was noticed to be missing from its usual safe because the foreign Intelligent Stasi had upgraded and tightened their security, and it wasn’ t long until they were able to trace the document to Werner’ s safe and he was immediately arrested 1980.
But that was just the beginning of Werner’ s trouble. After much investigation, it was realized that not only had Werner committed planned treason, but he was also involved in several money embezzlements.
Werner Teske, behind closed doors and between the military and East Germany, was tried in the Supreme Court of East Germany and was found guilty of planned treason and was also charged with working as an insider and selling sensitive information.
He was afterward executed by being shot at the back of his head after his trial on the 26th of June 1981 in the basement of Leipzig Prison. Werner’ s execution, crime, and burial were kept secret from the public and Werner’ s relatives, including his wife and daughter, as they were meant to believe that Werner had been kept in an asylum.
After Maths Of Werner’ s Execution
It was only after many years had passed that Mr. Werner was told in 1990 that she was a widow. Werner’ s case was revisited in 1993 and the judges and those involved in Werner’ s execution were prosecuted for executing Werner even after knowing that he had only planned the treason but never went through with it.
After Werner’ s incident, capital punishment was abolished, thus making Werner the very last person to be executed by the law in Germany.
Thank you for reading.