Photographed in 1976 aged 61 while giving interview to French journalist just weeks before his murder..
After serving 11 years in jail from 1945 to 1956, Peiper got a job with Porsche (who had built the Panther) as a sales manager,and later with Volkswagen. He had a small house (below) built in France and moved there in 1972 with his wife, living off his service pension and doing translation work for a publisher. Here he sits at the garden table with the journalist.
The house was just outside the village of Traves..
And Traves was west of Vesoul..
Peiper's house was in thick woods. He was on good terms with his German neighbour..
But ominous slogans began appearing on local roads leading to Peiper's property..
Power lines leading to Peiper's house give away its secluded position in the woods in this 1982 photo.
His mailbox was on the wooden pole on the left and was sometimes ransacked..
The house was firebombed in 1976 with Peiper inside. His wife was away visiting Germany. Nobody was ever caught or admitted responsibility.His body was badly charred and an autopsy found smoke in his lungs, he'd gone down fighting, firing his .22 rifle and a pistol.
His remains were interred in the Peiper family plot in Landsberg, Bavaria.
His name was later scrubbed out, but his supporters sent mail to local dignitaries threatening reprisals, forcing them to cancel the annual village fete that year..
Peiper on the cover of a 1982 issue of the Waffen-SS old comrades magazine. I've underlined the words "Emordet am 14.7.76 in Frankreich" ("Murdered 14.7.76 in France")
Ironically, although Peipers tactical knowhow had kept him alive through 5 years of combat in France, Italy and Russia, he made one tactical error that cost him his life- he decided to settle in France..
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