German Town Celebrates Itself for Rescuing Fat Rat Stuck In Man Hole

Bensheim also known for Gestapo massacre

• March 13, 2019 12:59 pm


A German town is patting itself on the back for rescuing a fat rat that was stuck in a manhole.

The BBC reported the town of Bensheim embarked on a "fairly large rescue operation" for the rat, led by "eight firefighters and an animal expert."

"Even animals that are hated by many deserve respect," said animal rescuer Michael Sehr.

The BBC reported a video of the rat-saving attempt "attracted hundreds of comments applauding the care given to an animal that is more often targeted for extermination."

The town of Bensheim is quite familiar with that work. Bensheim was also the home to a prison operated by the Darmstadt Gestapo.

"The Gestapo in Darmstadt was responsible for deporting around 3,500 of the region's Jews to the Theresienstadt Ghetto and extermination camps in Eastern Europe," according to an archive dedicated to victims imprisoned by Nazis.

The Darmstadt Gestapo also murdered 14 people, including three Americans, while U.S. troops were ascending on the town at the end of World War II.

"As the U.S. Army was nearing the town in March 1945, the Gestapo took the remaining 14 political prisoners, consisting of men and women (including several French and Dutch prisoners), from there to a nearby hill called the Kirchberg to shoot them," the archive reads. "One prisoner managed to escape and another survived the execution, but twelve men and women were murdered."

‘Two American airmen who had been captured and were in Bensheim Gestapo custody had been executed earlier the same day. Three days later, on 27 March 1945, U.S. troops occupied Bensheim," the website reads.

The names of the three American paratroopers murdered were W.H. Forman, R.T. McDonald, and Ray F. Hermann.