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Friedrich SCHUMANN






A.K.A.: "Terror of Falkenhagen Lake"
Classification: Serial killer

Characteristics: Rape - Robberies

Number of victims: 6
Date of murder: 1911 - 1919
Date of arrest: August 20, 1919
Date of birth: February 1, 1893
Victims profile: Men and women
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Berlin, Germany
Status: Sentenced to death on July 13, 1920. Executed by decapitation by axe on August 27, 1921

Friedrich Schumann (1 February 1893 – 27 August 1921) was a German serial killer. He is also known as "Massenmörder vom Falkenhagener See" ("Terror of Falkenhagen Lake"). Schumann murdered six people and raped several women. When being decapitated in 1921, he was only 28 years old.


On 18 August 1919 Schumann shot 52-year-old forester Wilhelm Nielbock from Spandau. On 20 August 1919 he was arrested in Berlin. The trial against Schumann started on 5 July 1920 in Berlin.

Trial and execution

Friedrich Schumann was convicted of murder, and on 13 July 1920 he was sentenced to seven death penalties, one life sentence, ten years hard labour and several other sentences in Berlin. He was therefore sentenced to death.

On August 27, 1921, at 6 o'clock in the morning, Schumann was executed in the courtyard of the Plötzensee Prison by Prussian executioner (Scharfrichter) Carl Gröpler, using the axe.

The Berlin lawyer Erich Frey recalled later his brief encounter with the executioner: "At the end of the corridor, I had to give way to a broad-shouldered man. He looked like a transportworker, the high-buttoned jacket looked strange (out of place) on him. His closely-cropped skull rested on a plied bullsneck. In spite of the faint light, he looked sun-tanned and healthy. Never before, I had seen executioner Gröpler from Magdeburg. But, as he passed me with a slight bow, I knew, it was him. Anyone who had any business in the Criminal Court of Justice, knew about Gröpler. He had been a horse butcherer before. ... he collected every month a small fixed income, and had in return to be ready with his massive axe and his three skilled assistants, at the demand of the State attourney. He became for every execution, 300 Mark and the extra costs. Gröpler went to see his customers ... 'You can go to him without trouble,' I heard the guard say to Gröpler, 'he has no nerves' (in a Berlin dialect)."


1. Blazek, Matthias, Carl Großmann und Friedrich Schumann – Zwei Serienmörder in den zwanziger Jahren, Stuttgart 2009, p. 123.
2. Frey, Erich, Ich beantrage Freispruch. Aus den Erinnerungen des Strafverteidigers Prof. Dr. Dr. Erich Frey, Blüchert Verlag, Hamburg 1959, p. 40.



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