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 Richard Quirin

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Richard Quirin

  • Birth 26 Apr 1908 Berlin, Germany
  • Death 8 Aug 1942 Washington, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA
  • Burial Anacostia, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA
  • Plot Plot 276
  • Memorial ID 9515268

World War II German Saboteur. Born in Berlin, Germany in 1908, he had a difficult childhood, being left with foster parents at age two. Returned to his mother at age 12, he lived with her in Hanover, and as an adult he became a mechanic by trade. In 1927 went to visit his uncle in Schenectady, New York, where he attended night school to learn English and worked for General Electric for three years before being laid off. Quirin then went to New York City and worked odd jobs. In 1936 he married, and became a member of the German-American Bund and a Party member. In 1939 Quirin and his wife returned to Germany and got a job at the Volkswagen plant in Braunschweig, where he met Heinrich Heinck. After World War II began he and Heinck were recruited for “Operation Pastorius”, an operation designed to slow down American war production. He landed from a U-Boat at Long Island in June 1942, but was among five others, including Heinck, who were captured by the FBI after another member of the mission informed on them. Tried by a military tribunal, all six died in the District of Columbia electric chair on August 8, 1942. These agents were buried in the potters field at Blue Plains, DC., with Quirin being buried under a wooden marker numbered 276. In 1982 a granite marker was placed at the burial site. Quirin is perhaps most remembered today for the Supreme Court decision on the military tribunal’s right to try these agents during World War Two. The court decision is known as Ex parte Quirin, which President George W. Bush’s military order authorizing a commission to try terrorists after September 11, 2001 is based upon.

Bio by: Wayne Sharp






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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Wayne Sharp
  • Added: 24 Sep 2004
  • Find A Grave Memorial 9515268
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Richard Quirin (26 Apr 1908–8 Aug 1942), Find A Grave Memorial no. 9515268, citing Washington Asylum Potters Field, Anacostia, District of Columbia, District Of Columbia, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .