André Obrecht

Executioner, Deceased Person

1899 – 1985


Who was André Obrecht?

André Obrecht was the official executioner of France from 1951 until 1976.

Born in Paris on August 9, 1899, Obrecht was the nephew of the chief executioner Anatole Deibler. He learned of his uncle's job at ten, when a series of postcards depicting an execution were published in September 1909. Following the death of his own son, who was born only one month after Obrecht, Deibler had a fatherlike relationship with young André, and the affection between the two men never ceased.

Obrecht joined the executioners' team on April 4, 1922, as second assistant. By day, he worked in a factory as a machine operator. He remained as second assistant until 1939, when Anatole Deibler died. Due to financial obligations Deibler's widow allowed Obrecht's cousin Jules-Henri Desfourneaux and not Obrecht to succeed Deibler despite her late husband's indication that he would prefer Obrecht as his successor. Obrecht subsequently took Desfourneaux's former place as first assistant.

Obrecht and Desfourneaux disliked each other. Obrecht thought his cousin too slow and badly organized.


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Aug 9, 1899
Also known as
  • Andre Obrecht
Jul 30, 1985

on July 23, 2013