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Polish Soldier Convicted of Killing Jewish Taxi-driver at Military Camp

The Criminal Assizes Court today sentenced Jan Haidamovicz, a Polish soldier, to two year’s imprisonment for the killing of a Jewish taxi-driver, Zalman Shuster, at a Polish military camp in Jerusalem on last December 20. Shuster, together with another driver, Dov Blumenstein, was detained by Polish military authorities when they drove a group of Polish soldiers to the camp. He was shot “while attempting to escape,” during the night.

In delivering the verdict the court declared that Shuster’s arrest by the Polish military authorities was unlawful, and his detention was illegal. The instructions given the camp guards by Polish officers, to shoot the prisoners if they tried to escape, were “manifestly unlawful,” the court added. The judges held that Haidamovicz was not justified in shooting Shuster at such short range – he was stationed a few yards from the hut which Shuster was leaving when he was killed – and stated that they did not believe that Shuster was trying to escape. All evidence, therefore, the verdict said, pointed to the fact that Haidamovic intended to kill Shuster.