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4,000 Jewish Slave Laborers Abducted by Retreating Nazis Were Murdered, Yugoslavs Say

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The majority of the 4,000 Jewish slave laborers who the Germans took with them when they retreated from the Bor area of Yugoslavia last October were murdered, it has been established by an investigating commission of the Yugoslav Liberation Government, the Yugoslav radio reports today.

According to the commission, the Jews were forced to proceed on foot from Bor to the town of Orvenka, in the Voivodina district. During this journey many died from hunger and mistreatment. Upon arriving at Orvenka the survivors were crowded into a brick kiln. The next day 1,700 were sent to Baja and that night the kiln was surrounded by soldiers who, with hand grenades and machine guns, massacred all but two of the prisoners.

The broadcast said that 1,700 corpses have already been unearthed at the brick kiln, 400 in one huge grave. It adds that further exhumations are to be made along the road leading to Baja “in order to throw new light on the German crimes.”

Late in October several emaciated, ragged Jews arrived in Bucharest, revealing that they had been slave laborers in the copper mines at Bor, and had escaped when Marshal Tito’s forces liberated the region. They said that about 2,500 of the 6,500 Hungarian and Yugoslav Jews confined there had escaped, many to fight with Tito, while 4,000 had been taken to “an unknown destination” by the retreating Germans. The fate of these 4,000 was unknown until today’s broadcast.

The German radio heard here today reports that 81 Jews were found among 151 “rebels” captured in Liptov, Slovakia. By “rebels” the Nazis apparently mean Czechoslovak partisans, who have been active in the Liptov region.

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