London (Oct. 10)
The executive committee of the Board of Deputies of British Jews today protested against a statement by Major Thomas Claude Winwood, British military defense attorney at the Lueneburg trial of Nazi war criminals, who told the tribunal that “the inmates of Oswiecim and Belsen included dregs of the ghettoes of Central Europe – people with little idea as to what to do with their own lives.”
“This statement besmirches the memory of millions of men, women and children who died under unspeakable horrors, or were murdered for no other fault but that they were Jews,” the Board of Deputies says. It emphasizes that the remarks by Winwood, who is defending Jesef Kramer, the “Beast of Belsen,” are an insult to Jewry, and expresses the Board’s “deepest indignation.”
The statement by Major Winwood was termed “vile and clumsy” in a protest telegraphed to Major General Berney Ficklin, president of the military tribunal, by A.L. Easterman, representative of the World Jewish Congress. The unwarranted slur cast by the defending officer on countless Jewish dead and their surviving brothers and sisters all over the world is a gross violation of British fairness and transgresses the just limits of British advocacy, the telegram points out.
Major Wingate, the JTA was informed today, is a solicitor in civil life. He is not a barrister and, under English judicial procedure, is not permitted to plead a case in court. He has served in the Royal Artillery since 1940, and holds no decorations.