Poland Asks for Extradition from Germany of Organizer of Pogroms in Bialystok Area

The Polish National Committee for War Crimes has applied to the British occupation authorities in Germany for the extradition of Erich Koch, it was announced today.

Koch, former Gauleiter of East Prussia and chief president of the districts of Bialystok and Ciechanow, is accused by the Polish authorities of the murder of hundreds of thousands of Poles and Jews. He fled to Germany at the end of the war and hid in Hamburg under a false name. He was apprehended and arrested last May and is now in a British jail in Germany.

The district court in Cracow has sentenced to death one Paul Meltzer, who not only murdered many Jews in Michalovo during the German occupation but also was especially cruel to the families of slain Jews. Relatives who asked for the bodies of the victims were brutally beaten and in many cases shot. When a ghetto was set up in Michalovo, Meltzer forced the Jews to pay him in gold.

Joseph Kanda and Victor Blands, two Poles who worked for the Gestapo during the war and who were found guilty of charges of denouncing Jews to the Nazis, were sentenced to death today in Cracow. The Poles specialized in seeking out Jews who attempted to hide out in the mountains.

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