HAMBURG (Dec. 15)
The question of whether Nazi Field Marshal Erich von Mannstein knew of the mass murder of 100,000 Jews and others by his armies in parts of the Soviet Union under his command is the crux of the case, the chief judge of the British military court, which is trying the Nazi on 17 charges of war crimes, declared today during his week-long summation of the case.
The judge pointed out that it is clear that the massacres were carried out, but that Von Mannstein denied knowledge of them. Pointing out that his staff officers admitted knowledge of them, the judge asked whether such a “conspiracy of silence” around the Nazi general could have been maintained. He also cited a reference in Von Mannstein’s war diary to the effect that “it is unworthy of an officer to watch the shooting of Jews.”