TEL AVIV (Sep. 25)
Ria Hines, 26-year-old Israel resident who is charged with having beaten Jewish women prisoners at the Oswiecim concentration camp in 1944 and 1945, yesterday admitted in megistrate’s court that she struck a number of women prisoners but denied charges of having collaborated with the Nazis. She served as a supervisory guard at the camp during that period.
Malka Goldstein, the first of five prosecution witnesses, testified that the Hines woman beat a friend of hers, Vera Schwartz, until the girl collapsed. She said that she was also beaten by the Hines woman, but not as severely. After giving details of several such incidents, Miss Goldstein charged that the Hines woman’s actions were not warranted under the circumstances because Nazi camp authorities were seldom present when the beatings took place. This statement was a direct refutation of the defendant’s plea that she was forced to be cruel under orders from the Germans.
The preliminary hearing will be continued on Wednesday when other prosecution witnesses will take the stand. The indictment, which was also read yesterday, stated that the defendant’s actions caused a serious deterioration of the physical and mental condition of Jewish prisoners “with the intention of exterminating the Jewish people.” If found guilty, she faces the death sentence. This is one of several cases involving a recent law which provides for the punishment of Nazis or Nazi collaborators apprehended on Israel soil.