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Pole Who Directed Mass Executions of Jews Under Nazis on Trial

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The trial of a Pole who collaborated with the Nazis in mass executions of Jews in Poland and succeeded in hiding out for 11 years after the liberation of Poland, is now taking place in the Polish city of Graevo. It has attracted nationwide attention.

The accused, Anthony Len, a teacher in a Polish public school in Reigrad prior to the Nazi occupation of Poland, was named head of the local police by the Nazi authorities in 1942 after he declared himself of German descent. Soon afterwards, he supervised the “liquidation” of all the Jews in the city by ordering their execution.

Witnesses at the trial have testified that prior to carrying out the public execution of the Jews, Len personally ordered them to hand over their valuables, some of which he later distributed among the town policemen while keeping the more valuable jewelry for himself. He was present at the executions which were carried out on the outskirts of the city.

Len succeeded in evading capture after the liberation of the city from the Nazis by securing false identity papers. For 11 years he lived in Poland under the name of Alexander Mitszkowski until he was recognized by people who lived in Reigrad while he was the local Gestapo ruler. The trial, at which numerous non-Jewish residents have been summoned to testify, is expected to last several days.

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