Catholic Priests Testify in Germany on How Nazis Burned Jews Alive

Stories of brutal torture and murder of Jews were related here yesterday at the trial of 10 former leaders of a special SS group which operated in Lithuania during World War II. The witnesses testifying against the ex-Nazis included a Jewish woman whose entire family was murdered and two Catholic priests.

The woman related how her parents were murdered by storm troopers on the first day of the war, her husband executed and her two-year-old babe taken from her and murdered in the Kovno Ghetto. She survived only because she was a dental technician and needed by the Nazis. She related how gold from fillings were broken out of the mouths of murdered Jews and sent to the SS in Berlin.

One of the Catholic clergymen related how the Jews of Krotpingen were driven into their synagogue by Gestapo man and then burned alive with the building. Spectators in the courtroom became ill as the second priest described how Jewish babies were taken from their mothers’ arms and drowned or smashed to death against trees.

In addition to beating prisoners to death, Sommer used to visit the camp drug section regularly for poison tablets, other witnesses charged. The morning after one of Sommer’s visits, they testified, some prisoners was always found dead in his bunk. Among the prisoners Sommer was accused of murdering in testimony presented in the last few days, was a Jewish scientist, a Catholic priest and a Protestant minister.

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