VIENNA (Oct. 27)
Erich Koch, one-time chief Nazi commissioner of major portions of occupied Poland and the Ukraine, defended himself today against charges of responsibility for the murder of hundreds of thousands of Jews and non-Jews by declaring that as the “red” in the Nazi Party leadership he had nothing to do with the atrocities, according to reports from Warsaw. Koch ordered the mass murder of tens of thousands of Jews in Rovno, Bialystok, Kiev and other Nazi-held cities.
The last of the Nazi leaders to be tried in Poland for crimes against humanity, Koch told a Warsaw court he never knew of the atrocities carried out in Poland and the Ukraine during his administration. He called himself a “Socialist” and said he was known in top Nazi circles as the “red flag.” He charged that he was handed over by the British authorities to Communist Poland for trial because Unflever House, “a British capitalist concern,” wanted revenge for his cancellation of their contracts in Germany.