FRANKFURT (Nov. 24)
Nationwide attention throughout West Germany is being attracted by a trial now taking place in Bielefeld of the former Gestapo and Nazi Security Chief of Byalostok, Poland. He is charged with the murder of more than 100 Jews in July, 1944.
Herbert Zimmerman, 52, who was an attorney before the Second World War, pleaded not guilty, claiming that he acted under orders when he had the Jews executed just before the Soviet Army entered Byalostok.
The defendant told the court that after the war, he escaped from a French prison camp and lived for some time in the Soviet occupation zone, working first as a farm hand, then as a carpenter and later as an engineer. In 1953 he succeeded in re-entering the legal profession and became a prominent lawyer in Bielefeld.
Witnesses from many parts of the world are being interrogated by the Frankfurt Office of Prosecution in preparation for one of the biggest trials of concentration camp personnel, Dr. A. Wolf, Chief State Attorney, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency today.
The Central War Crimes Investigation Commission recently placed Dr. Wolf in charge of all crimes connected with the Auschwitz death camp. The Polish witnesses, Jan Pilecki and Dr. Tadeus Paczula, testified this week. As prisoners, they had been forced to keep records on entries and deaths at the camp.
Dr. Wolf said his office has letters written by Rudolf Hoess, the Auschwitz commander, listing the names of victims and members of the SS execution squads. Some of the former SS guards, including Oswald Kaduk, Wilhelm Boger and Franz Hoffmann, have been arrested on suspicion of murder.