Gestapo Men Go on Trial in Germany for Shooting Jews in Lithuania

Three former Gestapo members went on trial here today on charges of participation in the mass shootings of Jews in Lithuania in the spring of 1944.

Two of them, Alfred Krumbach, 54, and Wilhelm Gerke, 50, belonged to the notorious Tilsit Einsatz commando unit. They are charged with taking part in the shooting of 900 Jew. The activities of the unit, one of many created by the Gestapo to follow the victorious German troops with the assignment of killing Jews and “other undesirable elements,” were the substance of two earlier major trials in West Germany during the past three years.

Hermann Ernst-Jah, 51, the third of the defendants, was chief of the wartime Gestapo headquarters in Tilsit. He is being tried on charges of ordering the killing of six Jews who had been promised their lives if they succeeded in erasing traces of a mass grave of 300 Russian prisoners of war before the Red Army reached Tilsit. According to the indictment, the six were shot in the back when they finished their task.

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