BERLIN (May. 14)
After three years of investigations and preliminary interrogations, and the return of an indictment running to 129 pages of gory, tragic detail, six members of Hitler’s SS, all of them allegedly members of an einsatzkommando detailed to murder Jews and other “undesirables,” went on trial here today. They are charged with murdering at least 11,000 Jews in German-occupied areas of Russia between July and October of 1941.
The indictment accuses them of having roved the broad area between Vilna and Vitebsk, killing not only Jews but also Gypsies and Russian Communists. Altogether, according to the prosecutor, the group of which this einsatzcommando was a part had killed 45,476 Jews between Minsk and Smolensk, shooting down entire Jewish communities or asphyxiating them in trucks equipped with murderous gases.
All six are married men, none of them has ever been arrested, all had held trustworthy jobs until their leader, Col. Albert Filbert, was arrested here three years ago. He had worked as manager of a bank branch here. He is accused of all 11,000 murders, being charged as the leader of the commando, performing some of the murders in person and ordering the others to kill.
The five on trial with Filbert are: Gerhard Schneider, 51, former senior official of a Lower Saxony ministry in Hanover; Bodo Struck, 54, former chief criminal inspector of the Lower Saxony provincial criminal police in Hanover; Wilhelm Greiffenberger, 61, accountant of Toeging-am-Inn in Bavaria; Konrad Fiebig, 52, federal civil servant in Munich, and Heinrich Tunnat, 49, vice-chairman of the Oldenburg chamber of commerce.