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Ex-nazi Sentenced to Life Imprisonment for Killing Jews in Vilna, Groino

Dr. Albert Filbert, a former Colonel in the S.S., was sentenced this weekend by a West Berlin Court to life imprisonment with hard labor, for his part in the killing in 1941 of over 10,500 Jews in the regions of Vilna, Grodno and Vitebsk.

Sixty-seven witnesses were heard during the four-week trial. They told of the atrocities committed by the unit under Filbert’s command which herded together the victims men, women and children–and then killed them in mass shootings.

Filbert, aged 56, who had been a bank director at the time of his arrest two years ago, told the court that he regretted now that, that he had not committed suicide at the time, even though his suicide would not have stopped Hitler’s campaign against the Jews.

Five other former S.S. officers who had served under him stood trial together with Filbert. Four of them were sentenced to terms of hard labor ranging from three to ten years. They pleaded that they had acted under orders and refusal to obey would have entailed punishment and possibly death. A fifth accused, Konrad Fiebig, was acquitted for lack of evidence. All the accused were government officials, police officers or well-to-do business men at the time of their arrest.

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