Nazi Techniques in Killing Jews in Minsk Described in German Court
Menu JTA Search

Nazi Techniques in Killing Jews in Minsk Described in German Court

Download PDF for this date

A former Nazi storm trooper testified today in the trial of 12 ex-Nazis charged with the wartime mass murder of 35,000 Jews in the Minsk Ghetto that “the cries of the victims are still in my ears.”

Johann Hassler of Wassenburg, describing the Nazi multiple killing techniques, told the Jury court that “ten minutes after the Jews were pushed into the poison gas vans, they were dead.” He said he knew they were dead because their faces had turned blue and red. He added that in the really extensive slaughter operations, Jews were shot in ditches, instead of being gassed, because “the shooting was quicker than gassing.”

Another witness, Karl Gebl, 64, of Kleinfeld, who drove one of the gas vans, broke into tears as he testified that when the gas supply failed, the Jews were removed from the vans in the woods and shot in masses.

Konrad Kosnopfl testified about the inhuman conditions in the Minsk security service prison. He recalled reports of execution of a Jewish woman in the courtyard of the prison by Georg Heuser, the principal defendant in the trial.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund