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Ex-gestapo Chief Says He Did Not Know of Extermination of Jews

Dr. Otto Bradfisch, 70, co-defendant in a trial here on charges of complicity in the wartime murder of some 86,000 Jews, asserted his innocence today. He was brought to Hanover for trial from prison where he is currently serving a ten-year term for complicity in the murder of 15,000 Jews as commander of an extermination squad in occupied Russia.

The other defendant is one of Bradfisch’s lieutenants, Gunter Fuchs. More than 100 witnesses from Israel and the United States will give evidence in the trial which is expected to last for six weeks. Bradfisch, who was named head of Gestapo head quarters at Lodz in 1942, is charged with complicity in the murder of 15,000 Jews in Lodz. He also is charged with ordering the execution between May and June of 1944 of another 700 Jews some of whom he personally selected for execution.

Fuchs, 52, is accused of complicity in the murder of 70,000 Jews in the Lodz Ghetto who were slaughtered in the gas chambers of the Kilmhof camp. He also is charged with shooting 46 Jews personally because they resisted transfer to the Kilm-hof camp.

Bradfisch also testified today that he had known nothing of any exterminations at Kulmhof, declaring that “orders for transports” of Jews “came from the Reich Security office and there was no mention of exterminations in them.”