LONDON (Dec. 14)
A judicial party of the West German court trying 20 former staff members of the Auschwitz concentration camp has arrived in Poland for a three-day visit to the camp to view at first hand the site where millions of Jews were put to death in the Nazi annihilation program.
The party, which was led by Judge Walter Hotz, included only one of the defendants, Dr. Franz Bernhard Lucas, 53, a gynecologist charged with complicity in the mass murder of Jews. The other defendants refused to accompany the court party on various grounds including the fear that the Polish authorities would not permit them to return to West Germany unharmed.
During their visit to the Auschwitz site, the court party will check the testimony in the trial with the physical layout of Auschwitz and nearby Birkenau. They will gather evidence amid the gas chambers and ovens of the infamous death camp which has been preserved by Poland as a memorial to the victims who perished there.