BONN (Jul. 14)
A new trial will open here soon against six former SS officers previously acquitted after a trial in which several of their war crime colleagues had been convicted and sentenced, it was announced here today by the prosecutor’s office. The six will be charged with having participated in the murder of 152,000 Jews in the infamous Chelmno concentration camp in Poland, during World War II.
When the Chelmno trial ended here, two years ago, a guilty verdict was handed down against one former SS officer who was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment at hard labor. Several others were convicted and sentenced to terms of 18 months to three years. The six were acquitted after they claimed they had “merely followed orders.” Five were immediately arrested, in the court room.
In announcing he had scheduled a retrial, the prosecutor said the six were “fully guilty” and could not claim they were forced to commit the crimes “because nobody had compelled them to perform those hideous tasks.”