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Trial of Latvians Who Helped Nazis to Kill Jews Starts Today in Riga

Six Latvians, several of whom had held high police or administrative posts in Latvia during the era of the Nazi occupation of that region, will go on trial at Riga, capital of Latvia, tomorrow, on charges of murdering 15,000 Jews plus an unspecified number of Latvians and Gypsies, and causing 5, 000 Jews to be caught by the Nazis for shipment to annihilation camps, according to a dispatch received here today from Moscow.

The Soviet authorities, it was indicated, plan on making a show trial of the proceedings. The report stated that the site of the trial had been moved from the Riga court house to the city’s House of Culture, so that more members of the public could attend.

Among the defendants is Albert Echelis, former administrator of the Rezekne District, who is charged with personal participation in many of the executions of Jews. The indictment against the men stated that few of the 5, 000 Jews they had helped toward deportation survived the death camps. Among the other defendants is the former deputy governor of the Rezekne prison.

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