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Two Nasi Officers Plead Guilty in Mass Murder of Jews in Tarnopol

Two of the 10 former SS officers on trial at Stuttgart on charges of wiping out the Jewish population of Tarnopol, Galicia, during World War II, pleaded partly guilty in the court room today. They admitted that they had participated in the mass murder of Tarnopol Jews but denied they had committed individual murders.

One of the men, Willi Hermann, formerly a sergeant in the SS, pleaded the old excuse — that he was forced to take part in the mass murders. “What could we do?” He asked the court, adding: “We little men of the SS were intimidated. We would have been sent to a concentration camp if we had refused.” He said he took part in three mass shootings.

The second of the men, Horst Guenther Winkler, another ex-sergeant, also conceded he had taken part in mass murders, helping in the shooting of 600 Jews at one time and aiding the massacre of 200 Jews in another instance.

The trial at Stuttgart, which opened three weeks ago, is expected to last at least six months. The prosecution had brought 100 witnesses to testify. Most of them are from the United States and Poland.

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