Trials Against Ex-nazis Charged with Killing Jews Open in Germany

A 52-year-old businessman from Aalen, in Wurttemberg, went on trial today in Brunswick for war crimes in the Ukraine during World War II. The man, Karl Dietrich, is accused of murdering 30 Jews and of being the leader of a special “battle group” formed by the Nazis to fight partisans. He is also accused of having issued an order, in March, 1942, for the shooting of 92 Jews, including elderly men, women and children, in the town of Grobsjanke.

Adolf Harnischmacher, of Hamburg, a former SS officer, went on trial in Frankfurt today a before a jury court on war crimes charges. He is accused of participating in mass murders in the Soviet Union between December, 1941 and the fall of 1942 as a member of an Einsatz commando unit, one of many which followed in the wake of Hitler’s advancing armies with orders to kill Jews.

Three former members of a special commando unit of the Nazi Security Police are now on trial before an Essen jury court on charges of mass murders of Jewish men, women and children on the eastern front in occupied Russia. The defendants are Kurt Matchke, 65, a former SS officer, Edward Spengler, 65, and Franz Polman, 54, the latter two also former SS men. Matchke, who is charged with the murder by shooting of 200 Jews in Strodup in 1942, was sentenced in 1954 in Cologne to a two-year term at hard labor for participating in the deportation of Jews to Nazi death camps. Spengler was charged with participation in the shooting of more than 400 Jews and Polman was charged with the murder of 600 Jews in Klinzy. Albert Rapp, the commander of the unit, was sentenced in Essen last March to life imprisonment at hard labor.

The recent wave of swastika smearings in West Berlin continued today when unknown persons painted the Nazi symbols on walls, posters and on an automobile in the Charlotteburg district of the city. Last Thursday, the Political Police arrested a 34-year-old man for smearing swastikas in the city. The man claimed that he had no “political” motives for his acts.

NEXT STORY