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Nazi Commander Goes on Trial in Germany for Killing 40,000 Jews

Former SS Lt. Col. Martin Fellenz went on trial here yesterday for the second time on charges involving the wartime slaughter of 40,000 Jews in the Cracow area, in occupied Poland, in 1942.

The 56-year-old businessman was first tried on the Cracow charges in 1962 in Flensburg. He was sentenced to four years’ imprisonment on conviction of aiding in two of the murders. He was released shortly afterward because the court had ordered deduction of his pretrial detention from his term.

The Flensburg prosecutor’s office ordered his rearrest, and the Federal High court ordered the entrial, Meanwhile, new charges have been made against Fellens, one of them involving the charge that he was connected with the murder of 7,000 other victims.

The former SS officer has denied all of the accusations, asserting that the police chief of the entire Cracow region was responsible for the deportations of the 40,000 Jews to death camps. However, State Prosecutor Ulrich Plath argued in his presentation to the court here that responsibility for such actions was delegated to SS police chiefs of local districts. He asserted that this procedure had been proven by witnesses and documents.

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