FRANKFURT (Dec. 19)
Two of the three ex-Nazis being tried here in the second of the Auschwitz trials, accused of participating in the mass murder of thousands of Jews in the Auschwitz death camp, pleaded not guilty yesterday. The first Auschwitz trial, concluded here last August after proceedings lasting 20 months, had resulted in the conviction of 16 of the 20 defendants, six of the men being given life imprisonment terms.
The three on trial now are Wilhelm Burger, 61, charged with having been the man who provided the gas used for murdering Jews in the Auschwitz gas ovens; Josef Erber, 63, and Gerhard Neubert, 56. Burger conceded on the witness stand that his department at Auschwitz had provided gas, but insisted he did not know the gas was being used for murdering Jews. Erber, charged with having been a “selection officer” at the camp, denied the accusation and said he had never taken part in the selection of Auschwitz prisoners for death in the gas ovens.