BONN (Apr. 17)
Fifteen former members of the SS, Hitler’s elite guard, will go on trial again Wednesday at Stuttgart in a proceeding that had been suspended, after several weeks of testimony, to allow the court to hear five Jewish witnesses in New York. The defendants are accused of killing 90,000 Jews in Lublin, Poland, during World War II.
Peter Pracht, chairman of the district court at Stuttgart, with several court aides and six defense attorneys returned today after hearing the witnesses in New York. The five, too ill or too old to travel to Germany, gave their testimony in an office of the West German Consulate. Their names were not revealed by the German officials, lest they be harassed.
Four former Nazis were convicted at the district court at Minden this weekend of killing an undetermined number of Jews and deporting to their deaths 46,000 other Jews from the Biyalystok area of former Poland during World War II, and given prison terms ranging from nine to six and a half years.
Lothar Heimbach, 58, the chief defendant, and Richard Dibus, 54, were given nine-year terms. Seimbach was a police official, and Dibus was an officer in the SS, Hitler’s elite guard. Wilhelm Altenloh, former commander of the Nazi security police in the area, was given an eight-year sentence, and Heinz Errelis, an ex-police officer, was sentenced to six and a half years. Both of the latter men, however, were freed. Altenloh because he is ill and the other man so he could care for his ailing wife. Both have already been in jail for periods of three years and nearly four years.