Trial of Nazis Charged with ‘mercy Killing’ Opens in Germany

A trial of four Nazi doctors, charged with the “mercy killing” of more than 90,000 persons during World War II, began here yesterday.

The chief defendant is Dr. Gerhard Bohne, 64, who was extradited from Argentina last November on the charges. He was accused of helping to organize the Nazi program for the killing of mentally ill and physically deformed Germans under the Nazi euthanasia program. On trial with him are Dietrich Allers, 56, Reinhold Voberg, 64, and Adolf Kaufmann, 64. Bohne also was involved in the creation and camouflaging of the Nazi gas chambers and in selection of the Nazi execution squads which later murdered thousands of Jews. However, he is on trial here only on the mercy killing charge.

Initially, Bohne had been ordered to stand trial in Limburg in 1963 with three other medical officers of the Nazi regime on the euthanasia charges. But the principal defendant. Dr. Werner Heyde, hanged himself in a prison cell while awaiting trial and another defendant fell or jumped from a window and perished. The trial which opened here yesterday was expected to last nine months, and 120 witnesses were listed to testify.

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