FRANKFURT (Jun. 30)
The trial of Adolf Beckerle, Nazi minister in Sofia, Bulgaria, during World War II, was suspended yesterday because the defendant is sick and in the hospital. Mr. Beckerle was charged with participation in the mass deportations of Bulgarian Jews. Also deferred was the testimony of West German Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger who was called as a defense witness. Mr. Kiesinger, who was an army officer at the time, is alleged to have had contacts with Mr. Beckerle, Whether the trial will resume or a new trial will be ordered depends on the length of Mr. Beckerle’s illness. According to German procedure, if there is more than a 10-day gap in the proceedings,the trial must begin anew.
A sentence of life imprisonment was imposed in Cologne on Kurt Wiese, a former SS officer charged with participation in the wartime shooting of 177 Jewish men, women and children in the Grodno ghetto in occupied Poland, between 1941 and 1943. The trial opened last March 11. Another defendant and former SS officer, Heinz Errelis, 55, of Bochum, was acquitted for lack of proof. He had been sentenced in 1967 to six and a half years imprisonment at hard labor but the sentence was never carried out because of procedural appeals.