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Beckerle Illness Delays Former Envoy’s War Crimes Trial in Frankfurt

The trial of Adolf Beckerle, the war-time Nazi minister in Sofia, Bulgaria, was halted in Frankfurt today because of the defendant’s illness. Under German law, a new trial will have to be held if the original trial is interrupted for more than 10 days.

Authorities announced in Berlin yesterday that the one-time number two Nazi, Rudolph Hess, will he removed from his special jail at Spandau prison to another prison, which was not specified. Mr. Hess, who is serving a life sentence for Nazi war crimes, was Hitler’s deputy when he flew to Britain in 1940 to try to negotiate peace.

Mr. Beckerle’s lawyer, Egon Geis, said that owing to the latest development he would not insist on calling West German Chancellor Kurt Georg Kiesinger as a defense witness. Mr. Kiesinger, who was a German Army officer at the time, was said to have had contacts with Mr. Beckerle who is charged with participating in the mass deportation and eventual murder of more than 11,000 Bulgarian Jews. Unaffected by Mr. Beckerle’s illness is the trial of his co-defendant. Fritz Von Hahn, who was secretary of the Nazi legation in Sofia. He is being tried on the same charges.

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