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Stangl Trial Resumes; Former Death Camp Commandant Describes How Victims Were Tricked

The trial of Franz Paul Stangl, former commandant of the Treblinka and Sobibor death camps in Poland, resumed here yesterday after a week-long recess called when the defendant became ill. Stangl, 62, a former SS officer, admitted that the SS trained death camp personnel before sending them on assignment. He said he had volunteered for police duty in Poland and was first sent to Sobibor, where three gas chambers were installed. Stangl, who was tracked down in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 1967, is charged with responsibility for the deaths of 400,000 persons. He has pleaded that he merely did his duty as a commandant following orders. His trial is expected to last four months. The former SS officer told the court that accomplices dressed as rabbis greeted Jews at a fake train depot at Treblinka and assured them it was only a half-way station. The “depot” was actually the Treblinka receiving room, fitted with misleading ticket counter and clock, he admitted. “But the clock was only painted on,” he said. “It always said three o’clock.”