AMSTERDAM (Jun. 16)
Pieter Menten, the millionaire Dutch art dealer on trial for the mass murders of Jews and others in Poland during World War II, has filed a libel suit against the Dutch-Jewish journalist whose articles last year exposed his Nazi activities. Menten, 78, is asking payment of 10 million Guilders by Hans Koop, editor of the weekly, Accent, and is also seeking “compassionate damage.”
Menten went on trial earlier this year after fleeing Holland to escape arrest. He was captured in Switzerland and returned to Dutch jurisdiction. He is charged with responsibility for and participation in the killings of nearly 2000 persons, mostly Jews, in Uryce and Podhorodze villages in the Lemberg region of Poland, now Russian territory. The crimes occurred in July and August, 1941, when Menten served as an officer in an SS unit in that region.
He claimed in his suit that he has suffered damage to his reputation, anguish and severe financial losses as a result of Koop’s articles. Menten was unsuccessful in a recent petition to the President of the Amsterdam District Court to bar the distribution of Koop’s book on his case. Mean-while, a delegation from the Amsterdam Public Prosecutor’s Office has left for the Lemberg region to exhume a mass grave containing the remains of persons allegedly killed by Menten.