BONN (Feb. 19)
Three former Gestapo officials, sentenced to prison terms last week for their roles in the deportation of French Jews and others during World War II, were arrested over the weekend. The three, Kurt Lischka, Herbert Martin-Hagen and Ernst Heinrichsohn, were to have remained free pending the outcome of their appeals.
But the Cologne court that convicted them on Feb. 12 ordered their arrests. No explanation was given for the reversal of presiding Judge Heinz Fassbender’s release order after he rejected a warrant by the prosecution last week. The news that the three war criminals would remain at large during the appeals process, which could take as long as a year, touched off angry demonstrations in Munich and elsewhere in Germany and abroad.
Lischka, 70, a former SS Major, Hagen, 66 and Heinrichsohn, 59, were jailed on Saturday. They had been sentenced the previous Tuesday to 10, 12 and six years, respectively. But demonstrations of sympathy for Heinrichsohn continued in the small Bavarian town of Buergstodt where he had been mayor for many years, resigning only when his prison sentence was pronounced. The townspeople protested his conviction and protested again over his arrest. Rumors spread in Buergstadt, that “200 Jews are about to come to our town.”