BONN (Oct. 7)
A former Gestapo official, who was the chief officer in wartime Belgium and northern France, committed suicide last Saturday, it was disclosed here today by Justice Ministry officials. Another high-ranking Nazi, a former SS officer, Gustav Franz Wagner, also committed suicide last week at his home in Brazil.
The 70-year-old former Nazi, Ernst Ehlers, took his own life just a few weeks before his trial was to open on charges of complicity in murder and his role in deporting thousands of Jews to Nazi death camps. Ehlers, who electrocuted himself at his home in Kiel, left a suicide note in which he said the upcoming trial was the reason he decided to commit suicide. The trial was to have opened Nov. 26.
According to the charges, Ehlers was responsible for the deportation of about 26,000 Belgian and French Jews to Auschwitz and other concentration camps in Poland. Only 3439 of the deportees were said to have survived.