Eye Witnesses Finger Alleged Nazi Collaborator

A convicted Nazi collaborator and another eye-witness provided testimony yesterday that Karl Linnas, a 61 year-old Long Island resident, personally supervised the execution of Jews, Communists and other anti-Nazis in Tartu, Estonia during World War II. The testimony, on videotape, was shown in Westbury Federal Court in connection with deportation hearings against Linnas. The U.S. Department of Justice is seeking to revoke his citizenship on grounds that he concealed his wartime activities when he entered the U.S. in 1951 and became a citizen in 1960.

The videotape testimony was taken in Estonia four months ago from Hans Laats who served 12 years of a 20 year sentence for collaborating with the Nazis during their occupation of Estonia, and Elmar Puusepp who worked in a labor camp at Tartu at the time. According to Laats, Linnas was directly in charge of the mass executions in 1941. The prisoners were killed by a firing squad and then Linnas personally shot them to make sure they were dead, Laats said.

Puusepp said he witnessed Linnas and other members of the Nazi-affiliated Home Guard herd people from a Jewish school onto a bus, apparently to be taken to a place of execution outside Tartu. He said Linnas helped drag a five or six year-old girl carrying a large doll. The girl was never seen again but later he saw a Home Guard member with the doll, Puusepp said.

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