Schwammberger’s Alleged Brutality Corroborated by Two More Witnesses
Menu JTA Search

Schwammberger’s Alleged Brutality Corroborated by Two More Witnesses

Download PDF for this date

Two more Holocaust survivors have accused Josef Schwammberger, a 79-year-old former SS official on trial in Stuttgart, of having shot Jewish inmates at concentration and slave labor camps that were under his supervision.

In testimony taken last year in Paris and read aloud in court, the late Markus Wolfshau said that at the beginning of 1943, Schwammberger ordered the arrest of 50 camp prisoners to serve as hostages for three inmates who had fled. When the three returned, they were promptly hanged by Schwammberger.

But the commander also ordered the shooting of 25 of the 50 hostages, all of whom were Jews.

From 1943 to 1944, Schwammberger was in charge of labor camps in Przemysl and Mielec.

He is also charged with torture and killing in the Rozwadow ghetto, all in German-occupied Poland.

In other testimony read aloud in court, an 80-year-old witness, Salomon Tur of Tel Aviv, said his entire family was killed by Schwammberger after being held in a camp prison.

In testimony taken in Israel, the witness said he had been forced to clean up the mess left after the executions and could identify the bloodstained clothes of his relatives.

Schwammberger has been charged with killing 45 Jews and complicity in the killing of some 5,000 others. He was extradited from Argentina to Germany nearly two years ago.

The entire court personnel in the Schwammberger case have come to New York to take additional testimony from people unable to travel to Germany, according to Elliot Welles, head of the Nazi Task Force of the Anti-Defamation League.

When the trial resumes Jan. 13, more witnesses are expected from abroad, most of them Jews who were among inmates held in the two concentration camps run by Schwammberger.

It is believed here that the Schwammberger trial could be the last of a Nazi criminal in this country.

In dozens of other cases, the prosecution has been hesitating to charge or has given up altogether, because of legal or other problems.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund