BONN (Mar. 16)
The German Jewish community has demanded a trial for Gustav Just, a Social Democratic member of the Brandenburg state Parliament who resigned March 10 after admitting complicity in the murders of six Jews during the war.
The murders were committed in the Ukraine in July 1941, when Just was a soldier in the invading German army.
Heinz Galinski, chairman of the Jewish community, challenged the contention by Brandenburg’s justice minister, Hans-Otto Braeutigam, that Just cannot be tried because of the statute of limitations.
In a radio interview, Galinski, a Holocaust survivor, pointed out that Germany abolished the statute of limitations for murder and complicity in murder. He noted that the German authorities are still trying to extradite war criminals living abroad in order to put them on trial.
Just, 71, resigned under pressure from his party after the weekly newspaper Welt am Sonntag exposed his role in the 50-year-old crime. The newspaper obtained the information from the files of the former East German Ministry of State Security, known as the Stasi.
It kept a dossier on Just, who was an East German national before the country’s unification last year.
Meanwhile, the trial of war criminal Josef Schwammberger, begun last year, continues in Stuttgart. He is accused of killing Jews at three concentration camps in Poland where he served as commandant during the war.
The panel of judges will travel to Miami on Wednesday to take testimony from an elderly Jewish survivor who is too sick to travel to Germany.