Nazi Accused of Directing Mass Murder of Jews in Vilna is Arrested
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Nazi Accused of Directing Mass Murder of Jews in Vilna is Arrested

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Franz Murer, accused through testimony at the Jerusalem trial of Adolf Eichmann as having been one of the principal culprits in the deaths of 80,000 Lithuanian Jews, was arrested this weekend at his home in the Stytian village of Gaishorn.

When Austrian police surrounded his home, a report spread through the town that “Israeli secret service operators” were arresting Murer. A crowd of about 100 villagers gathered in the vicinity, excited by that false report. However, the crowd dispersed when word was spread by officials that, in fact, the arresting officers were Austrian and that the Government in Vienna had received word from its official observer at the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem, disclosing heretofore unknown facts about Murer’s participation in the execution of the 80,000 Lithuanian Jews.

(A Tel Avid dispatch to the JTA today reported that Israeli police have taken depositions from 14 survivors of the Vilna ghetto, implicating Murer in the annihilation of the Jews there. Dr. Josef Wiesinger, official Austrian observer at the Eichmann trial in Jerusalem, requested that material concerning Murer be furnished to him, after Murer had been implicated during the trial by Dr. Marc Dvorjetzky, a former inmate of the Vilna ghetto. The latter had testified that “invariably” Murer was present whenever the Nazis carried out actions against the Jews in the Vilna ghetto.)

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