George Heuser, the leading defendant among 14 former SS officers who went on trial here yesterday on charges of murdering 70, 000 persons in Russia during the war, including more than 30, 000 Jews, conceded to the court today that he felt he was “partly guilty.”
The Nass trial for mass murder, considered the most sensational German war crimes proceeding in recent years, has excited great interest throughout Germany. Collectively, the defendants–all but one of them “old” Nazi party members–are accused of killing Jews, Russians and Gypsies during the German occupation of White Russia between 1941 and 1944.
Heuser, who is 49, was chief of the Criminal Investigation Department in the present German State of Rhineland-Palatinate until his arrest on the current charges in the summer of 1959. The prosecution charged that Heuser got the police post by forging a record to show his past was clear. He admitted that he made false statements during his denazification.
Franz Stark, 61, who was born in St. Louis, Mo., but raised in Germany, and who is one of the defendants, told the court today that when he killed Jews, Gypsies and Russians, he had not given the matter a second thought because he was “a convinced Nazi.”
The 318-page indictment charged that the defendants shot, gassed or buried alive victims selected for liquidation. They were arrested and charged after the Ludwigsburg Center for Investigation of Nazi Crimes tracked down their wartime records. The indictment is supplemented by 12, 000 pages of documentary material. Nearly 200 witnesses are scheduled to testify at the trial which is expected to last 12 to 15 weeks.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.