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‘minsk Ghetto’ Trial Ends; 11 Nazis Sentenced for Killing 35, 000 Jews

May 22, 1963
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A jury court in Coblenz sentenced 11 former Nazis in the Minsk Ghetto trial to terms ranging from life imprisonment at hard labor to three-and-a-half years imprisonment today at the conclusion of a seven-month trial on charges of mass murder of Jews and Russians.

George Heuser, 50, the principal defendant, was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment and deprivation of his civil rights for five years. The prosecution had asked a life term. The 11 defendants had been accused of the wartime slaughter of 35, 000 Jews in the ghetto. In an unusual statement for a defendant in the West German Nazi crimes trials, Heuser had accepted full responsibility for his guilt.

The severest sentence was imposed on American-born Franz Starke, 51, a Nazi party member since 1920. He received the only life term in the judgments, and was given that punishment for murder in three cases. The Jury court also sentenced Starke to an additional term of eight years for complicity in murder in five other cases and to lifetime deprivation of his civil rights.

Artur Wilke, 51, was sentenced to ten years and deprivation of his civil rights for three years. Rudolph Schlegel received a term of eight years and loss of civil rights for three years. Friedrich Herbach, 51, received a term of seven years and loss of civil rights for three years. Wilhelm Kaul, 56, Johannes Feder, 51, and Eberhard von Toll, 52, each was sentenced to four years and six months. Johann Oswald, 52, and Karl Eahlheimer, 56, each received terms of four years imprisonment and Artur Harder, 52, was sentenced to three-and-a-half years at hard labor.

In all cases but that of Starke, detention pending trial was taken into consideration in determination of sentence.

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