DARMSTADT (Dec. 2)
Seven former Nazi SS (Elite Guard) members of a wartime German commando unit charged with the mass shootings of 60,000 men, women and children, mostly Jews, in the Ukraine in 1941, have begun sentences of prison terms ranging from four to 15 years and loss of their civil rights for varying periods. The trial, which lasted 14 months, concerned 200 mass murder cases involving Jews and Slavs, the most renowned being the massacre of Babi Yar ravine where thousands of Jews were shot to death. It was the longest trial since the hearings against former staff personnel of the Auschwitz death camp. Three former commandos were not sentenced because under military laws of 1941 they were not guilty. The longest prison term — 15 years and loss of civil rights for 10 years — was imposed on Kuno Kalsen, 56, for whom the prosecution had demanded life imprisonment.