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Dutch Group Probing Menten Case View Mass Grave in Poland

June 21, 1977
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A mass grave containing the remains of 200 persons, most of them Jews, murdered by Nazis in the Lemberg area of Poland during World War II has been opened near the village of Uryce in what is now Russian territory. The exhumation was carried out in the presence of a four-member delegation from the Amsterdam District Attorney’s office in connection with the trial of millionaire Dutch art dealer Pieter Menten who is charged with direct responsibility for the murders.

Menten, who served with a Nazi SS unit in the Lemberg region in the summer of 1941, claimed that the evidence was faked and that the human remains were placed there by Soviet authorities. But the Dutch correspondent accompanying the delegation reported today that there was no sign that the grave ever had been tampered with. He said that was proven by trees growing on the site.

According to the correspondent, it contained scores of skulls, including skulls of children, some with bullet holes and others smashed in. Pathologists are collecting the remains for re-burial. The same delegation visited the area last February when a similar mass grave was opened near Podhorodze village. The remains at Uryce were reported in better condition. The charges against Menten say that he participated in the killings at Podhorodze on July 7 and at Uryce on August 27, 1941.

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