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Two Charged of Nazi Crimes

February 17, 1978
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West Germany’s central agency for processing Nazi crimes has issued charges against two elderly Germans for their participation in the mass murder of Jews in the Ukraine. The investigations, which began in 1964, show that the two, Wilhelm Westerheide, 69, and Johanne Zelle, 58, participated in the murder of 9000 Jews in the Vladimir-Wolynsk ghetto in the Ukraine in September and November, 1942.

The Jews were taken in trucks from their homes to Piatydny and shot there, in front of ready mass graves. Westerheide, as the then district commissar, is charged with being instrumental in carrying out the action and in personally shooting eight Jews whose identities are known. Zelle is alleged to have pushed the Jews together by using a riding whip as well as knocking children against a wall and throwing them from a balcony. The two are expected to face trial shortly in Dortmund.

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