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Audience in Austrian Court Obstructs Trial of Nazis Who Killed Jews

February 3, 1966
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

A war crimes trial here against two ex-Nazis accused of murdering Jews in Poland, in 1941, was interrupted today when a packed courtroom audience staged a demonstration favoring the defendants.

The men on trial are brothers, Johann and Wilhelm Mauer, of Stanislaw. Their defense counsel had just told the court that “a conspiracy” had been framed against the brothers, when people in the audience started shouting “bravo.” The judge adjourned the session, but not until Dr. Hans Olscher, chief of the prosecution, had denied the defense contention that the accusations against the Mauer brothers had been made “by Jews or Communists.” He said the charges had been brought on the initiative of the West German Central Office for the Prosecution of Nazi Criminals, at Ludwigsburg, Germany.

Victor Bach, of New York, told the court prior to the outbreak that both brothers had participated in the liquidation of the Jewish intelligence service at Stanislaw. Mr. Bach had been, in 1941, a member of the Stanislaw Jewish Council. He testified he had seen the men murder a key member of the Stanislaw Jewish intelligence group.

Another witness, Mrs. Maria Madek, widow of a former Polish resistance fighter, testified that the SS tortured people in Stanislaw in an effort to find the headquarters of the local resistance group. She specifically identified Wilhelm Mauer as one of the Nazis who played a role in the torture practices. Both brothers, however, denied the accusations.

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