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Eichmann Aide, Twice Freed in Trials, Ordered Re-tried in Vienna

February 16, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The Austrian Supreme Court has ordered the retrial of an aide to Adolf Richmann who was tried twice before as a war criminal and twice set free. The defendant is Franz Novak, 54, Eichmann’s chief transportation officer, who was known as “the stationmaster of death” for his part in transporting thousands of Jews to Auschwitz in 1944.

Novak was tried in 1964 and sentenced to eight years in prison, but the verdict was annulled by the Supreme Court for technical reasons. He was re-tried in 1966 but acquitted, even though found guilty, when the jury accepted his plea that he had acted “under duress” when he sent Jews to the death camp. In annulling the acquittal, the Supreme Court accepted the prosecutor’s appeal on grounds that the 1966 jurors were insufficiently instructed on the nature of “acting under duress.” The court said it was well established that Novak had been a voluntary and enthusiastic helper of Eichmann.

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