Nazi torture and murder of thousands of Russian Jews to the macabre strains of a “Death Tango” composed, directed and played by Jewish musicians, who were later killed, was revealed today by Soviet prosecutors at the international war crimes tribunal here.
The prosecution charged that at the Janowski and Belzec camps in Poland, where some 130,000 Jews were killed between September 1941 and June 1943, famous Jewish composers and conductors were forced to create and play the special tango, while mass executions and burials were taking place, and that the orchestra itself was slaughtered in a huge ditch at the Janowski camp. Witnesses testified that in the Lvow ghetto, where the Nazis organized pogroms as they entered the city shouting “kill the Jews and Poles,” members of the Hitler Youth corps used Jews as targets in pistol practice.
In June 1943 the Nazis exhumed and burned the bodies of their victims in order to obtain gold fillings from their teeth, two witnesses, who were employed at this work, declared, adding that within five months 110 kilograms of gold thus obtained were shipped to Germany.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.