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Six Austrians Charged with Killing of Tens of Thousands of Jews

July 18, 1956
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Six former Austrian policemen who went on trial here yesterday, charged with the massacre of Jews in Nazi-occupied Poland, today pleaded not guilty. The trial attracted nationwide attention.

Chief prosecutor Dr. H. Reiter read a 40-page statement, in which he stated that all six became members of a security police detachment in the Boryslaw district of Poland in 1941. Some 34,000 Jews were living in that area at one time, and only few more than 500 survived, he added. The prosecution stated that Jews were shot down not alone as part of an official extermination policy, but sometimes for amusement or robbery.

The prosecutor described Leopold Mitas and Josef Poell as chief offenders, who had boasted before witnesses of having killed hundreds of Jews. The prosecutor quoted one witness as saying that he had seen Mitas knock out the brains of a three-year-old child by swinging the child against a telegraph pole. Mitas fainted a number of times during today’s proceedings. Of another accused, Ferdinand Neumayer, the prosecutor said that he had trained a dog to inflict severe injuries on Jews it was ordered to attack.

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