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Three Found Guilty of Assassinating Dr. Kastner; Sentenced to Life

January 8, 1958
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Three men were convicted today by a district court of intentional murder in the 1957 slaying of Dr. Rudolph Kastner, central figure in a controversial trial involving charges of collaboration with the Nazis, and were sentenced to life imprisonment.

Those sentenced were Joseph Menkes, Zeev Eckstein and Dan Shemer, the court holding all three guilty despite confessions by Eckstein and Shemer that they alone did the actual killing. The court found that Menkes had been the planner of the slaying as the other two contended during the trial and that Eckstein was the killer while Shemer was the driver of the stolen jeep in which he took Eckstein to the scene of the killing.

Menkes’ defense counsel said he would not ask for commutation of the sentence but that he would file an appeal. The attorneys for the other defendants asked for commutation.

Dr. Kastner was killed March 3, 1957 when he was returning home from work as night editor of a local Hungarian-language daily. He had been the subject of a widespread two-year public debate on whether he had collaborated with the Nazis when he arranged for the emigration of more than 600 Jews from Nazi-occupied Hungary during World War II.

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