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Three from Chicago Identify Defendant in Cologne Trial As Slayer of Grodno Jews

April 17, 1968
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Three Jewish witnesses from Chicago, all survivors of the Grodno ghetto massacre of World War II today Identified the principal defendant in the Grodno war crimes trial in Cologne as the man they saw shooting down Jews in cold blood. The defendant, Kurt Wieser, was pointed to In the court by Reuben Loren, 47, Aaron Berman, 46, and Lisa Berman, all of whom said their identification was positive.

Loren said he was born in Grodno and lived in the ghetto from 1942 until its destruction by the Nazis. He said that Wieser held the power of life or death over the ghetto inhabitants. In all, he testified, he saw some 300 Jews being shot, 50 of them at one time. Eighteen Jewish men and women who were captured In the woods shortly before the ghetto was destroyed were lined up in a courtyard and shot by Wieser with an automatic pistol. Loren said he witnessed this crime from his window. The bodies were left lying on the pavement for two days to terrorize other Jews, according to Loren. Berman, a Chicago businessman, and Lisa Berman, who escaped from the ghetto in 1942, also testified that they saw Wieser shooting Jews.

(In Hanover, a former Nazi police officer who had been sentenced to life imprisonment for the wartime murder of two Jewish women and their children in a ghetto in occupied Poland, has been acquitted here on an appeal. Kurt Jericho, 59, was given the life sentence at a trial in Lunenberg on his conviction for the murders in the Chenstochau ghetto in the winter of 1942-43. His conviction was reversed when the jury in the Hanover court agreed there was “insufficient evidence” to prove his guilt.

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