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Trial of Gestapo Chief in Hungary Opened; Charged with Killing 1,200 Jews

June 19, 1962
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Otto Hunsche, 51, former chief of the Gestapo in Hungary, where he worked directly under the late Adolf Eichmann, lost his first round in the District Court here today, as soon as his trial opened this morning on charges of ordering the arrest and murder of 1,200 Hungarian Jews during the World War.

His attorney, Hans Latarnser, well-known here as counsel for other ex-Nazis previously tried, started by asking the court to quash the case, on the grounds that Hunsche had already been tried and convicted. The court rejected the effort, and the trial proceeded. The defense lawyer had insisted that the present trial should be terminated because Hunsche had already served a two-year prison term after being convicted in 1947 by a court at Recklinghausen. However, the public prosecutor pointed out that the previous trial did not include the present charges.

According to the prosecutor, Hunsche, who has been practicing law in Westphalia since he emerged from prison in 1949, had 1,200 Hungarian Jews arrested in July 1944, and sent to their deaths at Auschwitz. One of the few survivors of that death trip, Mrs. Margaret Reich, of Israel, is a witness, brought here by the prosecutor to testify against Hunsche. She also represents organized Hungarian Jews in New York.

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