Brains Behind Nazi Police in Holland Confesses Guilt in Deportation of Jews
(Direct JTA Teletype Wire
to The Jewish News)
MUNICH—Former SS Gen. Wil-
helm Harster, 62, commander of
the Nazi Security Police in oc-
cupied Holland during World War
II, confessed in open court here
Wednesday that he was guilty of
participation in the deportation of
80,000 Dutch Jews to Nazi exter-
With two of his principal aides
—ex-Maj. Wilhelm Zoepf and Ger-
trud Slotke—he has been on trial
here since Monday, accused in 23
indictments of deporting to the
death camps a total of 94,398 Dutch
Jews, of whom all but 1,070 had
perished, chiefly at Auschwitz and
Testifying as the principal de-
fendant, Harster told the court
under interrogation by the prosecu-
tion "the fact that I did not have
these 80,000 transferred to other
jobs makes me morally and legally
guilty, for which I must atone."
He confessed that, from the
very start of the "big deporta-
tions" in July 1942, he knew the
Jews would be killed in the
camps to which they were sent.
Although he had not known the
details about what was happen-
ing in the extermination camps,
he said, he had learned of the
mass murders from listening to
He stated that he had not dared
ask his SS colleagues whether the
BBC reports about mass extermina-
tion of Jews were true, and had
received no information about
these occurrences from his su-
periors. Then he added: "The de-
portations were strategic and
Harster told the court that the
deportees included old people, in-
valids, women, children and the
mentally ill. He said that only the
"wealthy, overseas Jews" were
allowed to leave Holland, "most
of them with the loss of their
fortunes." Under instructions from
Berlin. he testified, each of the
well-to-do Jews had to pay at least
20,000 Swiss Francs before they
were allowed to emigrate.
The former SS chief testified it
was his opinion, while he headed
the deportation program in the
Netherlands, that Germany would
not win the war. "I thought," he
said, "that defeat was my coun-
try's unavoidable fate." The court
adjourned its sessions until Fri-
Harster admitted at the trial
Tuesday that a court in the
Netherlands had convicted him
of "abuse of duty" but that the
administration of the West Ger-
man state of Bavaria neverthe.
less gave him a civil service post
with "full knowledge" of his
While Harster and his two co-
defendants were testifying, mem-
bers of the Association of Victims
of Nazy Persecu-
outside the court.
house. The pick-
eting was begun
when the trial
the portrait of Anne Frank
Anne Frank, the young girl whose
diary had become famous through-
out the world, and distributed
leaflets accusing Harster of hav-
ing been "the most successful and
most cruel of the murderers of
Miss Frank was one of the vic-
tims of the Dutch-Jewish deporta-
tions. She died at Bergen-Belsen.
The two other defendants also
testified Tuesday and admitted to
having been members of the Nazi
Party since 1933, the year Hitler
eame to power. Miss Slotke, 64,
acted as Harster's secretary as
well as chief of the women's divi-
sion of the department he headed
in Holland, dealing with the Jews.
Zoepf, 58, had been Harster's
Arrested in Holland after the
war, Harster was convicted by
a Dutch court and sentenced to
12 years' imprisonment. After
serving six years, he was freed.
He returned to Germany, where
a denazification court declared
him "mildly incriminated." In
1956, the Bavarian civil service
appointed him to a school de-
partment post in Upper Bavaria,
specializing in community fi-
nances. He retired three years
ago "on grounds of illness," and
has been living on a civil serv-
Appearing in the court room in
full SS officer's uniform, Harster
told the court he had studied law,
as a youth, at Erlangen University,
joined the Nazi Party in 1933, serv-
ing in the police division and ad-
vancing rapidly to a high post in
the security division which he
headed in occupied Holland.
In her testimony, Miss Slotke
said she knew when she worked
under Harster in Holland that his
office "was concerned with the
Jews." Zoepf claimed in testifying
that he had tried unsuccessfully,
after being sent to Holland to aid
Harster, to get a transfer because
"what was being done to the Jews
was a dreadful crime."
Among the witnesses scheduled charges. About 150 witnesses will
to appear at the trial for the testify in the trial, which is ex-
prosecution is Otto Frank, father pecetd to last three months.
of the late Anne Frank.
Jan. 21 at his war crimes trial in
Detnold that he had personally
shot Jews, but "only a maximum"
of three. The 71-year-old Nazi, who
is charged with multiple wartime
Nazi Admits He Picked
murders of Jews, said he had been
Trial in Budapest of 19 Jews for Death, Shot Some stationed
in a forced labor camp
for Mass Murder in '44 BONN (JTA)—Willi Schulz, a in Mogilev in occupied Russia,
VIENNA (JTA)—Nineteen for- former Nazi policeman, admitted -where he guarded 150 prisoners.
mer members of the Arrow-Cross
pro-Nazi organization in wartime THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS
Friday, January 27, 1967-11
Hungary are on trial in Budapest
on charges of murdering 230
Budapest men, women and chil-
dren, including many Jewish vic-
There is no statute of limita-
tions for such crimes in Hungary.
If the defendants are convicted,
they will face the death penalty,
according to the report from Buda-
The principal defendant is Vil-
mos Kreeszel, 58. He is charged
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