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September 08, 1967 - Image 18

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1967-09-08

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Kiel Trial Against SS-Criminals of Cracow


JTA Correspondent In West Germany

(Copyright 1967, JTA Inc.)

BONN—More than four months
have passed since a trial started
in the north German city of Kiel
against three former SS men. They
are: Wilhelm Kunde, 61, of Bremen,
married and father of three chil-
dren; Herman Ileinrich, 53, and
Franz Josef Muller, 55. Those de-
fendants are not so called "big
fish," they are regarded as "small
criminals," but this lopg trial
shows what men like these have
done during the terrible time when
Jews were killed in millions.
The jury in Kiel has to deal with
three men who pose as if they
are just ordinary good people with
a healthy sense of family life. But
in those four months evidence has
been brought that those three
"little" men participated in un-
imaginable crimes, committeed in
1942-1943 in the Ghetto of Cracow,
Poland, and in the camps of Bo-
china and Wieliczka near Cracow.
The three SS men are accused of
having helped to murder more than
40,000 persons. They have killed
in "single action" many men.
women, girls, children and new-
born babies. They shot whole
families, and they beat and tor-
tured Jews without limit.
Wilhelm Kunde has been in jail
since April 1965. He was, during
the war, an ordinary SS man and
assistant for "Jewish questions"
with the SS and the police chief
in Cracow. Franz Josef Muller is
in prison since May 1965, while
Hermann Heinrich was not even
in prison because of illness.

In the court room in Kiel
there is a black hat, which the
many Jewish wittnesses from all
over the world, who came to
testify, put on when they take
the oath. Big maps on the wall
of the court room show the or-
ganization scheme of the SS, the
Gestapo and the secret police of
the "general government" Po-
land. Behind the bullet-proof
glass side, the defendants are
being protected against possible
attacks. The jury is composed of
Chief Judge Bruon Kluth, two
other judges and three jurors.
On April 14, 1967, the trial was

An ambulance man and a Red
Cross nurse are steadily in the
courtroom, ready to take care of
the witnesses, who have come to
Kiel and are confronted with the
terrible past. Those Jewish victims
who survived and are there testi-
fying have an enormous psycholo-
gical impact. The Jewish witness,
Ignatz Silberspitz, of New York,
told the jury: "I wanted to forget.
I did not want to come to the trial.
I did not want to see those men
again." But friends convinced him
that he has to give tstimony. So
he told his story in a German court
room in Kiel. In 1942 he lay on
top of a hill of dead bodies and
was on the way to a mass grave.
Only by "accident" he fell out on
the street. When he was found by
Jewish persons, they discovered
that he still was slightly breath-
ing, although he was nearly dead.

Witnesses are testifying in
English, German, Yiddish, He-
brew and Polish. They all de-
scribe the horrible crimes the
accused committed in those years,
when Hitler occupied the whole
of Europe. But all the witnesses
speak in a quiet language, as if
without any emotion. What they
say proves that, although the
defendants did not hold high
positions, they used their power
to kill again and again.

The three SS men try to deny
their guilt. They say they did not
do any harm to anybody and, in
fact, never even visited the Ghetto
of Cracow. But all the witnesses
confirm that Kunde, Heinrich and
Muller were master over life and
death: "These SS men did beat us
again and again, if we did not
greet them properly or if they had
this impression," the witnesses

Even during the nights, the ac-
cused raided the Jews and en-
joyed killing Jews. David Schlang,
a professor in the University of
Vienna, described how Kunde had
shot a young student girl, because
she denied being Jewish.
When deportations began, Kunde
and Heinrich participated actively
in the cruelties against the Jews.
They decided who had to go to

work and who to death. Kunde
stood with a pistol in his hand be-
fore the rows of Jews and walked

up and down. Nathalie Eckstein,
of Brooklyn, tells the court how
a little child was crying for her
parents, when Kunde caught her
and shot her to death. The wit-
nesses describe how the Jews were
collected by the SS and driven
away. In one of those last "actions"
the SS discovered some frightened
Jewish children on a roof. They
were thrown by the SS from the
roof to the street. In the middle of
the street Kunde shouted to his
men on the roof: "Down with this
rubbish!" This horrible scene was
confirmed by several witnesses.

They recall the situation in a
house, where 40 old, sick Jews
lived with a doctor. The SS men
carried the Jews in their beds
outside and shot them on the
street. Kunde and Heinrich par-
ticipated in these shootings. Mrs.
Dora Polland, of New York, the
daughter of the proprietor of
that house, and Jakob Bsehinek
saw these crimes from their

Mrs. Rivka Bau recalls how
Heinrich beat a young girl wth
his whip until she died. "I did not
understand how such a good look-
ing man could do such a thing,"
she testified. She tells another
story. Kunde walked along the
street when he met a woman.
"What are you doing here?" he
asked the woman. The woman re-
plied: "Do you intend to shoot me?
Kunde ordered her to turn around.
Then he shot her in the neck.
Another witness describes how
Kunde killed the whole family —
eight persons—of a rabbi named
One of the most terrible events
of that time was the killing of
Jewish children in a synagoguge.
The SS drove the children into the
synagogue. Then they set the syna-
gogue on fire. While the children
burned to death, a camp orchestra
played a children's song.
The past has become present in
this trial, which reveals again what
unimaginable crimes people com-
mitted, men who, in their private
lives seemed to be decent men.

opened. This is the most expensive
and longest trial which ever took
Boris Smolar's
place in Kiel; 250 witnesses were
to be heard, about half of them
have testified. The trial is ex-
pected to last another six months.
It is believed that total costs of
this trial will exceed 1,000,000
marks ($250,000). In the fall the
jury will have to go to the United
(Copyright 1967, JTA Inc.)
States and Israel to hear Jewish
MARCH OF TIME: Experts in Jewish vocational guidance in
witnesses, who are unable to come
this country are beginning to worry over the future of Jewish wage
to Germany.
earners over the age of 45 . . . Under the present system, people
over 65 are provided—in case of their retirement—with pensions,
Tax Cuts Lower Cost Social Security, Medicare and other benefits . . . But what about
people who may lose their jobs in offices and in industry when they
of Household Goods
are much younger than 65? . . . With the present speedy march of
JERUSALEM (ZINS) — As a time in automation, computers, mergers of companies, relocation of
result of the purchase tax cuts an- industrial enterprises, and new electronic devices which are invented
nounced by the finance ministry, almost daily, not only the industrial worker is being pushed out of
durable household goods and elec- a job but also the white-collar employe . . . Already typists, book-
trical appliances are already be- keepers, filing clerks and even management men have been replaced
ing sold up to 200 pounds ($67) by computerized machinery . . . And most of them are far from being
of retirement age . . . Many labor, managerial and professional peo-
The cuts will apply to purchases ple are being dislocated under the impact of changes in production
of both locally produced and im- . . . They include people in the income bracket of $10,000 a year and
ported appliances in a way that higher . . . Suddenly, they lose their jobs because of lack in tech-
will continue the existing price re- nological qualifications which younger men possess and for which
lationships between imported and they are too old for retraining . . . They are like physicians who
domestic goods.
graduated some years ago but did not follow up the constant develop-
The tax cuts were for the streng- ments
ments in the field of medicine and are, therefore, out of step with
thening of the appliance industry modern medical innovations.

which has suffered a decline this
year, because of the drop in sales
PRESSING NEED: Jewish vocational services are, therefore, now
of refrigerators, gas ranges. wash- being urged to focus their attention primarily on middle-age Jewish
ing machines. radios and phono- men, and to a lesser extent on Jewish women in the same age group
. . A poll of opinions on this subject has been conducted by Philip
===== •11111i=11=4 M. Hyman, executive director of the Jewish Vocational Guidance
Bureau of Baltimore . . . Executive directors of Jewish Vocational
1 services in New York, Cleveland, Washington, Philadelphia, Detroit,
Kansas City, Louisville and other cities who were consulted indicated
that, from their experiences, the middle-age Jewish group indeed

1 poses problems in terms of occupational relocation . . These prob-
I lems, it is feared, will become more complicated with the increased
rates of job loss following in the wake of steadily burgeoning automa-
Call TE 3-3697 1 tion . . . Jewish experts in vocational training consider it obvious
that in the readily foreseeable future there will be a pressing need
I for
counseling among middle-aged Jewish unemployed persons, and
that the Jewish communities must prepare for it, taking into con-
I PEST CONTROL SERVICE, Inc. I sideration that among the affected Jews may be middle-aged people
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• ■ retirement age .

'Between You
. . and Me'


18—Friday, September 8, 1967


JWB Announces Countrywide Drive
to Recruit Personnel for Jewish Centers

NEW YORK (JTA)—A country- staff in October to discuss the
wide crash program to meet the latest applications of knowledge,
increasingly critical need for quali- techniques and skills in using pro-
fied personnel to serve Jewish fessional personnel and for a meet-
community centers and YM- ing for center professionals in
YWHA's affiliated with the Na- January to deal with the most ef-
tional Jewish Welfare Board, was fective utilization of personnel
announced this week by JWB with graduate or undergraduate
president Louis Stern.
Encompassing many organiza-
To further the effort to recruit
tional steps, including the use of physical educators, PWB's national
top JWB leadership, special meet- consultant in physical education,
ings and careful followup pro- Michael Rand, will visit colleges
cedures, the plan is accorded which offer a major in physical
"highest priority" for the coming education.
In outlining JWB's recruitment
Qualified social workers and
effort, Stern stressed that "the
specialists, particularly in health
most promising key to recruitment
and physical education are espe-
is in the hands of the local com-
cially needed, Stern emphasized, munity."
and the quest for them will con-
centrate on contact with qualified
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graduate and undergraduate stu-
dents, sociology and psychology
departments of colleges and uni-
versities, professors of Jewish
studies, Hillel foundations, schools
of education, Jewish community
centers and camps.
In outlining strategy, Stern said
JWB regional consultants will get
in touch with colleges and other
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institutions in their regions which
cannot be reached by local cen-
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ters, and will keep in close touch
with Jewish students in schools of
social work.
The plan also calls for a special
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