Officer may be charged for Einstein killings

8th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

8 February 2007, Ludwigsburg, Germany (dpa) - A former German army captain may be charged with murdering two young women second cousins of Nobel-Prize- winning physicist Albert Einstein and their mother during the Second World War in Italy, German prosecutors said. Their businessman father, Robert Einstein, was in hiding when soldiers arrived at his country house in Regello, near Florence, and shot the three women after accusing them of being spies. Robert Einstein, a first cousin of the scientist, had tak

8 February 2007

Ludwigsburg, Germany (dpa) - A former German army captain may be charged with murdering two young women second cousins of Nobel-Prize- winning physicist Albert Einstein and their mother during the Second World War in Italy, German prosecutors said.

Their businessman father, Robert Einstein, was in hiding when soldiers arrived at his country house in Regello, near Florence, and shot the three women after accusing them of being spies.

Robert Einstein, a first cousin of the scientist, had taken refuge away from the house, aware that his Jewish surname had attracted attention from the Nazis. He committed suicide the following year.

Germany's authority for investigating Nazi war crimes in the city of Ludwigsburg said it had passed the file on the killings to prosecutors in Frankenthal, a town near the place where the elderly man lives.

He commanded the German mechanized infantry battalion which had been identified as the culprits in the killings.

Prosecutors must review the file and decide whether or not to open a formal inquiry, which could then lead to an indictment and trial.

The 1944 killings were examined in a 2000 Italian feature film, A Il Cielo Cade (The Sky is Falling).

Albert Einstein left Germany when the Nazis took power in 1933 and moved to the United States, renouncing his German citizenship. The two young Italian women, aged 27 and 18, were his second cousins.

The authority said it had also obtained the names of 20 possible accused in a Nazi massacre of 51 civilians in the hamlet of Sant' Agata di Gesso Palena in Italy's Abruzzia region in January 1944.

Prosecutor Kurt Schrimm said this did not mean an indictment yet, since prosecutors in Munich would first have to locate the suspects if they were alive and establish if there was a case against them.

DPA

Subject: German news

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