World War II war crime suspectgoes on trial in Munich

9th September 2004, Comments 0 comments

9 September 2004 , MUNICH - In one of the last Nazi war crimes trials, proceedings opened Thursday in Munich against Ladislav Niznansky, accused in the massacres of 164 persons in Slovakia the final months of World War II. Niznansky, 86, faces charges of organising three massacres in January and February 1945 when he was a commander in the Slovakian section of the Nazi defence force "Edelweiss". The Slovak-born defendant denies the allegations. According to the charge sheet, Niznansky led the massacres of

9 September 2004

MUNICH - In one of the last Nazi war crimes trials, proceedings opened Thursday in Munich against Ladislav Niznansky, accused in the massacres of 164 persons in Slovakia the final months of World War II.

Niznansky, 86, faces charges of organising three massacres in January and February 1945 when he was a commander in the Slovakian section of the Nazi defence force "Edelweiss".

The Slovak-born defendant denies the allegations.

According to the charge sheet, Niznansky led the massacres of 146 civilians in the towns of Ostry Grun and Klak in January 1945. In February, 18 Jews were killed in a massacre in the town of Kamen. Most of the victims were women and children.

Niznansky fled Slovakia at the end of the war and settled in Germany.

In the post-war period, he worked up until 1983 for the U.S.- funded radio station "Radio Free Europe", based in Munich, which broadcast to the communist-ruled countries of Eastern Europe. Niznansky became a naturalised German citizen in 1996.

In 1962, Niznansky was sentenced to death in absentia in a trial in the former Czechoslovakia.

German investigations into his wartime activities had in the meantime been suspended for lack of evidence. But in 2001, the investigations were reopened at the request of Slovakia. Niznansky was arrested in Munich in early 2004 and is in custody.

The trial marks one of the last of its kind to bring accused Nazi- era war criminals to justice, coming more than 59 years after the end of World War II and the generation of perpetrators as well as of witnesses slowly dying out.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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