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Nazi War Crimes Trials:
The Sobibor Trial

(September 1965 - December 1966)


Nazi Trials: Table of Contents | Auschwitz Trials | Dachau Trials


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On September 6, 1965, eleven of the SS men who had served at the Sobibor Extermination Camp were brought to trial, accused of crimes against humanity for the atrocities committed at the camp.

The proceedings took place in Hagen, West Germany, and concluded on December 20, 1966. Six of the defendants were found guilty, one committed suicide during the trial, three were acquitted and the remainder were sentenced to various terms of imprisonment:

Karl Frenzel: Life Imprisonment
Erich Fuchs: 4 Years Imprisonment
Robert Jührs: Acquitted & Released
Erwin Lambert: 3 Years Imprisonment
Franz Wolf: 8 Years Imprisonment
Ernst Zierke: Released on Health Grounds
Alfred Ittner: 4 Years Imprisonment
Hans - Heinz Schütt: Acquitted & Released
Werner Dubois: 3 Years Imprisonment
Erich Lachmann: Acquitted & Released
Kurt Bolender: (Committed Suicide on the 10th October 1966)

One of the accused, Kurt Bolender, the former commander of extermination Camp III, committed suicide. SS-Unterscharfuehrer Erich Fuchs, who had helped in the construction of the gas chambers at the death camps Belzec, Sobibor and Treblinka, was convicted for having directed experimental gassings that killed at least 3,000 Soviet prisoners and was sentenced to four years in prison. He later died in 1984.

Gustav Wagner, Deputy Commandant of Sobibor, who had ordered the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Jews as chief of the selections and had been sentenced to death in absentia by the Nuremberg Tribunal, escaped his sentence along with Franz Stangl with help of the Vatican to Brazil, where Wagner was admitted as a permanent resident on April 12, 1950.

Wagner lived openly in Sao Paulo until his arrest in May 1978, but the Brazilian Supreme Court refused to extradite him to Germany. According to his attorney Gustav Wagner comitted suicide in October 1980.


Sources: The National Archives ; Skalman

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