Cologne, Nov. 9 – Fifty French Jews demonstrated here today in front of the home of former SS Col. Kurt Lischka who is expected to go on trial shortly for his role in the deportation of Jews from France during the Nazi occupation. The group, which arrived by bus this morning, was headed by Serge Klarsfeld. He and his wife, Beate, have been active in tracking down Nazi war criminals.
Today's demonstration was to remind the public of Lischka's role in the notorious Kristallnacht -- the night of broken glass -- that spread terror throughout the German-Jewish community 40 years ago. He was then chief of the Gestapo's office for Jewish affairs. The demonstrators carried banners noting that Lischka was directly responsible for the mass arrests of Jews in Germany in June and November, 1938 and their incarceration in concentration camps. He also directed the deportation of thousands of Polish Jews from Germany under brutal conditions on Oct. 28, 1938.
Signs carried called on the public to "demand with us the trial of Lischka and his accomplices as soon as possible." Others urged "No proscription for Nazi crimes against humanity," a reference to the statute of limitations on the prosecution of Nazi war criminals which is due to take effect on Dec. 31, 1979. The demonstration was peaceful and without incident. It took place shortly before a special service commemorating Kristallnacht was conducted at the Cologne Synagogue in the presence of President Walter Scheel of the Federal Republic and Chancellor Helmut Schmidt. A Cologne tribunal will convene shortly to set a date for Lischka's trial.