Bochum Germany, Dec. 22 (JTA) – After finding the former commander of the Stutthof concentration camp SS LL Col. Paul Werner Hoppe, guilty of having been an accessory to murder in hundreds of cases a German Court of Assizes here sentenced him to five years and three months at hard tabor, with time spent in pre-trial custody to be deducted.
The SS guard who served as camp medical orderly" and was in charge of regulating the poison-gaslow to the Stutthof gas chamber, Otto Kari Knott, was sent to jail for three years and three months for having contributed to the murder of at leas fifty inmates. In this case too, the court ordered time spent in pre-trial custody to be deducted. He was permitted to return home after the verdict pending a decision on the appeal both are expected to file.
Hoppe was commandant of Stutthof a camp near Danzig, from 1942 to 1945. During that time, witnesses testified, 25,000 Jews were killed. Some of the more than 90 prosecution witnesses told of beatings administered by Hoppe personally and of a sadistic practice the supervised. A medical student gave evidence under oath how Hoppe had intervened to expedite the gassing of pregnant Jewish women. He was held in Allied internment camps after the Nazi collapse, but escaped to Switzerland and remained there until 1954.
A third defendant, camp physician Dr. Otto E. Heidl, committed suicide the night after the first of first of the prosecution witnesses began to testify. Under the pretense of performing medical duties, he had given left at injections to hundreds of Jewish inmates. In recent years he was a general medical practitioner in a mall Bavarian.