Zurich, Jul. 26 (JTA) – Nazi leaders, shaken by unrest at home and defeat on all fronts, are beginning to lay the groundwork for their defence before war criminal tribunals, it is indicated in a dispatch by the Nazi Transocean news service received here today.
The dispatch quotes an address by Sundermann, deputy press chief of the Reich, to representatives of the foreign press in Berlin in which he discussed German treatment of the Jews. Alleging that up until 1940 Jews were allowed to emigrate freely, he said that in 1941 Jews were "incorporated into the European production system" and placed at the disposal of the Todt Organization - which constructs German fortifications - farms, factories and other groups. Once assigned to labor, Sundermann said, Jews were no longer under the control of the Gestapo.
This last is apparently an attempt to place the blame for the mistreatment and execution of Jews sent to forced labor on the individuals or organizations for whom they were working rather than on the German Government.
Sundermann claimed that the International Red Cross recently investigated conditions at the fortress prison of Theresienstadt, where many thousands of Jews from all over Europe are confined, and found them good. Twenty-thousand food parcels reached the Thereseinstadt internees from abroad during June, he stated, and negotiations are proceeding for the shipment of such parcels to other camps.
An item in a Munich newspaper received here today indicates that there are still Jews living in that city, which is the citadel of National Socialism. The paper announcing the distribution of special rations of coffee, liquor and meat to persons excluded from receiving the rations.