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Oklahoma
World War 2 News Gleanings

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Five Nazis Sentenced to Death For Killing Companion in State
Source: Daily Oklahoman Feb. 1, 1945 Page 1
New York. Jan 31-(AP)-Newsweek magazine says in its Feb. 5 issue that five German prisoners of war have been sentenced to death by court-martial for killing a fellow prisoner at Camp Tonkawa, Okla., Nov. 5, 1943, and are awaiting "their doom in a federal penitentiary." The five non-commissioned officers, the magazine says, "proudly admitted at their trial -- the first American court-martial involving a capital offense by German prisoners of war -- that they killed Cpl. Johann Kunze, who was found beaten to death with sticks and bottles.  "Under the articles of war the court had no choice but to pronounce the death sentence," the magazine adds.  "The Nazis appeared entirely satisfied."  Newsweek said other prisoners at the camp regarded Kunze "a traitor to the Reich and to the fuehrer: because "some of them had seen a statement Kunze had given American army officers information they believed had been of great value to the Allies in bombing Hamburg."  The magazine continues: "Held from Jan. 17 to 18, 1944, the trial leaned over backward to be fair to the five non-commissioned officers accused: Walther Beyer, Berthold Seidel, Hans Demme, Willi Schols and Hans Schomer.  The Geneva convention entitled them only to court appointed counsel, but in addition they were permitted a German lawyer, selected from among their fellow prisoners." 
Newsweek also says that two other German Prisioners of war, Eric Gaus and Rudolph Straub, were convicted June 13, 1944 of the slaying near Camp Gordon, Ga., of Cpl. Horst Cunther.  The magaine adds Gunther also had been denounced as a traitor.

Source: Daily Oklahoman Feb. 1, 1945 Page 1




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