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Auschwitz Torturer Clams Up at Frankfurt Trial

Jan. 10, 1964 - The alleged master torturer of the Nazis’ Auschwitz concentration camp jutted his jaw, clicked his heels, and refused today to answer questions at West Germany’s biggest war crimes trial in Frankfurt. Wilhelm Boger, 57, hulking former chief guard at the infamous death camp, even kept silent while a co-defendant, Klaus Dylewski, 47, described a torture device — the “Boger swing” — which he designed and allegedly used on inmates. Earlier, Boger appeared almost bored when former assistant camp commandant Karl-Friedrich Höcker, 52, told the court he had been “horrified” by the stench of burning bodies. Höcker, like the other defendants who have testified, denied he was involved.

On trial are 21 former Gestapo men who have been charged with taking part in the murders of millions of Jews Poles, Russians, and other “enemies” of Nazi Germany in the camp in occupied Poland during World War II. Boger was detained by American military police on 19 June 1945, in Ludwigsburg, where his parents were living. He would have been extradited to Poland for trial but managed to escape from custody in November 1946. He was arrested in 1959.


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