Jew Accused Of German Genocide
By Nargaret Neighbour
The Scotsman

POLAND is seeking the extradition from Israel of an elderly Polish-born Jew on charges of genocide for the deaths of German prisoners in a communist camp he commanded after the Second World War.
The suspect, Solomon Morel, 83, is accused of causing the deaths of more than 1,500 inmates at the end of the war.
Morel, who was held in Auschwitz and had more than 30 members of his family wiped out by Nazis and collaborators, was made the commander of the Swietochlowice camp in November 1945.
He is accused of keeping German prisoners and Nazi collaborators in barbaric conditions, subjecting them to torture, beatings and starvation.
An attempt to extradite him five years ago on charges of torture failed, after Israel ruled that the statute of limitations on the charges had run out.
Polish special prosecutors have now upgraded the charges to genocide, for which there is no statute of limitation.
Andrzej Arseniuk, a spokesman for prosecutors at the Institute of National Remembrance, which investigates Second World War and communist-era crimes, said that the new charges are based on testimony from former prisoners at the defunct camp, near the southern city of Katowice.
"The testimony from former inmates living now in Germany significantly enriched the evidence. It documented Morel's torture of at least 13 inmates known by name," said Leon Kieres, the head of the institute. "Now the charges say his intention was to exterminate for national and political reasons."
'They told us: You are here, and you are here to die.'CAMP INMATE
Mr Kieres said the extradition request, which will be made by a regional court in Katowice in a few weeks, will be Poland's final attempt to bring Morel to justice.
The new charges accuse Morel of seeking to exterminate German prisoners by starving them to death, depriving them of basic medical care and carrying out and sanctioning torture by his subordinates - including imprisoning prisoners in small cells filled with water, trampling them or making them stand for long hours, singing Nazi songs.
Morel was born in 1919 in the Polish village of Garbow. He was 20 when Germany invaded Poland and the Nazis began to round up Polish Jews. About 30 members of his family, including his mother and father, both brothers, aunts, uncles and cousins, died in the Holocaust.
In Christmas 1942, Nazi collaborators arrived at the family home while Morel and one of his brothers were out. His mother was forced to watch as her husband and son were shot dead before she was killed.
Morel witnessed the murders with his other brother, Yitzhak, from the top of a haystack in a field, before they fled and took refuge with a local family. Within a few months, the two brothers had joined the Polish Jewish partisans.
Morel's brother was later ambushed and shot by Nazi collaborators while driving a sleigh for the partisans. Morel was eventually imprisoned in the Auschwitz death camp. He moved to Israel in 1994, to flee Polish authorities.
Mr Kieres said Morel is believed responsible for at least 1,538 deaths at the camp.
Speaking after Israel's rejection of the first extradition request five years ago, Dorota Boriczek recalled the almost commonplace brutality in the camp.
"I knew Morel in the camp. He was a very brutal man," she said. "He was young then. He would come in at night. We could hear the cries of the men then. They would beat them and throw the bodies out of the window.
"I was taken there when I was 14, with my mother. I still don't know why we were there, and I still want to know. They told us when we arrived: 'You are here, and you are here to die, although nobody will shoot you, because ammunition is too expensive'."
Mrs Boriczek said conditions at the camp were barbaric. "There was nothing to eat, a hunger that you cannot imagine. We were lucky to have a piece of bread once a day, nothing else, and water," she said.
"Both my mother and I had typhus. We were separated and I didn't know she was alive. I had a high fever and when I opened my eyes, I was sleeping next to a lady from Switzerland. I slept with her under one blanket. I was happy that she was dead, because that meant I could have her blanket."
The investigation against Morel is the only one in Poland against a Jew accused of retaliating against the Germans.
Polish historians generally agree that the communist government imprisoned 100,000 Germans, mostly civilians, who were deemed threats to the state. At least 15,000 died due to ill-treatment and the rest were freed by 1950.



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