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Last Updated: Monday, 20 March 2006, 16:56 GMT
Lithuanian 'WWII Nazi' on trial
Nazi troops
Nazis were helped by collaborators in occupied territories
An 85-year-old man accused of collaborating with the Nazis and persecuting Jews during World War II has gone on trial in Lithuania.

Algimantas Dailide pleaded not guilty to crimes against 14 civilians - two Poles and 12 Jews - while a member of the Nazi-backed security police.

He was deported from the US to Germany in 2004, having fled after the war.

It is only the third trial of a suspected Nazi war criminal in any of the Baltic states since independence.

Mr Dailide still holds Lithuanian citizenship but has been living in Germany with his family since his deportation.

He is said to have taken part in the wartime arrest of Jewish men, women and children who were attempting to escape from forced confinement in the Vilnius Jewish ghetto between 1941 and 1944. Two Poles were also said to have been arrested for political reasons.

Denial

Many of the Jews arrested by the Saugumas, as the security police were known, were shot at execution pits at Paneriai, a wooded area outside Vilnius where some 50,000 Jews were killed during the war.

More than 200,000 Jews were killed in Lithuania during the war - many by their neighbours working with the occupying Nazi forces.

The Jewish human rights organisation, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, has long campaigned for Mr Dailide to stand trial.

Chief Nazi-hunter Dr Efraim Zuroff has said that significant parts of Lithuanian society are still in deep denial regarding the role played by local Nazi collaborators in the mass murder of Lithuanian Jews.


SEE ALSO:
Hunting the last Nazis
29 Jan 04 |  Europe
Country profile: Lithuania
14 Mar 06 |  Country profiles


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