A suspected Nazi war criminal described howÂ Jews ‘screamed like geese’ when they were shot, in a documentary set to be shownÂ for the first time.
Jonas Pukas, a 78-year-old LithuanianÂ immigrant, even laughed as he saidÂ Holocaust victims ‘flew in the air’.
He gave the disturbing police tape interviewÂ at his home in New Zealand in 1992 and the audio from it forms part of the filmÂ Nazi Hunter, which will be screened tomorrow.
The meeting was conducted by then DetectiveÂ Wayne Stringer, who was investigating a list of 47 possible war criminals thatÂ the New Zealand government had received from the Nazi-hunting Simon WiesenthalÂ Centre.
Pukas died in 1994 at the age ofÂ 80,
A member of the 12th Lithuanian PoliceÂ Battalion, was said by the Wiesenthal centre to have taken part in the killingsÂ by the mobile murder squad.
The killers moved from village to villageÂ rounding up Jews and gunning them down in the forests of eastern Europe.
The Australian newspaper said today that theÂ interview would be shown on New Zealand television’s The Inside NZ onÂ TV3.
Mr Stringer, 56, told the paper that theÂ interview would form what he described as the ‘spine’ of the documentary, directed by German-born AlexanderÂ Behse.
‘It still haunts me,’ Mr Stringer said. ‘I’mÂ confident Mr Pukas was a war criminal.’
In a transcript of the interview, Pukas saidÂ of the Jews who were being shot: ‘They shout like geese you know.’
Making the sound of birds wailing or crying,Â he said with a laugh that the Jews ‘fly in air’.
He added: ‘Some of the Jews used to screamÂ like that, like the geese.’
Despite his graphic description, PukasÂ denied taking part in the executions.
‘I only heard the people dying. I did not seeÂ it,’ he told Mr Stringer.
The former detective has not been able toÂ shake off the suspected war criminal’s words.
‘I got far more emotionally involved in theÂ war crimes investigation than anything else I’d ever done in the police,’ heÂ said.
‘Genocide is still occurring in all sorts ofÂ places around the world. That is why this film is important.’
Mr Stringer said that at least ‘a handful’ ofÂ Nazi war criminals could have lived out their lives in New Zealand withoutÂ facing justice for atrocities they had been involved in.
Source: The Daily Mail