General Johannes BlaskowitzClick here to view the original article.

NUERNBERG. Feb. 5 (AP)-General Johannes Blaskowitz, 64-year-old Wehrmacht veteran, leaped to his death today from the top tier of Nuernberg Prison.

He jumped only a short time before he was to have gone on trial before an American court on war crime charges, along with 13 other German military leaders.

Blaskowitz broke away from a file of prisoners on the third tier of high catwalks surrounding the prison rotunda as guards watched helplessly. He clambered up a seven-foot protective wire and hurled himself over it, landing on a tile floor 30 feet below.

The general died at 10-30 a. m. in the 385th United States Military Hospital. Doctors said his chest was fractured and his lungs were punctured by ribs broken in the fall.

As Blaskowitz lay in the hospital, his comrades were taken into court for the opening of the prosecution’s case against them.

The particular charge against Blaskowitz was that he mistreated and caused the deaths of prisoners of war and civilians in Poland, where he commanded the Eighth Army.

He was the ninth suicide to die in the Nuernberg Jail since Hermann Goering and other war crimes prisoners were brought here in November, 1945.

Among the others were Goering; Robert Ley, former Nazi labor boss, and Dr. Leonardo Conti, accused founder of an inhuman medical experiment program.

Blaskowitz commanded the armies of occupation in Czechoslovakia in 1939 and in the same year became Governor of Bohemia.

Later, after the outbreak of the war, he was made commander in Southern Poland. From 1942 to 1943 he commanded the First Army in Russia.

In mid-1944 he was leading an army group in Southern France, but the following March he was shifted to the northern sector of the Western Front.

Subsequently, he was reported removed from his army group command. He was heading the 25th Army when it surrendered to the Canadians in the Netherlands May 5, 1945.