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The Waterbury Democrat. [volume] (Waterbury, Conn.) 1917-1946, January 31, 1945, Image 4

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn82014085/1945-01-31/ed-1/seq-4/

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Bendler Quotes
“Fran” Zukauskas
v continued from Page 1)
were calm today. They listened at
tentively as the witnesses testified.
Zukauskas sat at the counsel table
next to Public Defende Edward T.
Carmody, as he has been doing dur
lng sessions since the trial started,
and Mrs. Zukauskas sat in her regu
lar place, next to the prisoners' pen
At times Zukauskas bit his Ups, but
gave no other sign of any emotional
Before the two Brooklyn men took
the stand, James Little, former
police officer, was called by the
state, and told of calling both Dell
nlks and the Royal restaurant or,
Nov. 3 in regard to posting a bail
for Zaukauskas. He said the accused
gave him their names and asked
him to contact them. The witness
stated, he returned after each tele
phone conversation with a message,
he nature of which was not dis
closed, and then Zukauskas gave
him two other names.
THie accused was in the cell block
when the conversation on bail was
conducted, and he had just been
returned there from city court, the
witness stated. In city court Zukaus
kas had been given a continuance on
a charge of breach of peace and a
$10,000 bond had been set. Little,
who was a member of the police de
partment at that time, said he was
substituting for the regular court
officer and had accompanied Zu
kauskas both to the courtroom and
back to the cell.
Pals Many Years
The mortician, whose parlors arc ;
located at 17 Congress avenue, said !
he knew Zaukauskas for 25 years',!
“more or less.” He admitted on ques- ,
tionlng by Prosecuting Attorney Wil- i
liam B. Fitzgerald that Zukauskas ;
worked for him part-time ‘ about |
seven or eight years ago.”
Asked if in the course of his em
ployment it was necessary for Zu
kauskas to deal with dead bodies
the mortician nodded his head.
On Nov. 1, he said Zukauskas wa.;,
at the funeral home between 4 and
5 p. m., the witness stated he talked
to him for about 10 minutes and
Zukauskas seemed sober, he stated
In answer to questions by the prose
On cross-examination by Defense
Counsel W. W. Gager. Delinlks stat
ed Zukauskas did not work steadily
for him, but did hold a steady job
“He wasn’t a drinking man, was
he?” the defense attorney question
“No, not much, not to my know
ledge,” the mortician replied.
“He was a good, steady person
was he not,” he was asked.
“Very good,” the former employei
and close friend replied.
Asked of Zukauskas was addicted
to use of hard liquor, the witness
answered in the negative.
Alexsaitis said he has known Zu
kauikas for 15 years or more, ant'
that he saw him about once or twice
a week or less frequently at the
Roygl restaurant. He said he saw
him at the establishment between 5
and 6 p. m. on November 1.
The witness said It was his day
off from work and he was standing
outside the bar when Zukauskas
came in. He said he treated the ac
cused to a glass of beer and that
altogether Zukauskas consumed
about three or four beers.
The prosecutor asked “What was
his condition — was he drunk or
sober." The witness stated, “He
didn’t look to me as if he was
drunk.” He stated that to his know
ledge Zukauskas drank only beer.
Refuses Drink
Alexsaitis testified that he offered
Zukauskas another drink just be
fore the defendant left. ‘ He said he
couldn’t drink any more because he
was going to be on duty that night,
he said he would have a new boss."
the witness declared.
Coroner Stephen Homick, 36th
witness for the state, was called to
the stand shortly after 11 a. m.,
and Indications were his testimony
would be lengthy.
A legal battle over admissibility
of certain evidence by the coroner
arose and a considerable amount of
time was devoted to arguments on
the issue.
Homick said ZuKauskas made cer
tatin statements to him at 4 p. m.
Nov. 3, and that a transcript was
taken. He said he told Zukauskas
there was evidence Mrs. Plungis was
dead and that there might be a
criminal prosecution and that he
might be one of the persons held
responsible for her disappearance.
He said he told the defendant any
anskers given would be voluntary,
and that anything he said might be
held against him.
Asks About Lawyer
Zaukauskas then asked about a
lawyer, Homick said. He told the
coroner he could not afford a law
yer, the witness said. When told
the public defender would repre
sent any person who committed a
crime Zukauskas replied “I didn’t
commit no crime," Homick testified.
All of the questions and answers
were read from the transcript.
Attorney Gager at that point
stated he wished to offer evidence
as to admissibility of the statements.
Judge McEvoy asked if he wished
to produce a witness to give evi
dence, and the lawyer replied ’he
wished to give the sort of evidence
that ordinarily would be given in
absence of a jury.
The defense attorney stated the
statements were taken when Zu
kaus wag illegally detained. He
said the police purported to arrest
and hold him by virtue of proceed
ings in city court that day.
He added the only thing in city
aourt was the filing of an informa
tion. He said no warrant was issued
for the arrest of the defendant al
though ample opportunity existed
for obtaining a warrant.
He charged admission of the
statements would be a violation of
constitutional rights of the accused.
"Law is fairly devised to protect
every citizen of the United States,
and that is what we are fighting
for now," he declared.
He claimed that not only was the
accused illegally held at the time
the statements were made, but
that the 'tate had not proved
thta the statements were given
voluntarily. He stated the state
offered no evidence to show
what happened during other in
tervals while Zukauskas was
being held. He said the state must
assume the burden to prove the
•tatements were made voluntarily.
The defense counsel stated fur
ther the state must prove Zukauskas
was free from "physical and psycho
logical pressure" when the state
ments were made.
Resuming his arguments follow
ing a brief recess at 11:30, Attor
ney Gager charged that there had
been "a flagrant disregard of the
statutes of the General Assembly”
In detaining Zukauskas at police
headquarters under an unsigned
He declared that the question of
whether or not a statement can be
considered voluntary does not mean
whether or not the man Is beaten
with a rubber hose or hung by the
thumbs—he declared that coercion
can be had by "psychological pres
The mere fact of a man being
confined might make him make
statements he otherwise would not
make, Gager declared, claiming
that because of Zukauskas’ 'illegal
detention," the statements had been
obtained under "Illegal pressure,"
and were therefore inadmissable,
both under the state and federal
constitutions. He charged that the
burden of proof was on the state to
show that pressure had not been
used in obtaining the statement.
Replying to a question by Judge
McEvoy if he would produce such
evidence, Prosecutor Fitzgerald re
plied that the statement about to
be read was in the nature of a
foundation, and was not a con
After a lengthy conference, the
judges overruled Atty. Gager’s ob
jection, and Coroner Homlck com
menced reading the transcript of
the statements Zukauskas made to
him under questioning Friday aft
ernoon, Nov. 1, the day before the
confession was obtained.
In the statement, Zukauskas told
of meeting Stephie on t*ie evening
of Nov. 1. She was waiting for
him. parked in her husband's car,
at the corner of Poplar and Green
streets, as he was on his way to
She asked him to get in. she said,
but he refused, at first, saying, “You
and I are through. I told you that
when I went on the police Job. That
meant more to me than anything.”
After he got in, lie said, she be
gan swearing at him. telling him
that he had been talking about
her, and she spit in his face. He
said he 'sort of made a play to
punch her, but didn’t.”
He said that he had had a few
drinks, ’maybe one too many,”
earlier in the evening. After the
argument, he said, he decided not
to go to work, and she drove him
to his house, swearing at him on
the way. When she stopped the
car, he said, he struck her, scratch
ing her neck.
Court recessed with the coroner
still on the stand
oa^er Unsuccessful
At ye.sterday afternoon's session
unsuccessful efforts were made by
Defense Counsel Gager to keep out
testimony on statements Zukaus
kas made to Inspector Bendler
shortly after the accused was tak
en Into custody on the afternoon
of November 2.
In his objections to questions ol
the prosecutor, Attorney Gager de
clared Zukauskas was illegally held
on the afternoon the statements
were made, and claimed that Zu
kauskas said ‘‘while he was not in
proper custody” was not admissable
in testimony.
The defense claimed admission of
the statements as evidence would
be in violation of the 14th amend
ment of the constitution, and sec
tion nine of the state constitution.
The jurists took a one-hour re
cess when the legal issue was raised,
and shortly after they emerged
Judge McEvoy declared the objec
tion overruled and admitted the
disputed question.
Inspector Bendler was then asked
again by the state’s attorney to
state what he said to the defendant
and what Zukauskas said to him
during the hour of questioning af
ter he was taken to the police sta
The city’s detective chief said he
asked Zukauskas about his activities
the night before and was told the
defendant was in a tavern in the
Brooklyn section on Congress ave
nue in the afternoon, went home
about 6:30 and then went to bed
until about 10 o'clock when his
wife woke him and he dressed for
Kecognizes Car
He said he walked down to a
point on Poplar street, on his way
to work, when he recognized the
Plungis car which was parked on
Poplar street at the junction of
Green street," the detective con
Stephanie Plungis called to him
and after he got into the car an
argument started. Inspector Bend
ler testified he was told. "She
.-pit at me,’’ the detective quoted
the accused as saying. Then they
drove to the Zukauskas home, it was
related, and the accused went in
“I asked him what he went up
stairs for, but he didn't answer
me,” the detective stated.
Another argument developed
when he got back and then Zu
kauskas punched her, the accused
had told the investigator.
"I asked him if she was bleeding
and he said she had a scratch on
the right side of her neck," the
witness testified. He added Zu
kauskas cluimed the scratch was
caused either by his fingernail
or ring.
Zukauskas told of meeting Peter
Stokna and seeing his wife wipe a
small amount of blood from Mrs
Plungis after they took her into
their home, it was disclosed.
The defendant then went out to
the car again and when they
reached a point near the intersec
tion of North Riverside street and
Sunnyside avenue they got into
another argument, she spit at him.
used profane language and told
him to get out of the car and
walk to work, the detective claimed
he was told.
Zukauskas then stated lie went
home and to bed and in the morn
ing called a doctor to take care of
his sick child. Inspector Bendler
stuted. In the afternoon he
went to Scovill's and waited until
3 p. m. for Mrs. Plungis, but she
didn't come out, Zukauskas had
told the inspector. When he came
home and learned the police were
looking for him he went down
Congress avenue and gave himself
up, Zaukauslcas claimed in his state
ments to the inspector.
Bronsky On Stand
Before the detective was called
to the stand, City Clerk Albert
Bronsky concluded testimony on
School Will Open Again
'■ WJUilMi
(NEA Telephoto)
| The Duncan School for Boys, exclusive private school which was closed
by the Board of Health of Lenox, Mass., will be reopened soon. Head
master John K. Wolcott (left) Is in study hall with the school’s one
remaining student, Harvard Eubanks.
procedure followed in the city court
in regard to the arrest and ar
raignment of the accused. He said
Zukauskas was held In custody on
a warrant charging breach of the
peace until November 15 when he
was arraigned on a charge of mur
der . On November 17, the original
charge was nolled, he stated.
Inspector Bondlcr, when first
called to the stand, stated, in an
swer to the prosecutor's questions,
that he lias been a member of the
police department for 30 years and
has known Zukauskas for "15 years
or more." He stated Zukauskas al
ways addressed him as "Joe.” He
said both he and Zukauskas are of
Lithuanian descent and both have
lived in the same general section
of the city all of their lives.
The detective described the moves
he took when the husband of the
slain woman reported her disap
pearance. He told of his search lor
Zukauskas, and identified 12 bul
lets taken from the police revolver
of the accusf The bullets, two of
which had i*en fired by a ballis
tics expert and 10 of which were
unused, were previously Identified
in the courtroom soon after the
trial opened.
Questioned about the physical ap
pearance of Zukauskas when he
was first questioned at the police
station, Inspector Bentller said the
defendant appeared "cool, calm,
and aggressive" and added his ap
pearance was no different from
what it had been before. He was in
civilian clothes at the time, the wit
ness said.
During that first period of ques
tioning Zukauskas did not make a
confession, the detective stated. He
testified also that Zukauskas seem
ed anxious to talk, did not object to
the questions and did not express a
desire to leave the room.
roaa out oi me isast rrussian cap
ital, now virtually encircled. The
road, was under artillery-fire, Mos
cow said.
5. Reduced the German pocket
in East Prussia below Konlgsberg
to 1,500 square miles.
Berlin said the Russians also had
established two strong bridgeheads
on the west bank of the Oder river
at Steinau, 31 miles northwest of
Breslau and Ohlau, 13 miles south
east, leaving the garrison of the Si
lesian stronghold only four of their
original 13 railways.
Indicating the gigantic scope of
the 19-day Soviet winter offensive,
Radio Moscow said the Red Army
had captured 337 major towns and
26,500 other localities, including 116
towns and 7,000 villages In Ger
many, in the first 18 days.
Zhukov’s First White Russian
Army broke across the Obra river
frontier at Brandenburg yesterday
along a 40-irfle stretch due east of
Berlin, giving the Russians a con
tinuous 300-mile front inside the
Dozens of reinforced concrete frill
boxes In a long-prepared defense
line along the Obra were destroyed
in the powerful assault. More than
4,000 Germans were killed and
about 10,000 foreign workers liber
Ninety-three Nazi guns, 600 trucks
and 31 troop trains were captured.
200 Towns Overrun
Among the more than 200 towns
and villages overrun were Prittisch,
85 miles east of Beilin and seven :
miles east of the railway Junction :
of Schwerin, and Gross Dommer, :
52 miles east of Frankfurt and 11
miles east of Schwelbus.
The fall of Stolzenburg, 73 miles
northeast of Berlin, to other First
Army forces plunging through Po
merania, outflanked the Warthe
Oder bottleneck and put the Rus
sians within 31 miles of Kustrin,
Oder river stronghold on the Ber
lin-Stettin Railway.
At Stolzenburg, the Russians were
as close to Berlin as New Haven,
is to New York City.
Zhukov's northern column, in a
joint drive with the Second White
Russian army, also captured Linde,
79 miles southwest of Danzig and
60 miles from the Baltic coast of
General Ivan D. Chernlakhovsky’s
Third White Russian Army killed 3,
000 Germans in fighting yesterday
around Konlgsberg.
ueicune uwjcru
When the defense raised an ob
jection to possible testimony on
conversation conducted at tiial
time, the slate’s attorney stated the
statements were made voluntarily
and no confession resulted.
It was disclosed that during the
questioning at the police headquar
ters, Zukauskas suggested that the
inspector “question the fellow who
may have picked her up alter she
left me.’’
The inspector stated Zukauskas
was not under arrest when he made
the statements, but a warrant on a
charge of breach of peace was is
sued later. He said the question
ing started between 4:15 and 4:30
p. m. and ended at about 5:20 or
When Zukauskas asked why he
was placed under arrest he was told
a breach of peace warrant was is
sued because of his admission he
struck a woman and made a com
motion on the street, the detective
testilied. Zukauskas did not ex
press any wish to see an attorney or
anyone, the witness said.
The Inspector related the event*
that proceeded Zukauskas’ confes
sion to the coroner Saturday, Nov
4. He said he called the coroner
at about 11:05 a. m., and the coroner
in turn telephoned for Miss Flor
ence Eccles, official court steno
grapher. Only the four persons
were present when the defendant
made his statements, it was dis
Zukauskas Cri.'t!
“What I want to tell y -u will be
no lie,” Zukauskas was quoted as
saying. Tire defendant cried for a
few seconds and then composed
liimself, it was related. The detec
tive stated this went on throughout
tl:e half hour it took to take the
confession. He said all the state
ments were made voluntarily, and
the accused was warned no favor
would be shown to him for any
thing he might reveal. He said the
defendant was not threatened and
no physical violence was used.
Reds Reach
RR. Junction
(Continued Irom Page 1)
to 11 miles west of positions seized
only yesterday in their thrust across
the Obra river into Brandenburg
from Poland.
Zhukov’s army made its closest
app’oach to Berlin with a lunge
though Stolzenburg, 73 miles north
east of the capital and only 53 miles
southeast of the big Baltic Port of
Elsewhere along the BOO-mlle of
fensive front from Czechoslovakia to
East Prussia, the six attacking Red
1—Punched through to the Oder
rivei at Klelnltz. 95 miles southeast
of Berlin and eight miles Inside
2 —Advanced to within 24 miles c<
Moravska-Ostrava, the "Pittsburgh
of Czechoslovakia” and gateway to
the Moravian gap to Prague and
3 —Clamped a pincers around the
Pomeranian border fortre.ss of Sch
nellemuhl, leaving only an eight
mile escape gap to the west.
4. Captured Metgethen, three
miles west of Konigsberg, In a drive
to within a half-mile of the last
Plan Ready
(Continued from Page 1)
both by means of practice and ma
chines. Of prime importance was
the adopted suggestion calling for
the revaluation of all real and per
sonal property in Waterbury.
Upon recommendation of the
state commissioner a city revalua
tion committee was formed which
today presented the suggested bill
to the mayor for offering to the
It is stated in the bill that the
purpose of the act is to "establish
a new system of assessment in the
City of Waterbury in substitution
for the present Board of Tax Com
missioners and to have the Board of
Tax Review appointed by the May
or, instead of elected by the people.”
Appointment of a chief assessor
will be for a six year term to be
come effective three months after
successful enactment of the pro
posed bill. The assessor in turn may
appoint a number of assistants as
may be authorized by the Mayor.
Upon appointment of these assist
ants, all members of the present
Board of Tax Commissioners and
Apportionment" shall forthwith ter
minate their present office.” These
present assessors each receive $3,
100 annually. It is not stated in
the proposed new bill Just what is
to be the salary of any new assist
ants. Sources declared today that
although no definite number of as
sistants have been decreed neces
sary, as yet, it is likely they may not
exceed two.
Proposed by the new "act” is the
appointment of a Board of Tax Re
view of three members whose ap
pointments by the Mayor shall be
for a two-year term commencing
the first day of January, 1946. These
members shall consist of a lawyer,
an accountant and a layman all of
whom shall be electors of the city.
By this section of the act, it has
been deemed necessary to change
that section of the Charter enumer
ating the elective offices to be acted
upon each election year by the
[ voters of the city, so that the
amendment shall read to eliminate
the Board of Tux Review.
Qualifications for the position of
chief assessor decree that he (or she
shall be a person qualified for the
duties of office and have had ex
perience in municipal appraisals
and assesments. His appointment, to
the six year term, is to be made
by the Board of Finance.
Unde* the proposed act the new
assessors are to prepare the annual
tax rate, which heretofore has been
done tv the tax collector’s office.
Also, under the new administration
Yanks Going
To Navy Base
(Continued from Page 1)
were fanning out across the 18-mlle
wide base of the Peninsula toward a
Juncture with other Invasion forces
moving down highway three on
Dlnaluhipan Objective
Hie first American objective be
yond Olongapo apparently was Din
aluhipan, on the northeastern cor
ner of Battaan 13 miles east of the
naval base and 19 miles southwest
of the U. 8. Sixth Army forces at
San Fernando on the Manila road.
The 38th Division, veterans of
the Aitape-Wewalc flgting in New
Guinea, and elements of the 24th
Infantry transferred from Leyte,
composed the initial landing force
under Lt. Gen. Robert Elchelberger,
commander of the Eighth Army.
So complete was the tactical and
strategic surprise that the Japanese
were unable to put up the slightest
resistance on the beaches or any
where ashore In the first day, elim
inating all need for preliminary
shore bombard/nent by the planes
and warships of the big amphibious
The capture of San Marcelino’s
airfield put American planes within
a few minutes’ flying time of Man
ila bay and was expected to play a
major role In the reduction of the
forts guarding the sea approaches
to the Philippines capital.
Japanese hopes for a successful or
prolonged defense of Luzon were
fading swiftly as Elchelberger’s vet
erans swarmed across the northern
shoulder of Bataan, Cut off from
all supply or reinforcement, the sur
vivors of the island garrison faced
piecemeal destruction in their four
remaining pockets—on Bataan, in
the Zambales mountains wet of
Clark Field, In the Manila area, and
In Baguio and the northern hills.
Headquarters observers believed
the Japanese would hang on anti
flight to the death, but their posi
tion now was regarded as hopeless.
Continuous waves of American
fighters and dive-bombers were
pounding the enemy pockets from
dawn to dark and all Japanese
movements by daylight had become
virtually Impossible.
Three years ago this month the
Pllipino-American d e f e n d er s of
Luzon were In a similar plight, but
the Japanese strength was not so
overpowering as MacArthur’s is to
fay and they had not succeeded In
splitting our forces.
Lt. Gen. Jonathan M. Wain
wright held out on Bataan and
Jorregidor until April. The Japa
nese now are not expected to con
tinue organized resistance beyond
;eh end of February.
Sixth Held Up
Meanwhile, the Sixth Army ad
vance on Manila appeared to have
)een held up around the Calumpit
jottleneck 23 airline miles north of
he capital pending the arrival of
he Eighth Army forces from the
vest. Both armies were expected to
urn back to mop u phe several
housand Japanese cut off in the
rills overlooking Clark Field and
■’ort Stotsenburg 15 t 25 miles
lorthwest of San Fernando, clear
ng their re^r before moving on
Far to the north, other American
'orces mopped up scattered Japa
aese resistance around Rosario and
Fanned out eastward to seal off the
Bagulio pocket. MacArthur’s com
munique said American units ad
vanced seven miles east of captur
ed San Qulntin on a 10-mile front
:o reach a line between San Isidro
ind Buenavista, the latter town on
righway five 72 airline miles north
rf Manila.
At San Isidro, the Americans
were 40 miles inland from their
Lingayen beachheads and within 30
miles of the east coast of Luzon.
U. S. Liberator bombers continued
;heir softening - up bombbardment
5f Manila Bay on Monday, prop
sing 109 tons of high explosives on
Corregidor and the Cavite Naval
aase without opposition from Flak
pr enemy fighters.
Machinists Plan
Newport Holiday
Newport. R. I.. Jan. 31— (UP) —
Representatives of 5,000 civilian em
ployes of the Newport Naval Tor
pedo Station today thretaened to
ieclare a 24-hour “holiday” to meet
my disciplinary actoni resulting
rom their opposition to a pro
posed efficiency study at the plant.
The workers, members of the In
ernational Association of Machin
sts < AFL) refuse to sign production
.•ontrol cards, contending they vio
ate a public law which prohibits
.ime-study devices in Navy Depart
nent plants.
Capt. John H. Carson, command
ng officer of the station, said that
inion members, who comprise about
lalf the personnel, would be dis
lipllned unless the cards were signed
Tlie controversy has bene going
:>n for several weeks at the naval
station which is engaged almost
exclusively in the manufacture of
ill Grand Lists must be filed in the
office of the assessor on or before
the first Monday of December.
In their letter to the Mayor ac- ;
companying the proposed act the
Revaluation committee states that
the “work of revaluation (of all city
property) is progressing satisfac
torily and we believe it will be fin
ished according to schedule.
“Because of the advanced stage
pf work, it seems necessary, at this
time, to give consideration to the
reorganization of the board of tax
commissioners and apportionment
and appointment of a board of Tax
Members of the Revaluation com
mittee are as follows: John P. Bro
[>hy, chairman; Lester E. Young:
Orton P. Camp, Patrick P- Shea,
James W. Abercftmbie nnd C. Ar
thur DuBols.
Present assessors (or board of Tax |
Commissioners) are as follows: John ;
Kilduff, Miss Jane Kllduff, Joseph
McGinnis, John Jenusaitis and
Robert Stone. The Board of Tax
Review now consists of Bernard
Reiley, Michael Toma and Carmen J
It was not mentioned today just I
who will receive consideration for
the new post as chief assessor.
It is expected that Republican in
terest will sharply oppose adoption
of the bill by the legislature either
by presentation of a new bill or
other similar means.
The revaluation of all city prop
erty is now being undertaken by
the firm of George S. Horan re
tained last year. It is expected that
such a survey will cost upward of
160,000 or more.
there's a decorative, new M
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$3.98 yd.
• SLIP-COVERS AND DRAPES to match. 50" printed scrim. Yel
low, white, rose or grey backgrounds.
$1.98 yd.
• FESTOON RINGS in harmonizing gold finish.
$1.38 pr.
• EGGSHELL FINISH WOODEN CRANES, complete with rings.
$1.79 pr.
• FRINGES for trim. Assorted colors.
5c and 10c yd.
Yanks Gain
In Germany
(Continued from Page 1)
on a rapidly-widening front. At
the top of the First Army Line,
the 78th Division advanced as much
as two miles througli minefields hid
den in the waist-deep snow to reach
the German towns of Kisternach,
Eicherscheid, Slmmerath and Hup
penbroich, four to five miles north
northeast of Monschau.
Conzen two miles north of Mon
schau, was captured in the advance.
On the 78ths right flank, the
ninth infantry pushed out two miles
east of Monschau to take Rohren.
while units of the 99th and second
divisions farther to the south cap
tured Wirtzfeld and fought their
way through Rocherath and Krin
kelt and moved ahead another mile
or more to within rifleshot of the
Siegfried line.
The veteran first division, which
kicked off the First Army offensive
earlier this week, swung back to the
attack today with a two-mile ad
vance east of the Murrange-Hun
nange line, 1 1-2 to three miles be
low Krinkelt. The new gains car
ried the division up to the German
border some 15 miles east of Mal
Field dispatches said the Ger
mans at most points were trying
only to defend crossroads and towns
regarded as vital to their Siegfried
line positions and offering little
resistance elsewhere Nazi prisoners
taken in the past few days said
news of the Red Army advances in
the east, coupled with the recent
retreat from the Ardennes, was be
ginning to undermine morale among
the German front-line troops in the
west. -
Near Briesach Bridge
On the Alsace plain, meanwhile,
the French First Army advanced
more than a mile on a three-mile
front south of the C'olmar-Rhine
canal, moving to within a half-mile
of the Briesach Bridge—the prin
cipal bottleneck cn the German es
cape route east of Colmar. There
was no confirmation of earlier re
ports that the French had recap
tured Colmar.
The .French thrust' carried into
Wihr - en - Plaine, Bischwlhr and
Muntzenhelm, 2 1-2 to six miles
cast-northeast of- Colmar yester
day. On the southern end of the
pocket, the French took Witten
heim, three miles north of Mul
house. and reached the southern
outskirts of Wittelsheim, 4 1-2 miles
to the west.
Germany Will
Fight To End
(Continued from Page 1)
acter will definitely and under all
circumstances die inglorlously,” he
Whatever our enemies may de
vise, whatever suffering they may
inflict on Germna towns, German
provinces and especially on German
people," he said, "it pales compared
with the unimgalnable misery and
'distress which would befall us if the
plutocratic Bolshevist conspiracy
should become victorious.”
Hitler appealed to every man,
woman and child in the Reich to
come to the aid of the country
against the Red Army, which even
as he spoke was plunging across the
eastern approaches to Berlin.
■'I expect every German to do his
duty to the last," he said. “I ex
pect him to do render every sacrifice
demanded of him."
However grave the German crisis
may be at the moment. Hitler said,
“it will finally be mastered by our
unalterable will, by our readiness for
sacrifice and by our abilities."
He predicted that Britain not only
‘‘will fail to tame Bolshevism, but
her own line of development will
run more and more on the lines o.
this disintegrating disease."
"They will never get rid of the
specters which they raised from the
Steppes of Asia," lie said.
Seven Escape
Home Inferno
<Continued from Page 1)
wooden structure became enveloped
in smoke and flames so quickly that
few of the victims were able to
leave their beds.
The South Main street house, sit
uated in the New Auburn district,
was a mass of flames when firemen
arrived in response to the first alarm
at 5:40 a. m. Other firemen from
both Auburn and Lewiston raced to
the scene over perilously icy high
ways and battled the blaze for two
hours in sub-freezing weather.
The City Welfare Department j
said that the victims—the oldest only !
about eight--were the children of !
war workers employed in plants in I
the industrial twrtn-citles of Auburn
and Lewiston.
A spokesman for the department •
said they had no jurisdiction over j
these children, who apparently were
boarded out by their working par- j
Neighbors in the area reported I
that they were awakened by the I
piteous screams of the trapped i
Even as the blaze mounted, their I
sobbing cries could be heard above 1
the crackling flames that roared ■
through the frame structure.
Volunteer rescue workers were
driven back as they sought to fight
their way to the trapped tots as
smoke and flame belched from doors
and windows, cutting off all pos
sible escape for those still within.
Firemen reported finding evidence
that some of the children had
fought desperately for their lives.
Those who. first reached the flame
swept interior said that some of
the charred bodies were entangled
in burned bedding and the sham
bles of cribs and furniture.
The 17 bodies removed from the
ruins were taken to Dillingham's
Funeral Parlor.
Chief Hamden said that when he:
finally was able to get inside the |
burning building, he located one of!
the babies in the front room.
‘I put my hand on the baby's I
face and it was plumb cold," he
said. “I figured It must, have been
dead at least 18 or 20 minutes.
‘We got two babies out of the
front room and eight out of the
next room. Then we lost count. We i
kept lugging them out. one after
Chief Harnden said that prelim
inary investigation had failed to
discover what caused the blaze. He
said the house was centrally heated
by a hot air furnace, supplemented
by a kitchen range
"The kitchen range was so badly
damaged that we couldn’t tell
whether It burned oil or coal.”
As he related his experiences,
Chief Hamden’s voice broke.
"If you had ever been through It
—lugging out dead baby after dead
baby,” he said, "you wouldn’t be able
to describe It.”
Operated 3 Years
Scene of the fire was a large gray
cottage house situated in a middle
class residential district on the out
skirts of Auburn. Police said that
the mystery of how 24 persons were
living in a cottage was explained by
the fact that a sizable addition had
been built on the rear of the home.
In the original building there
were six large rooms on the first
floor and four in the half-story
above. Tire addition contained sev
eral smaller rooms.
The establishment has been oper
ated as a babies boarding house
for about three years, police said.
The two children saved by Mrs
Fournier were her 17-month old
daughter Cecilc and year-old Jo
anne Foisy.
Mrs. La Coste told investigators
she believed the fire started from
some sort of explosion In the kit
chen stove.
Two of those killed, Donald and
Gerald Laneville, 8-month old twins,
had arrived at the home only a
few hours before the fire started. I
Still standing after fire was pot
out were the charred walls of the
death trap. The flame-blackened
interior presented an awesome spec
tacle, with partly burned teddy
bears and dolls peeping grotesquely
from scorched bassinets.
"When we arrived, flames were
spouting from every door and win
dow,” Fire Chief Ralph B. Ham
den related.
"We carried out babies—God, I
don't know how many babies.’’
Election May
Come In June
(Continued from Page 1)
been “too much sparring” over the
matter and that ”we ought to think
of the people of the state and their
reelings in the matter.”
Mulvihlll indicated that other
Dimocratic senators shared his
The judiciary committee held a
public hearing on a Republican
sponsored bill which would allow the
governor to fill the vacancy until
the day after election day in 1948,
when an elected successor would
takt over. Republicans solidly sup
ported the proposal and a few Dem
ocrats also spoke in favor of it.
Benito Virtually
German Prisoner
London, Jan. 31—(UP)—Reliable
Italian sources said today that the
Germans are keeping Benito Mus
solini virtually a prisoner because
he has ’’gone Communist” and his
army has been a complete failure.
The former Italian leader was re
ported kept in seclusion on his Lake
Garda estate near Milan while Ger
man occupation forces run both the
military and political duties of his
puppet government in North Italy.
Australia has just revealed that
Its birthrate has decreased 24 per
cent since 19U.

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