Three men executed by Nazis identified 71 years later

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The Work Group for Missing Persons in World War II has identified three unidentified war victims based on extensive historical research and DNA relationship testing, the police announced.

The three men who were identified are Amsterdam residents Douwins Janse, Karel Walet and Eliazer Pachter. They were shot and killed by the Germans on July 2nd, 1943 on the Waalsdorpervlakte in The Hague and then buried at an unknown location in the dunes. These graves were found after the war, but the victims could not be identified. They were eventually buried in the cemetery of the War Graves Foundation in Loenen as unknown Dutchmen.

Douwinus Janse, a 31 year old carpenter, and Karel Walet, a 28 year old plumber, were resistance men. In 1942 the two of them participated in three bombings in Amsterdam in the name of the illegal CPN. They were arrested in May 1943 and sentenced to death by the German Supreme Court. On July 2nd, 1943 the Germans reported that the sentence had been executod. In 1983 Janse was posthumously awarded the Resistance Cross. Janse and Walet were identified thanks to similarities with their relatives' DNA.

The Jewish Eliazer Pachter (30) was a barber by profession. He was arrested carrying a loaded gun at Amsterdam Centraal in January 1943. In May 1943 Pachter was convicted of illegal firearm possession by the German Supreme Court and sentenced to death. He was shot along with Janse and Walet and buried in the same place. Pachter has no remaining living faily members that could have contributed a DNA sample for the study, but his identity could be determined with certainty based on historical research.

The Work Group Missing Persons World War II consists of specialists of the police, Ministry of Defense and the Red Cross. The work group aims to solve missing person cases from World War II.