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February 02, 1979 - Image 17

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1979-02-02

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Friday, Febraary 2, 1979 171

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Extend Statute of Limitations
for Nazi Crimes, U.S. Jews Urge

NEW YORK (JTA) —
West Germany's Acting
Consul General in New
York, Kurt-Arthur
Schwartze, conferred with
two American Jewish dele-
gations on the issue of the
statute of limitations on the
prosecution of Nazi war
criminals, due to expire at
the end of this year.
The German official indi-
cated that there is growing
sentiment in Bonn for an
extension of the statute and
said the present concensus
that the West German
rliament would not grant
k war criminals immunity
from prosecution after the
Dec. 31, 1979, deadline.
A.
Schwartze met with a de-
_ legation from the American
Section of the World Jewish
014
Congress, led by its chair-
man, Jacob Katzman,. and
01! with representatives of the
26 major organizations in
the Jewish Community Re-
lations Council of New
York.
The latter group,
headed by JCRC presi-
dent Richard Ravitch
and executive director
Malcolm Hoenlein, sub-
mitted a letter for trans-
mission to the West Ger-
4t■
man government which
said that to allow any of
those responsible for
I. Nazi depredations to es-
cape justice would be "an
unforgiveable affront to
the memories of their 11
million victims, a bet-
rayal of democratic prin-
ciples espoused by the
West German govern-
on-
ment and a crushing de-
feat for the conscience of
'• mankind." Similar views
were expressed by the
WJC delegation.
Responding, Schwartze
agreed that if the statute of
limitations — the period of
time during which war
criminals are subject to pro-
, secution— expired, it would
mean closing the final chap-
ter on the subject of Nazi
murderers. He also ob-
served that opposition to
► 4 abolition of the statute was
not confined to Jews but
came from members of all
faiths.
According to Schwartze,
party discipline will be
Iii waived and members of Par-
liament will be free to vote
on the issue according to
their conscience. He quoted
the vice presdent of the
Bundestag (lower house) as
ying the extension has "a
od chance of coming
ough."
Schwartze also observed
that the recent screening of
I the "Holocaust" dramatiza-
tion on West German tele-
vision to record audiences
was likely to have a positive
I. impact on the vote.
(In Bonn, the Interna-
tional Auschwitz Com-
mittee, an organization of
survivors of the notori-
ous death camp, added
its voice to the growing
demands to reject any
deadline for the prosecu-
tion of war criminals. The
committee urged the
government to sign a 1968



1.

United Nations conven-
tion mandating that war
crimes and "crimes
against humanity" be
excluded from the statute
of limitations.) '
In New York, five-
member delegation of Yav-
neh, the national religious
Jewish student association,
met with Schwartze, and
handed him a message ad-
dressed to Chancellor Hel-
mut Schmidt, urging him to
issue an open statement op-
posing the expiration of the
statute of limitations for
Nazi war crimes.
In Chicago, a delegation
of 10 civic and communal
leaders met with the West
German Consul General
Egon Rastor.
In Los Angeles, a delega-
tion of concerned Jewish
and non-Jewish leaders met
with Dr. Herwig Effenberg,
consul general of West
Germany, and formally re-
quested that the Bonn gov-
ernment begin its legisla-
tive process to either
abolish or extend the sta-
tute of limitations.
Following the meeting,
a "rally for justice" was
held at the Wiesenthal
center. California Gov.
Edmund G. Brown, Jr.,
addressed the rally. Simi-
lar events were held in
other major cities in the
United States, Canada,
Europe and Israel.
Nathan M. Goldberg, na-
tional commander of the
Jewish War Veterans of the
U.S.A., has called on all
veterans of World War II to
petition the West German
government to eliminate
that country's statute of
limitations for Nazi war
crimes.
Meanwhile, the much-
debated problem of the sta-
tute of limitation for Nazi
murder is fully analyzed in
the latest research report of
the Institute of Jewish Af7
fairs in London.
It concludes that
though - contrary to
Widely-held views - the
practical implications of
the retention or abolition
of the statute will be
minor, political and
moral considerations
strongly advocate aboli-
tion.
The author of the report,
Dr. Stephen J. Roth, shows

2 Questioned in
Terrorist's Death

BEIRUT — Lebanese au-
thorities questioned two
members of the Hare
Krishna sect — an Ameri-
can and a Frenchman — in
connection with the bomb-
ing death of a Palestinian
terrorist reputedly respon-
sible for the Munich Olym-
pics massacre in 1972.
It was also reported that
terrorists were holding a
Dutch cameraman after he
showed Israeli press creden-
tials among his papers
when the terrorists asked
him to identify himself at
the funeral of the slain ter-
rorist.

that in all known cases pro-
ceedings have been started
which have interrupted the
30-year limitation period.
However, the number of
convictions is low; only
6,432 accused were con-
victed since 1945 in West
Germany out of 84,403 in-
stituted investigations, and
in 1975 the rate of convic-
tions was merely 1.5 per-
cent.

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