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Death Sentences of 5 Nazis Commuted to Life Terms by German Government

The German Government today commuted to life imprisonment the death sentences imposed upon five Nazis on August 27 by the summary court at Beuthen for the murder of a Communist workman.

The verdict of death brought about anti-Semitic attacks by the Nazis and elicited threats by Adolph Hitler as well as a direct demand to Chancellor von Papen that the sentences be commuted.

There is no appeal from the verdict of the special courts named to deal with terrorizers under an official emergency decree signed by President Paul von Hindenburg, and the government alone is able to act.

The commutation of the death sentences to life imprisonment is interpreted here as an indication that the von Papen government is making concessions to Adolph Hitler, fearing serious consequences should the death sentence be executed.