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U.S. Army Authorities Suspend Execution of 140 Nazi War Criminals Sentenced to Death

Without any public explanation, United States Army authorities have suspended the execution of the Nazi war criminals sentenced to death by American military tribunals, it was ascertained here today.

As a result, nearly 140 convicted war criminals sentenced to hang–including 15 of Ilse Koch’s co-defendants in the Buchenwald camp trials–are today simply serving time at Landsberg Prison, the site of executions in the United States zone.

In the majority of these cases, the war criminals were convicted last year and had their sentences confirmed early in 1948 by Gen. Lucius D. Clay, the United States European Theater commander. Some of the prisoners, however, have been awaiting the hangman’s noose for as much as 11 months since Gen. Clay confirmed their death sentences.

(A special Army commission has recommended clemency for a “limited” but undisclosed number of 139 Nazi war criminals sentenced to die Secretary Royall admitted in Washington today. The commission has also recommended that a general clemency program be considered for sentenced Nazis.)