President Truman Asks Army Secretary for Information on Ilse Koch Sentence Commutation

President Truman has asked Secretary of the Army Kenneth C. Royall for information about the Army’s action in commuting the sentence of Ilse Koch from life to four years. An Army spokesman, confirming that Secretary Royall received the letter from President Truman today, declined to give any further details of the letter.

He said a report that Secretary Royall had asked General Lucius D. Clay to make on whether other charges exist for which Frau Koch might be retried should be coming in within a few days. He said General Clay had estimated that it would take him until Oct. 15 to gather the information and that it would take about five days to reach here by airmail from European Theatre headquarters in Germany.

No date has yet been set by the Senate Investigating Sub-Committee on proposed open hearings into the case. Reliable sources here doubted today that the hearings would be held until after election when more committee members would be back in the Capitol.

William P. Rogers, chief counsel of the Sub-Committee, said today that he is still consulting with State Department and Army officials concerning the hearings. He said no decision had yet been made as to whether to hold the open hearings as originally planned or to hold closed hearings and make the report public only when presented to Congress. He expressed considerable concern today, lest the investigation in some way damage American prestige abroad.

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