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Gen, Clay Explains His Judgment on Koch Case at Press Conference in Washington

Gen. Lucius D. Clay, American commander in Germany, told a press conference here today that his judgment in the Ilse Koch case may have been wrong but he stands on his conscience for the decision he made.

Asked to explain the basis for his decision to commute Frau Koch’s life sentence to four years, Clay explained that under procedures established for military courts there was no court of appeal and all cases were reviewed before becoming final. He said he had based his decision in the Koch case on the reports of the Deputy Judge Advocate, the Judge Advocate and a reviewing board.

“I hold no sympathy for Ilse Koch,” he declared. “She was a woman of depraved character and ill repute” and had done many “reprehensible” things that were undoubtedly punishable in Gorman courts, “but we are not trying her under German law,” he added, asserting that Koch would probably be tried by a German court.