WASHINGTON (Dec. 27)
Gen. Lucius D. Clay, American commander in Germany, has agreed to hand over Ilse Koch to the Germans in the Soviet zone for trial, it was reported here today. Gen. Clay signed the commutation of sentence from life imprisonment to four years for the widow of a former commandant of the Buchenwald concentration camp who was accused of using human skin for lampshades and other articles.
According to the report, the Army will permit Frau Koch’s extradition to Thuringia, in the Russian zone, in October 1949, when her present four-year term is completed. The Thuringian authorities requested extradition several months ago. They charge Ilse Koch with brutality toward German nationals.
Gen. Clay’s readiness to turn Frau Koch over to the Germans is laid to the report of the Senate Investigating Committee on the Koch case, released yesterday, which criticized the Army for its handling of the case, refused to recommend her retrial by the Americans but urged that if she is tried by the Germans the Army should cooperate fully with the prosecution. Meanwhile, the Army today reserved comment on the Senate report pending its study by officers concerned with the case.