THE HAGUE (Sep. 25)
The death sentence imposed several years ago on Willy Lages, wartime head of the Nazi security police in Amsterdam, was commuted to life imprisonment by royal decree yesterday. Among the various war crimes of which Lages was convicted was the deportation of 70,000 Dutch Jews.
In explanation of the commutation of sentence, the Ministry of Justice said that it would not be “appropriate” to execute him seven and a half years after the last of his crimes and two years after the death sentence was confirmed.
The Union of Former Political Prisoners here has initiated a campaign to force passage of legislation barring further reductions of sentences of war criminals which have already been commuted. The national council of the Netherlands Former Resistance, in a message to the Cabinet, called the commutation “a slap in the face of the many who sacrificed their lives and property for the fatherland.”