PARIS (Jun. 24)
The French High Court of Appeals last night ruled that Mrs. Hedwig Rosner of Gedera, Israel, aunt of the finally boys, is legally entitled to their custody. The decision capped a two-year battle which commenced with a ruling by a Grenoble court taking the children away from Mile. Antoinette Brun, guardian of the children, who had them baptized into the Catholic faith.
Last night’s decision, however, will have no immediate effect on the status of the two children because they are still missing, presumably held by Catholic authorities in Spain. while the case was pending last winter, Mile. Brun aided by several Catholic priests spirited the children out of France to Spain. The children had been left with a municipal orphanage headed by Mile. Brun when their parents were arrested by the Gestapo in 1944.
The case has become a national issue in France and was recently exacerbated when Grand Rabbi Jacob Kaplan pointed out that French Catholic, authorities who had promised to return the children to France had failed to do so. Jewish organizations in Frame and abroad have appealed to Church and civic organizations, including the International Red Cross, to aid in the return of the children.
Meanwhile, Cardinal Gerlier, in a letter to Grand Rabbi Kaplan, has protested against the latter’8 criticism of the Catholic Church’s good faith in the finally affair. As a token of this good will, the Cardinal revealed that his envoy, Mile. Ribiere, has gone to Spain again to search for the two kidnapped Jewish orphans.
The Duke of Hernani, president of the Spanish Red Cross, and a Spanish Foreign Office spokesman, have categorically denied that the brothers are in Spain. Reports from Madrid now suggest that the boys may be hidden in Morocco or perhaps in France. Father Michael Requite, leading preacher at the Cathedral of Note Dame, has dropped a hint that the Church might be willing to produce the children if assurances were given that they would remain in France and would not be sent to their relatives in Israel.