Five Priests Arrested in “finaly Affair” Released in Bayonne

The five priests arrested in Bayonne yesterday on charges of kidnapping and removing from France the Finaly children were released today. Mrs. Hedwig Rossner, the children’s aunt and their legal guardian, is believed to be prepared to withdraw any complaints against anyone who participated in the affair.

Meanwhile, Father Chaillet, the French Catholic priest who negotiated with the Jewish community the agreement calling for the return of the boys and which guaranteed that no one would be prosecuted for his part in the incident, today said that the “untimely arrest” of the priests would only add fuel to the already heated situation. He declared that Mrs. Rossner had informed him that she wanted to put an end to all criminal proceedings.

In another statement, Eugene Weil, the Jewish leader who helped draw up the agreement for the return of the children and on whose estate the children are now living with their aunt and uncle, today attacked members of the Finaly Defense Committee for calling for prosecution of those who perpetrated the kidnapping. He insisted that prosecution is “absolutely contrary to the desires of the Rossner family” and efforts to prosecute anyone who participated in the affair would receive no support from the family.

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