Jewish Congress Warns U.S. Against Clemency to Nazi Leaders

The World Jewish Congress today appealed to Secretary of State John Foster Dulles to define the scope of the newly-established Allied-German Board of Clemency in the U.S. Zone of Germany, lest the 300 war criminals now imprisoned escape full punishment for their crimes.

Further clemency, particularly for the high Nazis convicted in Nuremberg, the WJC warned, “cannot but weaken seriously” the Allied action on war criminals, as well as the foundations and authority of Allied military tribunals; and would be “particularly unfortunate at the present time when even the Holy See has come to the conclusion that the punishment of war criminals is an inescapable duty of the civilized world.”

The WJC appeal to Secretary Dulles, in a letter signed by Dr. Nehemiah Robinson, acting director of the Department of International Affairs, was prompted by a recent order of the three Western Allied High Commissioners in Germany calling for the creation of three Allied-German boards, one for each zone, to make recommendations for clemency or parole for the German war criminals still held by them. In the U.S. zone, where approximately 300 imprisoned war criminals are affected by the new order, the board will reportedly have five members, two of them Germans.

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