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German Courts Lenient on Nazis Who Committed Crimes Against Jews

Two local Gestapo leaders, who were given two and three-year penitentiary terms last summer for having shipped the Jews of Cologne to the death camps of the East, will be tried a second time because of a Supreme Court decision upholding their appeal. The Court of Assizes must once more determine whether Franz Sprinz and Kurt Matschke were guilty of “negligence” in deporting 13,000 Jews, of whom only 300 survived.

A Dortmund court has acquitted a former Nazi county leader, Friedrich Hesseldieck, of charges of intimidation in the forced “sale” of the local synagogue to the municipality.

A German court at Giessen has acquitted a former S. S. Lieutenant, Cuno Guettler, of murder in the shooting of 87 Nazi inmates, many of them Jews, against the orders of his superiors. His defense was that he committed the murders while drunk. The court ruled that since the German statute of limitations on drunkenness runs out after five years and the crimes were committed in 1945 the murderer could go free.

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