PARIS (Jun. 8)
All charges were dismissed against a group of Catholic priests and laymen involved in the Finaly kidnappings by a magistrate in Bayonne yesterday. The action followed withdrawal of charges by the aunt of the two Jewish war orphans, who now has both of them living with her in Israel.
The two boys, Gerald and Robert Finaly, were left with the Catholic head of a public orphanage in Grenoble shortly before their parents were arrested and murdered by the Nazis. The woman later had them baptized as Catholics and after the war refused to turn the children back to their Jewish relatives. When the aunt obtained a legal order for the boys’ return, they were spirited over the border into Spain and were only returned after a great public outcry and the conclusion of an agreement between Jewish and Catholic authorities in France.
(In Holland, Betty Melhado, thrice kidnapped Jewish war orphan, has finally been placed today by an Amsterdam court in the care of a non-religious Dutch family. Fourteen-year-old Betty will remain with the family until she is 21, after which she will be free to choose her own religion.)