Bavaria Yielding to Nazis Who Refuse to Pay Denazification Fines

The Bavarian Government is willing to hand a premium to 23,000 Nazis who have for years refused to pay the fines and court cost imposed upon them by German denazification courts.

By the terms of a government measure introduced into the Landtag, the lower house of the Bavarian Parliament, almost all such denazification arrears will be cancelled. The amounts involved are for the most part negligible, and the debt was written off whenever the Nazi concerned submitted a letter claiming inability to pay. The most unregenerate of the “denazified” Nazis have, however, chosen to express their contempt for the entire concept of denazification by declining to pay up or to take any other action.

The obligation to meet denazification fines and court costs has the same standing in law as the obligation to pay taxes or ordinary court costs. In submitting the government measure to the Senate, the upper house of the Bavarian parliament, the Ministry of Justice contended, however, that the amounts were uncollectable and that it was best to wipe the slate clean. When some senators asked whether it is not true that much smaller tax arrears are generally collected in routine fashion, the government spokesman was at a loss for an answer.

The measure quashing these denazification debts was thereupon rejected by substantial majorities in two senate committees as well as on the senate floor. Observers believe that it will nonetheless be passed by the Landtag and enacted into law.

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