Germany to Establish Agency to Investigate Nazi Pogroms on Jews

The creation of a central agency to investigate crimes against humanity, including pogroms against the Jews, committed during the Nazi regime in Germany was decided upon at a meeting of provincial Ministers of Justice at Bad Harzburg.

It is estimated that the agency, which will be independent of both the individual state attorneys general and the Federal Government, will begin operations within a month. It is still not certain whether the new unit will have available to it an index file of all provincial trials and investigations of Nazi crimes, without which its inter-state activities will be severely hampered. Not even the Federal authorities has such a file.

The decision to establish the unit was forced by public indignation, expressed in the German press as well as in other ways, over the expose of failure by various provincial governments to prosecute well known Nazi war criminals. The escape of one concentration camp doctor, Dr. Hans Eisele, whose inhuman crimes against Jews and other prisoners had been known for years, aroused particular ire in West Germany.

While it is not anticipated that the agency will re-open denazification proceedings on a large-scale, it is hoped that Nazis who have thus far not been brought to book for heinous crimes will be apprehended and punished. A recent decision by the Supreme Court of West Germany rejecting the jurisdiction of Allied occupation courts in cases involving crimes against humanity committed in Germany is expected to lead to the re-trial of a number of Nazis.

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