German Authorities Rush Charges to Beat War Crimes Deadline

There was a rush of action by West German state prosecutors to beat the May 8 deadline on prosecution of Nazi-era manslaughter charges, a nation-wide survey disclosed today.

The Hamburg Senate ordered the attorney general to investigate the backgrounds of 25 high-ranking jurists. The Hessian and Bavarian Ministries of Justice began a last-minute check of verdicts handed down during the Third Reich. East German authorities turned over to the Federal Attorney General’s office documentary material on 350 West German Jurists.

Hermann Lumm, director of the Bremen Office for Balancing Wartime Burdens, was arrested and charged with participating in the 1941 massacre of Jews in Lemberg, in Nazi-occupied Poland. In Bochum, Heinrich Hamann, former SS officer, was arrested and charged with the execution of 400 Jews in the Ghetto of Neu-Sandez, in 1942.

A special commission in North-Rhine Westphalia stepped up an inquiry of the activities of more than 80 police officers who were members of the SS and Gestapo. They were charged with complicity, as members of Nazi Police Battalions 216 and 316, in the shooting of Jewish men, women and children in occupied Russia.

The East Berlin press noted the occasion with the publication of charges that Dr. A. Nuesslein, head of the Organization Section of the West German Foreign Office, was responsible for the execution of 918 Jews and political opponents in Bohemia in 1943 and 1944, while acting as attorney general of the Reichs (Nazi) Protectorate in Czechoslovakia.

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