ROME (Feb. 2)
Ludwig Zind, the Offenburg high school teacher who fled from West Germany to avoid serving a prison term for an anti-Semitic utterance in 1958, was ordered released from an Italian Jail today by a Naples court.
The judges ruled that Zind, who was sentenced on April 11, 1958, to a year’s imprisonment for libel and defamation of the dead, must be considered a political refugees, with the rights to full protection granted by all civilized countries to such refugees.
Zind escaped to Italy a day after the Federal Supreme Court in Karlsruhe rejected his appeal that he was drunk when he said “not enough Jews were gassed” during a quarrel with Kurt Lieser,a merchant of half-Jewish extraction. He was recognized in Italy last summer by Israeli sailors as he was boarding ship for Egypt, arrested and placed in a jail cell.
The Naples court ruled that Zind was only expressing “a personal opinion” when he made the defamatory statement. During the proceedings, the West German Embassy in Rome supplied the court with documentation proving that Zind also was guilty of clandestine expatriation and of possession of a false passport.