Christian Clergymen in Israel Divided on Punishment for Eichmann

Six of Israel’s leading Christian clergymen have expressed unanimous approval of the way Israel is handling the trial of Adolf Eichmann, but are divided on the means of punishment if the Nazi war criminal is found guilty, according to the results of a survey conducted by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith, released here today.

While all six clergymen agreed with Israel’s handling of the case, their answers to the question concerning Eichmann’s punishment, if found guilty, ranged from the suggestion that he be executed to the opinion that he be turned over to Germany for retrial, after being given a life sentence here.

The Rev. William L. Hull, Pentecostal clergyman, said that “nothing short of a death sentence could be justified in view of the law of the Western world. ” The Rev. Dr. Robert J. Lindsey, chairman of the Baptist Convention of Israel, declared that “there is nothing that can be done to Eichmann except to bring him to the kind of justice the Israel law provides.” The Rev, Tom Gibson, of St, Andrews Memorial Presbyterian Church, said it was a difficult problem for Israel. If mercy is shown Eichmann, he asserted, this will “prevent anyone from charging the Jewish people with being vengeful. On the other hand this may bring a charge of weakness against them.”

Canon Hugh Jones, an Anglican clergyman, and Abbot Leo Rudloff, of the Roman Catholic Dormition Church on Mount Zion, both thought Eichmann deserved the most severe penalty, but sought some other solution. Archbishop George Hakim, Greek Catholic Bishop of Northern Israel, suggested that Eichmann be given a life sentence and then sent back to Germany “where he ought to be put on trial and there punished.”

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