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Jews in Italy Puzzled by Non-extradition of Nazi Mass Murderer

Jewish leaders expressed surprise and concern today over the decision of the Bologna public prosecutor not to appeal a Bologna court refusal of a West German request for the extradition of a former SS officer.

The officer, Erhard Kroeger, was sought by West Germany on charges he ordered the killing of 2, 000 Jews near Lemberg in the Nazi-occupied Ukraine in 1941. He came to Italy as a tourist and was arrested last August. The public prosecutor’s stand left Kroeger a free man.

Jewish sources indicated they could not understand how such a suspected crime could be considered “political” by the Bologna court or why the public prosecutor, who had supported the extradition request, had declined to avail himself of the right of appeal.