HAMBURG (Sep. 4)
The city-state of Hamburg began proceedings today against Dr. Peter R.Hofstatter, a Hamburg University professor, for his advocacy of a general amnesty for Nazi war criminals and for his contention that the wartime mass killing of Jews was “an act of war. ” The professor’s stand, made in a newspaper article, touched off a storm of criticism from scholars,generals,university students and most of West Germany’s newspapers. Moving to discipline him, Hamburg officials started action which may lead to his ouster from the university faculty.
The 50-year-old Austrian-born psychologist discussed, in the article, Germany’s “unmastered past, ” a term generally used by Germans in considering their individual guilt for crimes of the Nazis. He declared that “personally, I would endorse an act by the state that, though not erasing the deed of a man, would renounce punishment. Those who have committed a crime must account for it before God. “