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Bonn Decision to End Prosecution of Nazis Criticized in London

West Germany’s decision to adhere to the statute of limitations on prosecuting Nazi war criminals “has shocked world opinion,” Maurice Edelman, president of the Anglo-Jewish Association, and a Labor member of Parliament, declared here today.

At the same time Lord Bertrand Russell, the British philosopher, warned today that the likely return to political life of many Nazi war criminals for lack of prosecution in West Germany would be “in violation of the London agreement of August 1945 which is international law.” He said the 1945 London agreement should be supported by the British Government and he urged West German authorities “to reconsider their decision to waive the time limit on war crimes by Nazis.”

Mr. Edelman, addressing a meeting of the AJA executive council, said this decision to let Nazi war criminals “escape justice is a retrograde step, and would have an adverse effect on West Germany’s relations with the free world.” The Bonn announcement, he declared, “read in conjunction with Germany’s adamant refusal to establish effective legislation to curb activities of German scientists in Egypt, must cause the gravest misgivings.”

He said he hoped the German Government would have second thoughts on the issue “and would not allow itself to be Jockeyed into a position of giving aid and comfort to elements whose declared intention is the destruction of the democratic society which Germany has labored painfully to establish.”

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