Jewish Communities in Italy Express Concern over Bonn Decision

The “deep concern” of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities over the possibility that many Nazi criminals might go free because of the West German Government decision against extending the deadline for prosecution of such crimes was expressed today to the Bonn envoy in Rome.

A memorandum containing a resolution to that effect was submitted to Ambassador Blankenhorn by Judge Sergio Piperno in a visit to the envoy. The resolution declared that “the whole world remembers with unmitigated horror the mass extermination of millions of Jews and of politically persecuted persons as well as those belonging to allegedly inferior races and of the physically and mentally handicapped. All this has wounded the human conscience irreparably.”

The resolution also asserted that the Union of Italian Jewish Communities was “absolutely convinced that the exceptional character of Nazi crimes and the impossibility of identifying their perpetrators in time and to collect proofs against them because many of these deeds were performed during the war in militarily occupied territories” made imperative the extension of the statute of limitations in West Germany.

Judge Piperno also conveyed to the envoy the concern of Italian Jewry over the unsettled issue of West German scientists working on advanced weapons systems in Egypt. He also told the envoy that Italian Jewry fully supported Jewish demands that West German indemnification be extended fully to victims of Nazi persecution who were unable to leave Iron Curtain countries before the 1953 deadline set in West German indemnification laws for acceptance of claims.

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