German Government Disseminates Article Backing Statute of Limitations
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German Government Disseminates Article Backing Statute of Limitations

The semi-official Deutsche Korrespondenz, a news and feature agency whose material is disseminated abroad by the West German Government, today circulated an article defending for the third time the Bonn Cabinet decision against extension of the effective date of the statute of limitations for prosecution of Nazi war crimes.

The latest defense asserted that a state which sanctions the rule of law cannot pass “special and exceptional” legislation because this would contravene the constitutional principle of the equality of all before the law.

The decisive consideration, according to the article, is that the Federal Republic “should not match the illegality of the Nazi regime by creating special laws which would alter the current legal system to achieve a specific objective. The German legal system should be superior to any kind of opportunism,” the article held. It concluded that there was no case for extending the 20-year limit, which expires next May 8, to 30 years either for Nazi war criminals.

(In Buenos Aires, the DAIA, representative organization of Argentine Jewry, today asked the West German Government to extend the statute of limitations for Nazi war criminals. In a letter to German Ambassador Ernst Guenther Mohr, the DAIA said that neither morally nor politically could Nazi crimes be “assimilated in common penal procedures.” The DAIA also wrote to Argentine Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Zavala Ortiz, asking him to officially request the Bonn Government not to permit the statute of limitations to take effect.)