French and German Jurists Ask Bonn to Prolong Prosecution of Nazis

A resolution calling upon the West German Government “not to forget the honor” of the Bonn regime and enact “at the earliest possible time” necessary legislation for the extension of the statute of limitations on the prosecution of war criminals was adopted unanimously here today at the conclusion of a two-day session of the Franco-German Conference of Jurists and Lawyers. More than 100 magistrates, law professors and prominent members of the bar in France and Germany attended the sessions.

In the resolution, the conference stressed the thesis that crimes against humanity committed by Nazis were carried out “essentially by state organs or semi-official bodies, and thus should not be dealt with according to individual and internal law, but according to public, international law.” It called for the prosecution of war criminals “until the last offender is apprehended and properly punished,” and requested the German Parliament to issue a declaration holding that crimes against humanity are not covered by any statute of limitation.

The conference also called for the framing of an international convention which would declare crimes against humanity as outside any statute of limitation; for coordination of the prosecution of war criminals by various countries in which such criminals may have found refuge; and the establishment of a secretariat to prepare briefs for prosecution of war criminals before law courts. Maurice Rolland, a counselor in the Supreme Court of France, also called for a joint East German-West German committee for dealing jointly with the cases of war criminals in either section of the old Germany.

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