Jewish Groups in Holland Protest Movement to Reduce Sentences of Nazis
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Jewish Groups in Holland Protest Movement to Reduce Sentences of Nazis

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Jewish organizations here are watching with a feeling of uneasiness the campaign which is being carried on in Holland for the further reduction of sentences for Nazi war criminals sentenced for deportation of Dutch Jews to Nazi death camps. The Council of Jewish Communities and several other Jewish groups have cabled protests against such possibility to the Minister of Justice.

Dr. Anton Struycken, the Dutch Justice Minister, had assured Jews that the interim Dutch Cabinet, which will hold office for only three months, will not take any action regarding four jailed Nazi war criminals for whom the reductions of sentence are being sought.

Life sentences are now being served in a Dutch prison by Willy Lages, Joseph Kotalla, Franz Fischer and Ferdinand Aus Der Fuenten on conviction of responsibility for the deportation and deaths of 100,000 Dutch Jews during the Nazi occupation. They were originally sentenced to death but those sentences were commuted to life imprisonment.

Dr. Struycken, a Catholic, favors the extradition of Kotalla, Fischer and Fuenten to Germany. Serious unease has been expressed by Dutch Jewish leaders about the possible release of Kotalla, Fischer and Fuenten and the possible pardoning of Lages. The Jewish protests are given prominence in the Dutch press, paralleled with the requests voiced here by the majority of the population asking the West German Government to check the growth of neo-Nazism in Germany.

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