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Ex-nazis’ Life Sentence Reduced to Fifteen Years; Wins Freedom

A West German court has reduced a former SS officer’s life sentence to 15 years. As he had already served 17 years, he was set free, and can apply for financial compensation for the two years served beyond the newly set term. The ex-officer, former Capt. Otto Hoppe, had been convicted of the murder of thousands of Jews in Nazi-held Poland and Russia. He has always maintained he was not involved in the executions. His attorneys announced their intention to lodge an appeal with the Supreme Federal Court for a review of the case and an outright acquittal. They had earlier appealed only against what they called the severity of the life sentence.