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House Okays Increased Funds to Investigate Nazi War Criminals

An amendment proposed by Reps. Elizabeth Holtzman (D. NY) and William Lehman (D. Fla.) increasing funding for the investigation and prosecution of suspected Nazi war criminals living in the United States overwhelmingly passed the House last Thursday. The amendment raises the amount appropriated for Nazi investigations in fiscal year 1980 from $1.5 to $2.3 million.

In offering the amendment, Holtzman told the House: "My amendment is necessary to assure that the Nazi investigations unit has adequate funding to complete its cases expeditiously. Given the number of cases which need investigation, the delays already encountered, and the ages of the suspects and witnesses involved, it is imperative that the office be fully staffed and operational immediately."

In his statement, Lehman said. "Since the end of World War II, more than 200 individuals accused of direct complicity in genocide and other Nazi crimes have lived with impunity in America. The failure to prosecute them or to take steps to withdraw American citizenship where they have obtained it by fraud and denial of their past record is unworthy of the high human rights ideals of our country. For crimes of the magnitude of the Holocaust, the exercise of justice must prevail. And we are morally bound to support that effort until the job is done."

The Holtzman-Lehman amendment also added $2.3 million to the appropriation for the Criminal Division in the Department of Justice to which the Nazi unit has recently been transferred from the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

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