BONN (Dec. 29)
The Finance Ministry has disclosed that 200 shipments of Nazi propaganda material from abroad were detected by West German customs officials last year and said it was convinced that much more such material was sent because the detected shipments were the result of a limited number of spot checks made mainly for statistical reasons.
Replying to a question in the Bundestag last week, a Finance Ministry official said the bulk at the neo-Nazi material come from the United States, Canada and Western European countries. One shipment contained five busts of Hitler made in Canada.
The official said the Federal government intended to cooperate with other governments to put a stop to such shipments. He observed, however, that while the production of Nazi material is forbidden by law in West Germany, the import of such material from abroad is legal under current laws.
Meanwhile, the Justice Ministry released statistics showing that 2450 criminal procedures are pending against persons suspected of or charged with Nazi crimes. The State Prosecution opened criminal procedures against 86,198 such persons since May 8, 1945. Of these, 6446 were found guilty and punished. Twelve received the death penalty, 156 were sentenced to life imprisonment and 6163 received jail terms of various lengths. Fines were imposed on 114. Allied procedures against Nazi criminals were not included in the statistics.