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Germany Appeals to Holland to Release Two Nazi War Criminals

Premier Rudolph Lubbers has expressed “surprise” that the West German parliament has decided to renew its appeal to the Dutch government to release the last two Nazi war criminals incarcerated in Holland.

They are Franz Fischer, 80, and Ferdinand Ausder Fuenten, 70, serving sentences in Breda prison, who were the subjects of a similar appeal by Bonn in 1979. Aus der Fuenten, and another war criminal held in Breda, Willy Lages, now deceased, were in charge of the mass deportation of Jews from Holland during World War II.

The Bundestag unanimously adopted a resolution last week requesting The Netherlands and the governments of five other countries to free the last German war criminals imprisoned by them for “humanitarian reasons.” Lubbers said last Friday that no such request has reached his government and said he considered it “a purely internal matter of the West Germany Federal Republic.”

Justice Minister Frits Korthals Altes said he has no plans whatever for the early release of the two prisoners at Breda. The lower house of the Dutch parliament reacted to Bonn’s plea with reservations.

The Bundestag also asked the Italian government to release war criminal Walter Reder, a native of Austria. A similar request was made recently by the Austrian government. The U.S.,Britain, France and the Soviet Union were asked to free Hitler’s one time deputy Fuhrer Rudolph Hess, convicted at Nuremberg, who is serving a life sentence at Spandau prison in Berlin.

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