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Himmler’s Legal Advisor Will Not Face Trial in West Germany

May 2, 1977
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Horst Bender, the legal advisor of Heinrich Himmler, who was the leader of the Nazi SS, will not face trial in West Germany although he advocated the thesis that the killing of Jews for political reasons was not a crime.

Simon Wiesenthal, head of the Jewish Documentation Center in Vienna, said Friday he was informed by West German authorities they cancelled investigation measures against Bender, who is currently a practicing lawyer in Stuttgart, West Germany. German justice authorities said evidence was not sufficient to continue legal proceedings.

Wiesenthal said he informed German authorities in April, 1974 of Bender’s activities and together with Robert Kempner, the deputy prosecutor of the Nuremberg trials, induced West German authorities to start an investigation. Wiesenthal presented a legal brief by Bender to Himmler which said the shooting of Jews without prior order was not a crime if the shootings were done “for purely political reasons.”

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