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Ex-nazi Dies in Prison

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Joseph Kotaella, one of three Nazi war criminals still imprisoned in Holland, died at Breda prison today at the age of 71. A German by birth, he was, as deputy commandant of the Amersfoort concentration camp during World War II, responsible for mass murder and countless other atrocities.

Kotaella was sentenced to death after the war for the murders of 77 camp inmates. In 1951 his sentence was commuted to life imprisonment on grounds that he was not fully competent mentally. In 1971, the Dutch government announced its intention to free him and three other war criminals for humanitarian reasons in consideration of their poor health. Only one, Willy Lages, was released and died soon afterwards. Nationwide protests forced the government to abandon its plan. Kotaella had been partially paralyzed for several years.

The surviving war criminals still at Breda are Ferdinand aus der Fuenten and Frantz Fischer who were in charge of the deportation of Jews from Amsterdam and The Hague, respectively, during the war.

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