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Bill to End De-nazification Provokes Tumult in Bavarian Parliament

December 23, 1959
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A bill to end the activities of de-Nazification courts in Bavaria became law today after a near-riot in the Bavarian Parliament.

A tumult developed in debate when Walter Becher, leader of the All-German Block Refugee party, criticized de-Nazification as an “unfortunate measure of postwar times.” The one-time Sudeten German author of Nazi and anti-Semitic writings called out that the greatest present danger was not Nazism but Bolshevism.

Social Democratic deputies left the floor to call Becher “top Nazi” and other deputies threatened to knock him down. When order was restored, the Parliament passed the bill against Social Democratic opposition.

The de-Nazification tribunals and their rulings will be replaced by an authorization to the Bavarian Minister of the Interior to provide a certification of “unobjactionability.” A clause providing that former leading Nazis could again be elected to municipal posts was killed in committee last month.

The Social Democratic party declared its opposition today to a general amnesty petition now being circulated among members of the West German Parliament. Initiated by the German party, the measure would provide a general pardon for all crimes committed in connection with World War II and the Nazi regime. A Social Democratic spokesman said that “no one can acquit German democracy of its duty to clean up its own house.”

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