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German Press Considers Sentence Against Eichmann’s Aide As Mild

July 16, 1962
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Some of the leading newspapers here today denounced the mildness of the sentence meted out by the local court against Otto Hunsche, one of Adolf Eichmann’s principal wartime aides, who sent 1,200 Hungarian Jews to their deaths at Auschwitz. At the same time, Heinz Wolf, the chief prosecutor here, announced he would appeal against the light sentence to a higher court.

During his long, 11-week trial, Hunsche, a captain in Hitler’s SS, who had worked with Eichmann at Budapest, Berlin and Prague, had been charged with “complicity” in the murder of the 1,200 Hungarian Jews whom he had sent to Auschwitz in 1944. However, despite evidence showing that he knew where the deported Jews had been sent, he was convicted only of “cooperation” with their murderers. The court sentenced him, theoretically, to five years’ imprisonment at hard labor.

The court also deducted nearly four years from the sentence, allowing “time off” for a previous 27-month prison sentence Hunsche had served for war crimes, as well as 19 months “off” for the time he had been in jail awaiting the trial just concluded.

Criticizing both the verdict and the sentence, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung noted today that Hunsche will probably serve only three months’ imprisonment as a result of his latest mild conviction. The Frankfurter Rundschau called the sentence “shocking,” and accused the judge who presided at the trial of “ignorance.” The prosecutor in his summation to the court, had requested a life sentence for Hunsche.

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