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Germany Reburies Executed Nazis; Protests Voiced in Britain

March 8, 1954
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Six Labor Members of Parliament have introduced a motion in the House of Commons attacking the German reburial of some 90 convicted and executed Nazi war criminals responsible for the murder of thousands of inmates of the Belsen and other concentration camps. British occupation authorities refused to interfere with German authorities who moved the bodies from a mass grave to individual plots in the city cemetery, after a campaign by neo-Nazi elements in Hamelin, Lower Saxony.

Thirty of the 90 bodies of the executed Nazi war criminals have already been moved from a common mass grave near Hamelin and reinterred in the city’s cemetery. The remaining bodies will be moved later. Among those reburied are Joseph Kramer, named the “Beast of Belsen” by inmates of the notorious death camp, and Irma Grese, who hounded women prisoners at Belsen.

The World Jewish Congress issued a statement signed by its political secretary, A. L. Easterman, severely criticizing the reburial of the “Beast of Belsen, ” who starved beat and burned to death tens of thousands of Jewish and other camp inmates while he commanded the prison, as well as the other Nazi criminals. Mr. Easterman called the reburial an “act of brazen defiance of the moral principles cherished by decent people everywhere.” He emphasized that it was “all the more shocking since it was ordered by a Ministry of Justice (German) and paid for by a Ministry of Finance (German) out of public funds.”

“The action of the German authorities mocks the memory of Hitler’s countless murdered victims,” he continued. “The posthumous whitewashing of Nazi killers cast the gravest of doubts on repeated German official professions that the new Germany has purged itself of its past and must call into serious question Germany’s worthiness of place among the society of nations governed by the principle that evil shall not prevail. “

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