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Germany (Anti-Nazi Reprisals)

Volume 656: debated on Monday 26 March 1962

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asked the Lord Privy Seal how many young men, who were sentenced as boys by the Allied Military and Central Commission Courts in Germany, after the surrender of the German forces in 1945, to long terms of imprisonment, for reprisals taken after their release from concentration camps against S.S. guards or members of the Gestapo, are still in prison; and when it is intended that they shall be released.

May I ask my hon. Friend whether his attention has been drawn to a report by the Forgotten Allies Trust to the effect that 133 of these young men are still in prison, and can he definitely confirm that none of these were sentenced by British military courts?

I have see that report and I have made inquiries about the facts alleged in that report. We know of no case where a person sentenced for such a crime is still in prison.

The Minister's original reply referred to the former British Zone of occupation, and his answer was limited to that, but as that zone is now part of Western Germany, which we have recognised and with which we have treaties, would it not be worth while finding out whether in Western Germany as a whole there are any such cases now?

I referred to the British Zone since zones other than the British would not be the responsibility of Her Majesty's Government. I can only repeat what I said. We know of no case where a person sentenced for such a crime is still in prison.