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Nazi War Crimes Trials: Knesset Resolution on the Limitation of Nazi Crimes

(June 18, 1979)

Under the German Statute of Limitations, Nazi war criminals could not be prosecuted after 1969. In that year, the limitation period was extended by another ten years and was due to expire at the end of 1979. While Germany debated the issue of extending the Statute further or ceasing to bring to trial Nazi war criminals, the Knesset, speaking for the hundreds of thousands of Israelis, survivors of the Nazi holocaust, passed the following resolution:

1) The Knesset reiterates its position that the Nazi crimes are unique in human history in their horror, scope and cruelty. Therefore, it is intolerable that they be considered as an ordinary crime which can be pardoned and to which the rule of limitation applies.

2) The Knesset is of the opinion that because of the special nature of Nazi crimes they must be considered apart from and as absolutely different from any other crime.

3) The Knesset, as the representative of the State of the Jewish People which was the main target of Nazi crimes, calls upon the Federal Republic of Germany and its legislators to prevent the application of the Statute of Limitations to Nazi crimes, and to distinguish these crimes from others.

4) The Knesset calls upon the Federal Republic of Germany to continue to bring to trial every Nazi criminal.

5) The Knesset calls upon the Government of Israel to persist in its campaigning and activities for the punishment of Nazi criminals.

6) This resolution will be brought to the attention of the Parliaments of the world.

Sources: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs