FRANCE: Thirteen Go Free

The French government, ever a thin reed, bent last week under a gale of resentment blowing out of German-speaking, French-minded Alsace. To cool Alsatians' anger at the verdict in the Oradour massacre trial (TIME, Feb. 23), Premier René Mayer hustled through the Assembly a law decreeing amnesty for all Frenchmen forcibly drafted by the Germans during World War II. It had the immediate effect of granting pardons to 13 Alsatians who, pressed into the Nazis' SS, had participated in the wartime rape of Oradour-sur-Glane.

The morning after Parliament acted, five automobiles slipped up to the gate of a military...

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