THE Bavarian Hans Münch, a former doctor at Auschwitz, but unpunished, has discovered a lucrative source of income, and one that runs no risk whatsoever from the German legal authorities: lying about Auschwitz

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September 7, 1999

Psychiatric test asked for Nazi Auschwitz doctor


PARIS, Sept 7 (Reuters) - A lawyer for a former Auschwitz SS doctor being tried in absentia in Paris for praising the Nazis' extermination of gypsies asked the court on Tuesday to order a psychiatric examination of his client.

MünchLawyer Eric Morin produced a certificate from a Munich psychiatrist saying the 88-year-old defendant, Hans Münch, suffered from "mental deterioration and memory problems."

The court said it would reply to Morin's request later this month.

Münch, who was not present in court, is being tried for telling French radio in an interview last year that gassing gypsies to death was "the only way to handle them."

Münch was acquitted of war crimes at a trial in Poland in 1947 where 39 fellow accused were sentenced to death or life imprisonement. He was last year probed by German prosecutors for statements to Der Spiegel magazine boasting of killing inmates at the World War Two Auschwitz death camp in southern Poland.

French radio reporter Daniel Mermet, who interviewed Münch at his home, told the court the accused spoke forcefully for several hours.

If no examination was ordered and Münch was deemed fit to be tried, he could face up to five years in jail and a 300,000 franc ($50,000) fine on charges of praising war crimes and provoking racial hatred.

Münch, who resides in Rosshaupten, Bavaria, cannot be handed over to France as Germany does not extradite its own citizens. But, under European accords, Paris could ask Germany to make him serve the sentence in his home country.

WE SHALL post more items about Dr Münch later, including his correspondence with other Germans.

© Focal Point 1999 F e-mail: DISmall write to David Irving