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A former prosecutor of Nazi war crimes has left $6 million to the University of Idaho, the biggest gift from an individual in the school’s 112-year history. The bequest from Burton Ellis will go toward the law school and general university programs, the university said Friday. Ellis, who graduated from the law school in 1929, died on Dec. 29 at his Merced, Calif., home. He was 97. Ellis worked as a corporate lawyer, then began a legal career with the U.S. Army in 1942. In 1945 he was chief of investigations for the War Crimes Branch of the Judge Advocate General’s office. He oversaw eight trial courts that operated at the former Dachau concentration camp, trying nearly 1,700 Nazi war criminals. He also participated in the trials at Nuremburg, Germany. Ellis retired from the Army in 1958 and practiced law in California. Copyright 2001 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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