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October 29, 1976 - Image 72

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1976-10-29

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72 Friday, October 29, 1976


Simon Wiesentha Summarizes Year of Nazi Hunting

Editor's Note: Simon
Wiesenthal, the Vienna-
based Nazi hunter, has is-
sued a summary of the
work carried on by his
Jewish Documentation
Center during the past
The Friedrich Peter
Case for two months at
the end of 1975 occupied
press and politicians in
Austria. Based on docu-
ments, we found out in
the middle of September
-1975 that Peter, the
chairman of the Austrian
Freedom Party, in his
biography suppressed an
important fact, namely
that he had been a
member of the 1st SS In-
fantry Brigade for 20
months. This brigade, in
fact, was a murder
brigade, which, on an in-
struction of Himmler,
was not brought into ac-
tion on the front, but was
used behind the front
lines for the liquidation of
the civilian population, as
Russians, Jews and Gyp-
We learned that Peter,
who at this time was SS
Unterscharfuhrer, re-
ceived a medal — the Iron
Cross II — and was
selected for an instruc-
tion course as SS officer.
He later passed that
course and joined the SS
Division 'Das Reich'
which fought in France.
At the end of the war he
was SS Obersturmfuhrer.
When the Documenta-
tion Center completed the
Peter file, Austria was
just in the middle of the
election campaign which
-took place Oct. 5, 1975.
Wiesenthal decided to
publish the case only
after the elections. As the
Socialist Party won the
elections with a 50.04 per
cent vote, the possibility
of a coalition government
with the Freedom Party
did no longer exist.
Therefore Wiesenthal, at
a press conference on Oc-
tober 9, 1975, revealed the
so far unknown member-
ship of Peter with the 1st
SS Infantry Brigade.
This caused a big politi-
cal sensation in Austria.
Peter had to admit his
membership with the
Brigade, but denied ever
to have shot at civilians.
The next day Chancel-
lor Bruno Kreisky
strongly attacked Wie-
senthal and claimed
• these disclosures, in
truth, were directed
against him. The attacks
climaxed in personal in-
sults and insinuations.
Wiesenthal, as a con-
sequence, sued Kreisky
for libel.
In the meantime, the
search for documents on
the activities of the
brigade continued. It was
found out that the 5th
Company of the 2nd Bat-
tallion, of which Peter
was a member, took part
in numerous massacres of
the population. The
number of victims of the
1st SS Infantry Brigade
lies somewhere at several
thousand people.
Within the Freedom
Party Peter was urged to
sue Wiesenthal, which he
did. Meanwhile, the con-
flict with Kreisky was

settled, Peter sued Wie-
senthal and the case is
Based on the testimony
of survivors, we started
our search for Viktor
Arajs in 1949. Arajs re-
mained vanished. Several
of his collaborators in the
liquidation of Jews in Lat-
via, as Hasners, Leipnjeks
and Maiskowskis, now live
in the United States.
The Majdanek trial
started at Dusseldorf
Dec. 2, 1975. One of the de-
fandants is Hermine
Braunsteiner-Ryan. We
traced Hermine B-raun-
steiner to New York in
1964. But it took nine
years until witnesses
were heard, and docu-
ments were found, so that
she lost her American
citizenship and was ex-
tradited to Germany. The
trial will last at least one
year, as more than 200
witnesses will be heard.
The Documentation
Center has investigated
the case of the killings of
Lvoy professors for a long
time. Some of the exe-
cuted professors were
known to Wiesenthal who
had studied at Lvov. We
discovered that the man
responsible for the execu-
tions was SS Un-
tersturmfuhrer Dr. Wal-
ter Kutschmann. This
man was also responsible
for an action against
Jews in Brzezany and
Podhajce in the summer
of 1942, where several
thousand Jews were
killed. But Kutschmann
remained vanished.
Since his last home was
Berlin, the West Berlin
justice authorities were
responsible for the case.
After a long search, one of
our collaborators traced
Kutschmann. In 1944,
when he was stationed in
France and no longer be-
lieved in a German vic-
tory, he escaped to Spain.
From there he emigrated
with forged papers on the
name Pedro Ricardo
Olmo to Argentina in
1946. It is interesting to
note that he mixed there
in many Jewish circles.
He became director for
public relations and then
sales manager of the
Osram-Argentina firm,
where he had many
Jewish customers.


It took us some time to
prove that Kutschmann
and Olmo were the same
weekly "Vision" reported
the Kutschmann case
June 30, 1975, and pub-
lished old and new photos
of the man. Nevertheless,
Kutschmann was
brought to the police,
which, for 12 hours,
waited for a reaction of
the German Embassy.
Although there existed
a German warrant, the
German Embassy first
asked the Bonn foreign
ministry. This office con-
tacted the Ministry of
Justice, which in turn
asked the Berlin justice
department. This took
several days.
Meanwhile, the Argen-
tinian police released
Kutschmann, but knew
where he was and waited
for an extradition request
of the West German Fed-
eral Republic. But the
West Germans did not
hurry and said there was
no extradition agreement
existing with. Argentina;
therefore they could not
get Kutschmann. Thus the
case was shelved.
Kutschmann still is in
Argentina; he now lives in
La Plata.
We discovered a doc-
tor's thesis of a Dr. Josef
Muller, written in 1940.
This started a search for
the man, as the thesis on
the development of anti-
Semitism was an outspo-
ken anti-Semitic pam-
phlet. We also discovered
that Dr. Muller was SS
Obersturmfuhrer and a
Gestapo member. A
further search revealed
that the same man now is
the director of a high

school at Kelkheim in
Germany. His name now
is Dr. Josef Muller-
We wrote a letter to the
Education Minister of
Hessen, added the thesis
and informed him on the
situation. No response
has been received.
An Estonian, who now
lives in Sweden, informed
us of a military correction
camp in Wyrytsa, 100
kilometers south of
Leningrad. Prisoners
were brought to this camp
to be executed. In this con-
nection, the name of a
German Lieutenant
Bubinger was mentioned.
We could not clarify the
identity of this man. We
will continue our search.
The Union of Airmen of
the Royal Air Forces
asked the Documentation
Center to investigate the
fate of the men responsi-
ble for the killing of 50 Al-
lied airmen who escaped
from the Stalag Luft III
March 24, 1944. The air-
men were recaptured and
executed. The union
wanted this information
for a memorial book is-
sued at the 30th anniver-
sary of the end of the War.
The , Documentation
Center agreed and in-
formed the union on the
fate of the men responsi-
ble for the killings.
Several of these people
were extradited to the
Soviet Union, as they also
committed crimes there.
The others were sen-
tenced by German courts
between 1957 and 1968.
The Documentation
Center received material
on the activities of Fritz
Merdsche which it passed
on to the Zentral Stelle in
Cologne. The Cologne
Public Prosecutor is in-
vestigating against
Merdsche, who in absten-
tia had been sentenced to
death by a French milit-
ary court at Lyons.
We are searching for
Dachau concentration
camp inmates, who were
there in 1938 and 1939
and know something
about the activities of SS
Hauptscharfuhrer Ar-
nold Metzdorf, born in
Hans Gogl was acquitted
Dec. 3, 1975, although eye
witnesses reported on the

U.S. Pursues Nazi Prosecutions

creased attention is being
focused on the renewed
efforts of the U.S. Immig-
ration and Naturaliza-
tion Service to deport 80
alleged Nazi war crimi-
nals who entered the U.S.


after World War II.
The men who may be
the best known, with the
most serious charges of
massive crimes against
them, are Romanian
Bishop Valerian D. Trifa
of Grass Lake, Mich., and
Andrij a Artukovic of
Surfside, Calif.
The U.S. can only pro-
secute the alleged crimi-
nals for entering the
country under false pre-
tenses, which in Trifa's
case includes hiding his
association with the fas-
cist Iron Guard and al-
legedly leading a pogrom
in 1941.
Artukovic, a former offi-
cial of Nazi-controlled
Croatia, has avoided de-
portation for more than 20
years on the grounds that
he would be politically

persecuted if he were re-
turned to Yugoslavia.
Trifa's case is currently
before the Federal Dis-
trict Court in Detroit, but
has been delayed several
times this year because of
Trifa's health.


murder of prisoners and
Dutch airmen of the Royal
Air Forces who had been
arrested and brought to
Following an informa-
tion of an inmate, we
started an investigation
on the conditions in Camp
Bolzano. There existed a
camp for men and
another for women. It op-
erated from October 1944
until the end of April 1945
and was under the juris-
diction of the Commander
of the Security Police in
We discovered a docu-
ment which revealed that
a special scientific de-
partment existed in the
Plaszow (Krakov) con-
centration camp, where
Jewish inmates worked
together with German
scientists of the "Insti-
tute for German Work in
the East". The discovered
document is a letter of SS
Koppe addressed to Hein-
rich Himmler. We sent
copies of this document to
cooperating institutes.
The readers of our bul-
letin know about the
Manfred Roeder case. We
reported that we sued
Roeder for instigation in
connection with his neo-
Nazi writings.
Roeder, in the preface of
his booklet "The Lie of Au-
schwitz" claimed that
Jews were neither killed
or gassed in either Au-
schwitz or anywhere else.
They all had died natural
deaths,-he said.
The trial was scheduled
to take place at Bensheim
Aug. 27, 1975. Roeder
mobilized his followers
who appeared with post-
ers with anti-Jewish slo-
gans. He requested that
two Nazis who live in -
Buenos Aires should be
heard as witnesses. The
judge closed the hearing
without Wiesenthal's tes-
timony. A later hearing of
the Darmstadt lawyers
committee decided on a
psychiatric examination
of Roeder.
SS Oberfuehrer Horst
Bender was the legal ad-
viser to Himmler. He is re-
sponsible for a series of
crimes. As Bender gave
orders to SS courts, we
filed a suit against this
man at the Stuttgart Pro-
secutor in 1974. Because
of his position and because
of discovered documents
Bender came under the
suspicion to have taken
part in SS crimes. Bender
now works as a lawyer in
Stuttgart. We have named
three witnesses who
worked as aides to Him-
mler and one of his sec-
retaries, who now live in
West Germany.
We passed informa-
tions on Imre Finta, the
commander of Szeged
concentration camp to
the Canadian Embassy in
October 1974. We also in-
formed the press. The
case caused much ex-
citement in Canada.
Meanwhile we tried to
find new witnesses. We
also asked several Jewish
organizations in Canada
to intervene with the
Canadian Government to
strip him of his citizen-
ship (Finta had been sen-

tenced in Hungary in ab-
sentia after the War) and
expel him from Canada. A
Canadian journalist vis-
ited Hungary to contact
witnesses on the spot. He
published a report, but
without results.
We started investiga-
tion on the murder o
Jewish orphans i;
Konigsberg at th
Reichskristallnacht 193
two years ago. The r(
sults of these investiga-
tions are available now.
They reveal that the
Jewish orphanage was
part of the synagogue and
the Jewish Community
Center. They were
burned down in the night
of Nov. 9-10, 1938.
The question now is
whether we can prove
that Jewish orphans were
killed in this fire. We al-
ready possess the names
of the responsible people,
but we cannot prove the

death of the Jewish chil-
dren, as we do not have
witnesses from Konigs-
berg. Witnesses are being
Anton Malloth was sen-
tenced to death for his
crimes in Theresienstadt
in 1949. The official papers
say he was executed. How-
ever, we found Malloth
alive, living with his family
in Merano, Italy, with a
German passport.
We collected considera-
ble witness material and
sent it to the Zentrale
Stelle in Ludwigsburg
demanding that West
Germany should ask the
extradition from Italy.
We also sent a book writ-
ten by Prague Rabbi Dr.
Richard Feder to the pro-
secutor, which describes
the activities of Malloth.
As in previous years we
tried again in 1975 to ob-
tain informations on the
fate of Swedish diplomat
Raoul Wallenberg, who
saved the lives - f
:thousands of Je
Hungary. He later
ished in the Soviet Union.
Wiesenthal took part in
the Sakharov hearing in
Copenhagen in October
where he met several
emigrants from the
Soviet Union. They were
persons who were held in
Soviet camps. But he
could find no witnesses
who met Wallenberg of
knew something about
Weisenthal also tried to
interest the American
public in the Wallenberg
case. He wrote a letter to
Henry Jackson to explain
the case. The search for in-
formation on the fate of
Wallenberg will be con-

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