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March 01, 1985 - Image 28

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1985-03-01

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

28

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

Friday, March 1, 1985

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Senate Judiciary subcommit-
tee's investigation into the
Mengele case, arguing that
the U.S. has a "special obliga-
tion" to bring him to justice,
and urging that the State 'De-
partment "contact the gov-
ernments of the nations that
have been identified as having
some connection with or in-
formation about Dr. Mengele,
and urge them to conduct
internal investigations of
their own, and to cooperate
fully in this country's investi-
gation and in the efforts of all
other concerned nations."
Martin Mendelsohn, the
Wiesenthal Center's counsel,
who was present on the dais at
the press conference,
suggested that the CIA lead
the Mengele investigation.
Sen. SpeCter announced
that a second Judiciary sub-
committee hearing on the
Mengele case would be held
March 19 to follow up on the
work of the various agencies
now involved.
At a hearing of the subcom-
mittee last week, Sen. Specter
and his colleague, Sen. How-
ard Metzenbaum of Ohio, in-
quired into questions that
arose early this year when the
Wiesenthal Center and Sen.
D'Amato discovered that the
U.S. Army had once had
Mengele in its custody.
The questions:
(1) Did Mengele, like Klaus
Barbie the Gestapo "Butcher
of Lyon," ever have any con-
nections with the U.S. gov-
ernment? (2) If Mengele had
been in the custody of the
Army, how did he leave it? Did
he escape or was he released,
and if he was released, why?
(3) Where is he now?
Testifying at the hearing
were Sen. D'Amato; Lt. Gen.
William E. Odom, U.S. Army
assistant chief of staff for in-
telligence; Mark Berkowitz,
president of the "Candles"
organization of Auschwitz
survivors; Ernest Michel, a
Holocaust survivor and execu-
tive vice president of the
United Jewish Appeal Found-
ation; and Rabbi Marvin Hier,
dean of the Wiesenthal Cen-
ter.
Sen. D'Amato brought the
subcommittee lip to date on
the latest develop:gents in the
case, which included a possible
sighting of Mengele in Canada
in 1962, and the testimony of
two former Army enlisted men
who said they had actually
seen Mengele in U.S. custody
in Germany in 1945.
Sen. D'Amato also said that
in 1980, ParaguayTi friends of
Mengele had received Christ-
mas cards from him posted in

Portugal, and that in 1982 the
West Germans had arrested
on drug smuggling charges a
man who claimed he had been
Mengele's roommate in
Paraguay.
Rabbi Hier related the cir-
cumstances under which U.S.
involvement had come to
light: A letter dated April 21,
1947, and signed by a Counter
Intelligence Corps agent
named Benjamin J. M. Gorby,

Sen. Specter said that
the CIA "had not
been diligent" in
investigating the
Mengele case and
urged correction of
the situation.

had been sent to the command-
ing officer of the 970th CIC,
informing him that Dr.
Mengele had been arrested in
Vienna.
The letter, said Rabbi Hier,
marked "the first time any
document had made reference
to a possible United States
connection with Dr. Josef
Mengele."
It came into the possession
of the Wiesenthal Center in
recent months as part of a
package of documents sent by
the Army in response to a re-
quest, made under the Free-
dom of Information Act, for all
U.S. documents in the case of
Josef Mengele.
Eventually, Sen. D'Amato
and the Center sued in Federal
Court for the release of four
documents that the Army was
withholding. Three of the
documents have been re-
leased, her said. Two deal
withAhe case of Dr. Bernhard
Mosberg, who is believed to
have been murdered by
Mengele during the war, and a
third concerns correspondence
between the United States and
Canada about Mengele's sus-
pected presence in Canada
under an alias. A fourth
document, which is British,
has not been released.
Under close questioning by
Sen. Specter, Lt. Gen. Odom
admitted that Army intelli-
gence did not know who Gor-
by's commander was, had not
sought information in the case
under his own initiative, and
had no information about
Gorby's letter to the comman-
der of the 430th CIC detach-
ment in Vienna, requesting
that Mengele be interrogated
about the fate of 20 Jewish
children whom he had appar-

,

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