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March 27, 1992 - Image 125

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-03-27

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

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NOW

Austrian Police
Arrest Neo-Nazi

Vienna (JTA) — Police
here have arrested Austrian
neo-Nazi leader Gottfried
Kussel following blatantly
racist and anti-Semitic
comments he made in
several international televi-
sion broadcasts, including
appearances on the ABC-TV
programs "Nightline" and
"PrimeTime Live."
Police moved in on Mr.
Kussel, 33, and a German
colleague, Klaus Kopanski,
after the Austrian minister
of justice, Nikolaus
Michalek, received a strong
letter of protest from Abra-
ham Foxman, national di-
rector of the Anti-
Defamation League.
Mr. Foxman also included
a videotape copy and
transcript of the Dec. 17
"Nightline" broadcast, dur-
ing which Mr. Kussel's
racist views were presented
along with comments by
French Nazi-hunter Beate
Klarsfeld.
In the interview, Mr.
Kussel, who is forbidden
from entering Germany,
spoke of Germany and
Austria as one. "I know that
I am here in Germany as
well as I am here in
Vienna," he said.
He spoke of Adolf Hitler as
"one of the greatest men in
the German history" and
said "there had never been
an organized killing or
organized gassing" in con-
centration camps.
Last week on "PrimeTime
Live," Mr. Kussel went fur-
ther, denying that Jews had

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been killed in the Holocaust.
He dismissed a grisly
photograph of a dead Jew be-
ing shoved into a
crematorium as a sham.
Mr. Foxman called Mr.
Kossel's comments "an in-
sult to the memory of the
millions who perished in the
Holocaust and an affront to
those who survived."
"We believe this matter
should not pass without a
forceful condemnation from
the Austrian government,
and a judicial inquiry into
Mr. Kussel's activities
might also be in order," Mr.
Foxman wrote.
After Mr. Kussel's arrest,
police searched his apart-
ment, where they found his
comrade, Mr. Kopanski, who
is 27.
Mr. Kussel was involved in
a neo-Nazi trial in 1984 and
later joined various ex-
tremist groups. He was very
skillful in covering up his
activities.
Recently, Mr. Kussel and
his friends set fire to a leftist
youth center in Vienna.

r- That
Special
Something

In May, Mr. Kussel was
elected successor to German
neo-Nazi leader Michael
Kuhnen, who died of AIDS.
Since then, Mr. Kussel has
given repeated interviews.

A TISKET A TASKET

Mr. Kussel has been
shown on television in
Europe, training in
Langenlois, Austria, and has
said the German National
Socialist Workers Party —
the Nazis — should be re-
established in Austria.

Future Of Soviet Jews
Raises Concerns

Washington (JTA) — The
replacement of the Soviet
Union by a Commonwealth
of Independent States has
raised serious concerns
about what the future holds
for the Jews remaining
there.
But the sweeping
transformation also poses a
more parochial dilemma for
Soviet Jewry advocacy
groups in the West: what to
call themselves.
The Student Struggle for
Soviet Jewry is sticking with
its present name, which it
boasts it has used since it
was founded 28 years ago,
when Nikita Khrushchev
was the Soviet leader.
Glenn Richter, the
grassroots group's national
director, said changing the
name now would be

ireS=

pointless, since there may
very well be a "coup of the
week" in the new com-
monwealth.
The Union of Councils for
Soviet Jews has yet to make
a long-term decision on a
name change, but for now
will refer to itself merely as
the Union of Councils.
"We're not yet ready to
complicate our lives with a
new name," explained
Micah Naftalin, the group's
national director. Besides,
he added, "Union of Coun-
cils is simple."
The National Conference
on Soviet Jewry said it is
grappling with various op-
tions.
"I don't think that we've
come up with an easy solu-
tion," said Martin Wenick,
its executive director.

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

117

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