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September 18, 1992 - Image 40

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-09-18

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

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OSI Action Taken
Against Two Citizens

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ISSUE DATE: October 2
Display Advertising Deadline: September 25
Classified Advertising Deadline: September 25
ISSUE DATE: October 9
Display advertising Deadline: October 2
Classified Advertising Deadline: October 5,
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40

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 1992

The complaint against Mr.
Bless was filed in the U.S.
District Court for the
District of Columbia. The ,
department alleged that Mr.
Bless, 67, a retired machin-
ist, joined the Waffen SS in
1942 and served in the SS
Death's Head Battalion at
Auschwitz.
According to the com-
plaint, Mr. Bless, an ethnic
German from Yugoslavia,
concealed his service as an
SS guard in 1956, when he
entered the United States
from Salzburg, Austria, and
in 1964, when he applied for „
U.S. citizenship, which he
was granted.
The case against Mr. Szen-
di, a retired 77-year-old
janitor, is the first filed by
the Justice Department
against a Hungarian charg-
ed to have been a Nazi war
criminal.

The complaint was filed in
U.S. District Court in
Nashville by the depart-
ment's Criminal Division
and the U.S. Attorney's Of-
fice for the Middle District of
Tennessee.
The confluence of these
charges and the decision in -C_
the same court to investigate
Justice Department conduct
in the case of John Demjan-
juk is only a coincidence, a
government source said.

Scholar Reveals
Ethiopians' Origin

AL MAN 'S

EARLY DEADLINES
Due to the upcoming high holidays,
The Jewish News will have the
following advertising deadlines:

New York (JTA) — The
Justice Department's Office
of Special Investigations has
initiated legal action to
revoke the U.S. citizenship
of two alleged Nazi war
criminals.
On Sept. 9, the department
filed a complaint against
Jozsef Szendi, a Hungarian
emigre living in Cookeville,
Tenn., who allegedly took
part in the persecution of
Jews and others in Budapest
during World War II.
Among the activities Mr.
Szendi is alleged to have
undertaken was a raid on a
building in Budapest where
Jews had been hidden under
the aegis of Swedish diplo-
mat Raoul Wallenberg.
And on Sept. 10, the
Justice Department an-
nounced it had filed a com-
plaint to revoke the citizen-
ship of Anton Bless, a recent
resident of Lecanto, Fla.,
who is accused of concealing
his service in the SS as a
Nazi concentration camp
guard.
But the department said it
had been informed by Mr.
Bless' attorney that his
client had fled the country
after being told the com-
plaint was to be filed.
The attorney said Mr.
Bless does not plan to return
to the United States. It was
not reported where he went.

Jerusalem (JTA) — Con-
trary to popular belief, the
Jews of Ethiopia are descen-
dants neither of the exiled
tribe of Dan nor of a
mythical union between
King Solomon and the
Queen of Sheba, according to
a new book by a Hebrew
University scholar.
Rather, Professor Steven
Kaplan believes the Jews of
Ethiopia probably had their
origin in an Ethiopian eth-
nic group sometime between
the 14th and 16th centuries.
Professor Kaplan con-
siders the community in the
wider context of Ethiopian
history in The Beta Israel
(Falasha) in Ethiopia: From
Earliest Times to the Twen-
tieth Century, published by
New York University Press.
The New York-born author
is chairman of the Hebrew
University's department of
African studies.
Professor Kaplan says his
purpose is not to question

the Jewishness of Ethiopian
immigrants to Israel, since
their religious status as
Jews was determined by
rabbinical authorities 400
years ago.
He believes Jews did in-
deed come to Ethiopia from
Eretz Yisrael via the Ara-
bian Peninsula in the first
and second centuries of the
Common Era, and that they
exerted a lingering cultural
influence.
But although traces of
their cultural imprint sur-
vived even after the arrival
of Christianity in the fourth
century C.E., they left no
Jewish community as such.
It is only in the Middle
Ages — sometime between
the 14th and 16th centuries,
writes Professor Kaplan —
that references arise of a
separate group standing
apart from other Ethiopians,
whose beliefs and rituals did
not contain Christian
elements.

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