Ex-minister Who Boasted of Exterminating Jews in Croatia Arrested in Los Angeles

Federal authorities yesterday arrested Andrija Artukovic, the “Heinrich Himmler of Croatia,” and are holding him without bail in Los Angeles pending extradition proceedings which will determine whether he is to be returned to the scene of his crimes for trial. His arrest came as a result of legal action brought about by the Government of Yugoslavia.

Artukovic served as wartime Minister of Interior of the Nazi-puppet state of Croatia and was directly responsible for the operation of extermination camps. He bragged in a speech at Zagreb that he had “solved” Croatia’s “Jewish Problem.” Action was taken by the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles after the Yugoslavs submitted evidence to it.

The American and World Jewish Congresses today wired U.S. Commissioner Howard B. Calverly in Los Angeles requesting permission to offer witnesses and submit documentary evidence corroborating Artukovic’s participation in major war crimes. “Evidence in our possession,” the wire said, “clearly establishes that Artukovic, during his tenure as Croat Minister of Interior, was primarily responsible for all concentration camp brutalities and the annihilation of thousands of Jews. It is imperative,” the Congress communication stressed, “that our country should not help Artukovic find congenial asylum in some other foreign land and thus assist him to evade accountability for his crimes against humanity.”

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