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Minister Defends German Government’s Record on War Criminals

Dr. Fritz Schaffer, West German Minister of Justice, defended the Government’s record in seeking out Nazi criminals hiding abroad by asserting today that West Germany would have asked for the extradition of Nazi mass murderer Adolf Eichmann if his whereabouts had been known.

He spoke in Parliament in reply to a statement by a Social Democratic critic that the Government was not doing all it might to seek out such Nazi criminals.

Replying that “we did not know Eichmann’s whereabouts or we would have asked for his extradition, ” Dr. Schaffer said two extradition notices had been served on the Argentine Government so far but both were unsuccessful to date. He noted that the extradition of former Nazi diplomat Karl Klingenfuss had been refused on legal grounds in 1953 and that there had been no reply to the Bonn request for the extradition of Josef Mengele, a Nazi camp doctor.

The Social Democratic opposition repeated today its demand that the West German Government should request Eichmann’s extradition from Argentina in the event Israel complied with the demand for his return to Buenos Aires.

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