Rio City Council Asks Government to Hand Latvian Nazi over to Israel

The Rio de Janeiro City Council went on record today as opposing the granting of Brazilian citizenship to a former Latvian Nazi S. S. officer, Herbert Cukurs, who has been accused of killing 32, 000 Jews in Riga during World War II. The Council voted unanimously to ask the Minister of the Interior to reject Cukurs’ citizenship application.

The Council also decided to request the Minister of Justice to proceed against Cukurs in accordance with the United Nations Convention on Genocide, to which Brazil is a signatory, and to turn him over to Israel for trial. An extradition agreement is in force between the two countries.

The Brazilian Government turned down a citizenship application by Cukurs nine years ago after a strong protest was lodged by the Rio de Janeiro Federation of Jewish Institution. Cukurs, who operates a transportation firm in Sao Paulo, admitted at a recent hearing on his application for naturalization that he had been an SS captain in Latvia.

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