Menu JTA Search

Brazil Refuses Citizenship to Ex-nazi Charged with Killing Jews in Riga

Justice Minister Armando Falcao rejected today an application for citizenship by Herbert Cukurs, a former SS leader charged with the responsibility for the death of 32,000 Jews in Riga during the Nazi occupation.

In turning down Cukurs bid for Brazilian citizenship, Mr. Falcao said that he had come to the conclusion that the charges against the Latvian Nazi were apparently based on a solid foundation. He disclosed that Cukurs had failed to satisfactorily refute the charges when questioned at the naturalization hearing.

Cukurs naturalization application was opposed by the Rio de Janeiro City Council, the Federation of Jewish Institutions of Brazil and by the country’s leading newspapers. The former SS officer was turned down by the Ministry of Justice nine years ago in a similar bid for citizenship.