BONN (Oct. 29)
Dr. Karl Hettlage, newly appointed director of the European Coal and Steel pool, admitted today that he had been a member of Hitler’s Elite Guard, the S. S., but insisted that he had merely held “honorary rank,” customarily conferred upon senior government officials. He denied ever having been an “active” member of the Nazi Party, or of having served the National Socialist regime in any capacity other than as a finance officer in the Berlin city administration.
Hettlage was named to the post by the Council of Ministers of the six-nation European Community, on the recommendation of the West German Government. He had served previously as Secretary of State for Financial Affairs in the Bonn Federal Government.
His S. S. record was exposed by the Belgian Resistance journal, The Voice of International Resistance. The journal charged that Hettlage, now 59, had been a member of the S. S. from 1936 on, and had been attached to S. S. general headquarters in 1938. The paper asked whether the German Government had been unaware of Hettlage’s record, or whether it had recommended him for the post in full knowledge of his past.