MONTEVIDEO (Mar. 9)
The killing of a Nazi war criminal, Herbert Cukurs, who was involved in the killing of Jews in Riga, Latvia, sparked a wave of anti-Semitic incidents in Montevideo today.
Swastika daubings were smeared on walls and anonymous telephone callers warned police and rabbis that synagogues would be bombed. Police examined the threatened synagogues and said they found no ezplosives. They also denied a report that a synagogue in central Montevideo was bombed Sunday night in reprisal for the murder of Cukurs.
Police found Cukurs’ bullet-riddled body in a trunk in a beach house. They found the body by following instructions from a group calling itself “Those Who Shall Never Forget.” The group announced the murder in West Germany and gave instructions on finding the body. They indicated, in their message, that Cukurs, a former Nazi leader in Latvia, was killed last February 23, when he came to Montevideo from Brazil.
Police called the murder an act of “Jewish vengeance” which might have been planned originally as a kidnapping. They said Cukurs, who apparently fought ferociously, was killed in the struggle, His record included charges before the Nuremberg War Crimes trials of mass murder of Jews.
(In Hamburg, Walter Bong-Schmidt, the public prosecutor, said that Cukurs had been second in command in the Nazi occupation of Latvia and that the West German Government had been “considering” an attempt to extradite him for trial on war crimes charges. He reportedly had taken part in the murder of 30,000 Latvian Jews.)
In Buenos Aires, Police Inspector Juan Ochoa, the federal police official responsible for keeping track of Nazis in Argentina, asserted that there were currently 3,000 German former Nazis living in Argentina.