AMSTERDAM (Mar. 5)
The background of the events that have led to the arrest in Brazil of Franz Stangl former commandant of the Nazi murder camps of Treblinka and Sobibor, was revealed here this weekend by Simon Wiesenthal, head of the Jewish Documentation Center at Vienna.
Mr. Wiesenthal, whose office had been credited with tracking down the late Adolf Eichmann, leading to the latter’s apprehension in Argentina and his subsequent sentencing to death and execution in Israel, said he first was offered Stangl’s address in 1964 by a former member of the Nazi secret police. The informant, whose name was not revealed by Mr. Wiesenthal, first asked $25, 000 for providing Stangl’s address.
Later, according to Mr. Wiesenthal, the informant reduced his price to “2 cents for every man, woman and child killed” under Stangl’s responsibility. After further bargaining, the informant agreed to reveal the address at a price of 1 cent per victim. Since Stangl had been responsible for an estimated 700, 000 deaths, he was promised a payment of $7,000 upon Stangl’s arrest.
After lengthy negotiations with high-ranking Brazilians, Mr. Wiessenthal said, he was told last December that Stangl would be arrested on the order of the newly-elected Governor of Sao Paulo Province, in Brazil, Roberto Abreu Sodre, as soon as the Argentine Embassy in Brazil would request the man’s extradition. With the cooperation of the Austrian Minister of Justice, a 50-page summary of a 1,000-page Austrian accusation against Stangl was prepared and sent to Brazil by secret couriers. Stangl’s arrest last week was the result.
Only three Jews–living now in Israel — survived from among all the Jews sent to Treblinka and Sobibor under Stangl’s command, Mr. Wiesenthal said. All three are prepared to testify when Stangl comes to trial, he added. The cost of the entire Stangl operation, conducted by Mr. Weisenthal’s Documentation Center, was said here to have been $45,000. Mr. Wiesenthal’s “wanted” list of Nazi war criminals still includes 22,000 names. Mr. Wiesenthal revealed that there is in existence now an organization of former Nazi war criminals whose aim is to protect wanted war criminals. He said the group is known as “Odessa”–which stands for Organization der SS Angehorige, referring to those who had been members of Hitler’s SS.