NEW YORK (Jan. 31)
Simon Wiesenthal claimed this week that his Nazi war crimes documentation center in Vienna suffered “a lot of damage” as a result of alleged attacks on it by Chancellor Bruno Kreisky of Austria and Minister Leopold Gratz, secretary of the Austrian Socialist Party. Wiesenthal made his claim in a letter replying to a series of questions on the current and future activities of the center put to him by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. One of the questions concerned the reportedly strained relations between Wiesenthal and the Jewish-born Chancellor.
He said that the “attacks” by Kreisky and Gratz were over but that all war criminal proceedings held subsequently “ended with acquittals for the Nazi criminals who were on trial.”
Wiesenthal claimed that his center was responsible for bringing more than 1100 Nazi war criminals to justice. He said it was concentrating at the moment on the two most wanted Nazis still at large, Martin Bormann, Hitler’s deputy and bodyguard and Dr. Josef Mengele, the notorious death camp doctor. “Mengele is a very concrete case since we know exactly his whereabouts,” Wiesenthal wrote.
He said his Vienna center enjoyed very good relations with the Israeli police and with the legal authorities in West Germany. He also said it was well supported by public opinion in Holland, France, Britain and the Scandinavian countries. But “since we attacked the anti-Semitism in the Eastern countries, we are attacked by Poland and the Soviet Union,” he wrote. He said help from the American side could be mainly financial.
Wiesenthal said there was no one to succeed him should anything happen to cause him to end his work. “I’m the last Mohican,” wrote the man who over a decade ago, tracked down the notorious Adolf Eichmann.