LONDON (Nov. 28)
Simon Wiesenthal, director of the Nazi war crimes documentation center in Vienna, dismissed as “complete non-sense” the latest claim that Hitler’s deputy. Martin Bormann, has been discovered living in Argentina. Wiesenthal, whose career is devoted to tracking down Nazi war criminals still at large, said last night in Vienna that the authors of a current newspaper series on the alleged whereabouts and activities of Bormann were probably given false Information by Nazi circles in Latin America to throw the authorities off the trail of other war criminals.
A spokesman for the West German Ministry of Interior expressed “extreme reservations” in Bonn yesterday over the published reports appearing in the London Daily Express and the New York Daily News. The spokesman said, however, that if Bormann is ever positively identified abroad, the West German government would investigate the possibility of bringing him to Justice. Bormann is under death sentence by the Nuremburg war crimes tribunal.
The series on Bormann, written by Ladislas Farago, a Hungarian-born author, and Stewart Steven, a Daily Express reporter, claims that Bormann entered Argentina on May 17, 1948 in the guise of a stateless person, Eliezer Goldstein, with a passport issued by the Vatican Office of Stateless Persons. According to the authors, the Vatican bureau was duped into issuing the document by the Peron regime in Argentina.
The authors claim that former President Juan Domingo Peron contrived to have Bormann’s fortune smuggled into Argentina and “protected” the Nazi war criminal until Peron’s downfall in 1955. According to the Express-Daily News series, Bormann paid $200 million for his safety.
(In Buenos Aires yesterday, Argentine secret service sources said Bormann was sheltered in that country after World War II but could not confirm that he was still there as the newspaper series claims. The sources confirmed that the ranch where Bormann purportedly lives is owned by German industrialists. According to the newspaper series, the owner Is Arndt von Bohlen-Hahlbach, the last scion of the Krupp family.)
(Israelis were generally skeptical over the report that Bormann is alive In Argentina. State radio commentators Ignored the story yesterday. The newspaper Yediot Achronot front-paged the Express article but Maariv relegated the story to an inside page.)