PARIS (Jul. 2)
The newspaper Le Monde said today that a wanted Nazi war criminal has been named head of the Chilean government’s information services, the “Direction de Intelligence Nacional.” The paper identified him as Walter Rauff, a former SS chief responsible for the deaths of some 100,000 Jews from Poland, Yugoslavia and the Ukraine during World War II. The Le Monde report was the latest to charge that the former Nazi held a high post in the military junta-ruled Chilean regime. Only last week, the Chilean Embassy in London denied those reports in a statement to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency, stating that “nothing could be further from the truth.”
According to Le Monde, Rauff was in charge of deporting Tunisian Jews to forced labor camps during the war. On one occasion he personally commanded troops who broke into a synagogue in an attempt to round up 2000 Jews, Le Monde said. In 1944, Rauff served as head of security police in Milan. After the war, he settled in Chile where he became a merchant. In 1961, West Germany demanded his extradition to face war crimes charges but it was denied because Chile’s 15-year statute of limitations had expired, the paper said.