WASHINGTON (May. 27)
Rep. Joshua Eilberg (D.Pa.) stated that the Justice Department has neglected to follow up evidence it has received from Israel on the cases of alleged Nazi war criminals now living in the United States. Eilberg, chairman of the House Subcommittee on Immigration, Citizenship, and International Law, met recently, in Israel, with Maj. Gershon Lengsfelder, chief of investigation, Nazi War Criminal Office of Israel.
“I am extremely disturbed that the Immigration and Naturalization Service is not expediting the investigation of leads and testimony of witnesses supplied by the Israeli Nazi War Criminal Office.” Eilberg said. “Time is certainly of the essence, and I believe that everything possible should be done immediately to bring the proper charges against the alleged Nazi criminals.”
The immigration service presently has 53 names in its file of persons accused of war crimes during World War II. Lengsfelder had supplied the names of some 40 witnesses for 27 cases and leads in 10 other cases, the legislator said. “At my urging, Attorney General Edward Levi sent a team of lawyers to Israel to discuss with Major Lengsfelder what evidence could be used to get the people denaturalized or deported.” Eilberg stated.
“I do not know what we will have to do to get the Department of Justice to act on the information it has received, but I intend to do everything possible to get the Attorney General to bring these cases to a conclusion.” Eilberg added. He said he knows the information has been given to investigators working on the individual cases, but no decisions are being made on prosecution of the persons accused of war crimes.
None of the accused can be tried for the crimes in the United States. Eilberg noted. They would have to be sent to either Germany or to the country where the crime was committed. However, in order to deport them it would have to be proved in a U.S. court that they had committed the crimes and violated U.S. immigration law by lying about their activities before coming here.