JERUSALEM (Dec. 15)
Two Dutch war criminals linked to the murders of Jews and others during World War II could possibly stand trial in Israel. The Foreign Ministry announced yesterday that it will seek the extradition of Lambertus Johannes Loyen, 58, who received a life sentence in Roermond, Holland yesterday for murdering over 100 Jews while serving as an SS guard at the Bobruisk forced labor camp in Poland in 1942-43.
MK Hillel Seidel, meanwhile, has asked Foreign Minister Yigal Allon to Join Holland in demanding the extradition of Pieter Menten, 78, a suspected war criminal who fled Holland last month to avoid arrest and was apprehended near Zurich, Switzerland a week ago.
Much of the evidence against both men was provided by Israeli survivors who were eye-witnesses to their crimes. Menten, a multi-millionaire art dealer, was exposed by a Dutch-Jewish Journalist, Hans Knoop, on the basis of information obtained from Israeli sources. He is suspected of complicity in the murders of several thousand Jews and Poles while an officer in a Nazi SS unit at Lemberg, Galicia in 1941.
The Swiss government has not yet decided whether to comply with Holland’s extradition request for Menten. The Cabinet is expected to take up the matter Friday. Menten has engaged a lawyer and his wife has appeared on Dutch television from Zurich claiming his innocence. In a letter to the Dutch Minister of Justice, copies of which were distributed to the press, Menten alleged that the victims buried in mass graves at Lemberg were killed by Russians and Ukrainfans, not by the Germans. He also claimed to have sworn evidence that he was elsewhere when the mass murders occurred.
Mrs. Menten said she and her husband fled their country home in Holland Nov. 14 because he feared extradition to Poland or the Soviet Union. His lawyer has appealed to the Swiss authorities not to return Menten to Holland on grounds that he would not receive a fair trial there. A’ Dutch magistrate, meanwhile, has ordered the seizure of a large number of paintings in Menten’s possession which he allegedly looted from Jewish and non-Jewish owners in Poland during World War II. Menten had planned to auction the paintings.