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Polish Embassy in Brasilia Backs War Cries Charges Against Wagner

The Polish Embassy in Brasilia is distributing a document charging alleged Nazi war criminal Gustav Franz Wagner with responsibility for the murders of two million Jews from Poland, Hungary, Belgium, Holland, Germany and Greece at the Sobibor concentration camp in Poland during World War II. The document, prepared by the Polish news agency, Interpress, said that Wagner was personally promoted by Gestapo chief Heinrich Himmler to deputy commandant of the camp because of the murder and torture of Jewish adults and children at his hands.

Wagner, a resident of Sad Paulo since 1950, was arrested last month after requests for his detention were received from West Germany, Austria, Poland and Israel. So far, Israel is the only country that has filed a formal extradition request.

Justice Minister Armando Falcao cited the representations from these government in response to an order of the Federal Supreme Court in Brasilia to clarify the reasons why Wagner was being held. The court order was issued after two lawyers from Rio and two from Petropolis filed for habeas corpus on Wagner’s behalf.

But Wagner’s attorney, Flavio Augusto Marx, of Sao Paulo, asked the Supreme Court to ignore the habeas corpus requests. He said Wagner concedes his detention is legal and rejects the argument of his self-appointed defenders that only Hitler was guilty of Nazi crimes. Wagner, 68, has been under treatment by a psychiatrist since last Friday, Brasilia police told reporters. He is also under medical care for a heart ailment. A permanent guard of two policemen has been stationed in his room to prevent another suicide attempt.

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