State Department Counters Soviet Charge Against U.S. Diplomat

The Soviet government’s renewed allegation that a high State Department official was a Nazi accomplice in World War Two was countered today by the Department with a review of his record that includes a major award for frustrating an attempt by the Soviet KGB at recruiting him. Meanwhile, the office of Rep. Joshua Eilberg (D. Pa.), chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration that is intensively investigating the presence of alleged Nazis in the United States, told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency it is looking into the matter.

Ten months ago–on Oct. 31, 1977-the State Department was asked for comment on a Soviet press report that Constantine Warvariv, an American career diplomat, had engaged in pro-Nazi activities in the early 1940s. Quoting Warvariv as saying “there is not an iota of truth to the charges,” the Department added that it had protested the allegation through the American Embassy in Moscow for “what was termed a blatant violation of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations, unacceptable harassment of a U.S. diplomat and gross interference by the Soviet hosts with the proper activities of a U.S. delegate to a major international conference.”

The reference was to Warvariv’s membership in an official U.S. delegation to a UNESCO conference in Tbilisi in the Soviet Union Oct. 14-26, 1977. In a Soviet press review dated July 28 issued by the Soviet Mission to the United Nations, the Soviets revived the allegation. Under the headline, “A Nazi Accomplice in the State Department of the U.S.A.,” the report stated that the Soviet Union “has handed over to the American government authorities investigation material exposing Konstantin Varvariv (sic), chief of the Department of International Relations of the U.S. State Department, as an accomplice of the Nazis during World War II.”

The Soviet report then “documents” the wartime activities of Warvariv, including involvement in the murder of 17,000 Jews in Rovno between November 7 and 9, 1941. The report claims that Warvariv (or Varvariv, as the report spells his name) “was identified as a Nazi accomplice” when he attended the UNESCO conference in the Soviet Union.

WAS HONORED FOR HEROISM

At the State Department, the JTA was informed that last March 3 Warvariv had been given the Department’s superior honor award “for heroism” for blocking a KGB attempt to recruit him as an agent. Previously, he had received a meritorious award for departmental service.

Warvariv, who joined the Department in 1962 and is now director of its Office of UNESCO Affairs (not the Department of International Relations, as the Soviet press review reported), was said at the Department to have been born Nov. 4, 1924, in Volhynia in the region of what was then Eastern Poland and became part of the Soviet Union in 1939. He attended high school in Volhynia, the Department said, and in 1944 he was taken to Germany and placed in labor camps “as a slave-laborer” in the Schweinfurt area until liberation in 1945. In the period 1946-48 he studied law at Heidelberg. In 1948 he emigrated to the U.S. under the Displaced Persons Act. He studied political science at Columbia University in 192-55. Warvariv speaks Polish and Russian.

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