WASHINGTON (Jul. 2)
Brazil’s new Ambassador to Washington, Antonio Azeredo da Silveira, was reported last Friday to have agreed that the government of Brazil could find means to help put on trial the alleged Nazi criminal, Gustav Wogner, who is at present protected by Brazilian law from extradition.
The ambassador, who assumed his duties here two weeks ago, was urged by three Americans, who visited with him for an hour, that Brazil could declare Wagner persona non grata and he would then have to leave Brazil for a country that possibly would not have the extradition restriction Brazil has When the Jewish Telegraphic Agency inquired at the Brazilian Embassy for a statement on the visit and its results, a spokesman said he had no knowledge of them and said he would have no comment.
The Brazilian Supreme Court has ruled that under its 25-year limitation statute, Brazil cannot extradite Wagner to Austria for trial there. In their meeting with the ambassador, Rep, Robert Dornan (R. Calif.) and Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies at Yeshiva University of Los Angeles, observed the court’s decision was on juridical and not on moral terms.
The ambassador, Hier said later, was “very sympathetic” to the request from Dornan and the rabbis to provide them with a copy of the court decision denying extradition and conveying the suggestion for the persona non grata action to his government. The ambassador said, Hier observed, that Brazilian public opinion is very much opposed to Wagner and considers his stay in Brazil.” a stain on the flag of Brazil in the community of nations.”
Dornan and the rabbis visited the Brazilian Embassy after a news conference at the Capitol at which they and other Congressmen urged mobilization of public opinion to have the government of Paraguay help locate Josef Mengele, called the “world’s most wanted Nazi criminal,” believed to be in Paraguay. West Germany is prepared to put him on trial for his alleged atrocities at Auschwitz against 200,000 children and as many adults.