WASHINGTON (Mar. 9)
Rep. Tom Lantos (D. Calif.) has urged President Reagan to revoke his appointment of J. Peter Grace, a prominent New York industrialist, who has been named chairman of a Presidential study group, because of Grace’s close ties to a convicted Nazi war criminal.
Grace, president and chief executive officer of W. R. Grace and Co., was appointed last week as chairman of the Private Sector Survey on Cost Control in Federal Government. Both Grace and his corporation, an international chemical concern, have confirmed ties with Otto Ambros who was a director of the I.G. Farben Chemical Co. in Germany during World War II and is now a consultant to W. R. Grace.
For his role in establishing a Farben works at Auschwitz, Ambros was convicted in Nuremberg of slavery and mass murder. He was sentenced to eight years imprisonment but served less than three years and was reportedly helped by Grace to enter the U.S.
CALLS FOR IMMEDIATE, DECISIVE ACTION
Lantos sent a telegram to Reagan yesterday in which he stated: “Having shared with you in the White House a most sombre ceremony remembering the nightmare of the Holocaust; having belief in your fundamental decency in your commitment to human rights, it is inconceivable to me that you could have known of Mr. Peter Grace’s close ties to the convicted mass murderer, Otto Ambros.”
Lantos urged Reagan’s “immediate and decisive action” to revoke the appointment of Grace, “coupled with the issuing of on appropriate statement.” The White House had no comment on the charges made by Lantos. But a White House spokesman noted that the post to which Grace was named was voluntary and Grace will receive no pay.
Last June, Yeshiva University in New York was about to present Grace with its distinguished service award. It was withdrawn after protests were made over Grace’s connections with Ambros.