NEW YORK (Jun. 13)
Rabbi Alexander Schindler, president of the Union of American Hebrew Congregations, has called on President Reagan to dismiss J. Peter Grace as head of a panel on government cost control not only for his recent “slur” against Puerto Rican Americans but for his “close relationship for many years with Dr. Otto Ambros, a convicted Nazi war criminal.”
In a letter to the White House. Schindler charged that Grace “has demonstrated his gross unfitness by his ignorant slurs against Puerto Rican Americans.”
Last week in Dallas, Grace called the federal food stamp program “basically a Puerto Rican program.” He subsequently apologized for what he said had been an “oratorical mistake.” Schindler expressed the view that Grace’s appointment as head of the Private Sector Survey on Cost Control, which recommends cuts in government operating costs, was “profoundingly disturbing.”
He said it was “a matter of public record” that Grace, the chairman and chief executive officer of W.R. Grace & Company, “has maintained a close relationship for many years with Dr. Otto Ambros, a convicted Nazi war criminal.” Dr. Ambros, who was employed by W.R. Grace & Company as a technical consultant until December 13, 1981, was convicted at the Nuremberg trials for using slave labor in the chemical plant he operated for l.G. Farben, Schindler said.
Schindler noted in his letter that the forthcoming issue of Reform Judaism, published by the UAHC, contains charges that Ambros was not only a prominent Nazi party member but also a leading expert on the production and testing — on slave laborers — of poison gas.