Menu JTA Search

Expert Appointed by Vatican to Probe Bank Scandal Said to Be an Ex-Nazi

One of four experts appointed by the Vatican to investigate the Banco Ambrosiano scandal is allegedly a former Nazi, Hermann Abs, who was once a key financial advisor to Hitler.

The Nazi war crimes documentation center in Vienna, headed by Simon Wiesenthal, identified Abs and is urging the Vatican to remove him from the panel. A similar call was issued yesterday by the Simon Wiesenthal Center at Yeshiva University in Los Angeles.

Abs is presently honorary chairman of West Germany’s Deutsche Bank. According to Wiesenthal, he headed the largest bank in Nazi Germany from 1941-45, supervised the expropriation of private businesses and participated with I.G. Farben in building a synthetic rubber plant staffed by slave labor. The Vatican was reportedly embarrassed by these disclosures.