JERUSALEM (Feb. 1)
David Kimche, Director General of the Foreign Ministry, has made a surprise visit to Chile to press the Israeli government’s request to the government of President Augusta Pinochet to expel Walter Rauff, a Nazi war criminal held responsible for the murder of a quarter million Jews during World War II. Rauff found haven in Chile after the war and has been living there since 1950.
Kimche turned up unannounced in Santiago yesterday. He told reporters toddy that he had formally communicated his government’s request of a week ago. He did not say whether he received a reply and if so, what it was.
An Israeli Embassy spokesman in Santiago was quoted as saying that Kimche arrived on a private visit. The spokesman did not say whether the expulsion of Rauff was the main purpose of the visit. Kimche met with Chile’s Foreign Minister Jaime Del Valled.
Israel has been supplying arms and military assistance to the ruling junta in Chile. The country’s former Foreign Minister, Miguel Schweitzer, visited Israel last December. The two countries are said to wait to “expand their commercial ties.
BEATE KLARSFELD ARRESTED, RELEASED IN CHILE
Meanwhile, Chilean police yesterday arrested Nazi hunter Beate Klarsfeld as she demonsfrated outside the Presidential Palace in Santiago for the expulsion of Rauff. The former SS Colonel, now 77, designed the mobile gas chamber trucks in which at least 250,000 Jews were killed before the death camps at Auschwitz, Treblinka and other sites were set up to carry out the “final solution” on a vaster scale.
Klarsfeld, whose activities along with her husband, Serge, over many years helped bring other Nazi war criminals to justice, was fined for disturbing the peace and was released from jail, according to reports from the Chilean capital today. She is said to have been given the choice of signing an undertaking to behave only as a tourist or face expulsion. Klarsfeld refused to sign.
She and six other persons arrested in the demonstration have been ordered to appear in court on February 8. A human rights organization has submitted a Writ of habeus corpus to prevent her expuIsion from Chile.
Rauff’s extradition has long been sought by West Germany. The Chilean Supreme Court rejected a request in l963. Klarsfeld maintains that Pinochet can expel him as he has expelled thousands of political opponents since his military coup more than 10 years ago.