BUENOS AIRES (Aug. 23)
During the official visit of West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl to Argentina earlier this month, he was handed a letter from the Argentine Jewish community urging that his government “request, in a formal peremptory manner the extradition of Nazi war ciminals residing in Argentina and the other countries of Latin America, the World Jewish Congress disclosed today.
The letter, written in the name of the DAIA, the representative body of Argentine Jewry and the WJC affiliate here, reminded Kohl of Germany’s “ethical and political imperatives with regard to the Jewish people” as a consequence of the Holocaust. The extradition of Nazi war criminals would be “strictly a matter of justice and would prevent similar infamous crimes,” the letter said.
The letter, signed by the president of the DAIA, Dr. Sion Cohen Imach, and its secretary-general, Dr. Hilel Rubinson, stated:
“As Argentines of Jewish religion we take the liberty to bring to your attention certain concerns of ours. They originate within the framework of the ‘special relationship’ between the Jewish people and the Federal Republic of Germany, as a consequence of the events of the Holocaust.
“It is well known that your country, conscious of its ethical and political imperatives with regard to the Jewish people, which has its religious and spiritual center in the State of Israel, has consistently collaborated with it, since the very proclamation of the State, by supporting it consistently and by various means.
“We hope that, true to this attitude which has been maintained throughout, your government will, in a formal and peremptory manner, demand the extradition of Nazi war criminals who live in our country and in others of Latin America. We are convinced that such an attitude would be strictly a matter of justice and would prevent similar infamous crimes. Moreover, it would add prestige to the courts and therefore to the country which adapts its policies to norms of law.
“We are sure that this request will find the response it deserves from your understanding, and this will help the Bonn government avoid repeating tragic mistakes which, we are confident, definitely belong to the past.”