MONTREAL (Jan. 24)
Prime Minister Brian Mulroney announced yesterday that he has ordered an urgent investigation of reports that Dr. Josef Mengele, the Auschwitz “Angel of Death,” applied for entry into Canada in 1962.
He told Parliament that he has directed Justice Minister John Crosbie and Solicitor General Elmer MacKay to sift intelligence records for evidence that Mengele, one of the most notorious Nazi war criminals still at large, sought a visa at the Canadian Consulate in Buenos Aires under the alias Joseph Menke. There is no know ledge that he ever entered Canada.
MacKay, speaking after the Prime Minister, said ail restrictions on the publication of incriminating documents now in the possession of the U.S. State Department in Washington will be lifted for the Canadian government so that a thorough investigation can be conducted.
OSI ALSO TO INVESTIGATE U.S. ROLE
In Washington, Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs, Elliott Abrams, said yesterday that the Reagan Administration agrees that the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations (OSI) look into reports that Mengele was arrested by American authorities in the U.S. occupied zone of Vienna in 1947 and then released.
This was indicated in Army intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles. The documents reportedly mention that Mengele may have sought entry to Canada from Argentina under an alias in 1962 and that U.S. intelligence was informed of his visa application.
The U.S. reportedly supplied the Canadians with information about Mengele but subsequent follow-up, if any, has not been revealed. U.S. intelligence has established that Menke was an alias used by Mengele.
‘REPUGNANT AND REPULSIVE IN THE EXTREME’
Mulroney told Parliament in Ottawa that the idea of Canada as a refuge for Mengele was “repugnant and repulsive in the extreme to our citizenship.”
Canada’s former Solicitor General Robert Kaplan, now a Liberal MP for Toronto said yesterday, “It looks as if he has slipped through the fingers of Canadian officials. I’d like to know why. I’d like to know how high it went in the Canadian government,” he told reporters. However, he said he doubted Mengele actually entered Canada.
The West German government issued a warrant for Mengele’s arrest in 1959 but there is no evidence that Canada’s Department of External Affairs informed Bonn of his whereabouts in 1962.
In 1966, the Canadian Jewish Congress submitted a report to the Ottawa government on Nazi war criminals hiding in Canada. The list contained about 14 names, mostly of Estonian and Lithuanian origin. But no action has been taken to denaturalize the suspects and the statute of limitations has since precluded it.