TEL AVIV (Jan. 28)
Dr. Josef Mengele, the Auschwitz death camp doctor responsible for inhuman medical experiments that cost the lives of at least 300,000 inmates and permanently maimed many thousands more, will be tried in absentia in Jerusalem next week.
Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal, who has come to Israel for the public trial, said today that the eyewitness evidence it will produce of Mengele’s crimes is more important than the fate of the criminal.
Mengele’s “life is absolutely without any importance, and believe me that throughout the 25 years I have been occupied in the search for him, we have had many propositions, from people who could do it, to kill him,” Wiesenthal said.
“And I have always said no, no. His life is absolutely without any importance at a time when we have a generation after the Holocaust, when in the world there are groups which deny the Holocaust. They talk about the ‘Auschwitz lie’ and they deny the existence of the gas chambers,” Wiesenthal noted. Yesterday was the 40th anniversay of the liberation of Auschwitz.
TRIAL WOULD BE HISTORIC LESSON
“A trial against Mengele would be the big historic lesson,” the Nazi-hunter said. “It will be this lesson the young people need. And this will be a battle war against all the deniers, whether simple people or university professors. What he (Mengele) has done cannot be punished. How can you punish a man who was responsible for the deaths of 300,000 people, for such cruel experiments?”
Wiesenthal added, “The only thing we can do for the world is to put him on trial and speak the truth.” He said he was “99 percent certain” that Mengele is still living in Paraguay under the protection of powerful friends within the military dictatorship of that country.
A public meeting was held here yesterday, attended by some 1,200 Auschwitz survivors and their children. A similar gathering was held at Oswiecim (Auschwitz) in Poland, site of the death camp, to mark the 40th anniversay of the liberation. The gathering here was described as a memorial to those who died and an event to keep the memory of the Holocaust alive so that such barbarities can never occur again.