NEW YORK (Feb. 26)
The Simon Wiesenthal Center of Los Angeles announced yesterday that a reward for $1 million is being offered for information leading to the capture and extradition of Josef Mengele, the Nazi war criminal who was chief doctor at the Auschwitz death camp.
Martin Mendelsohn, counsel for the Center, said the money had been put up “by a group of concerned citizens, outraged that after forty years the torturer and murderer of 400,000 human beings… is still at large.” He said the donors of the funds wish to remain anonymous.
According to the terms of the award, Mengle must be found alive and must be extradited to West Germany or Israel to stand trial for his war crimes. There will be no payment of the reward money if Mengele is dead, the Center said.
Once Mengele arrives in the country requesting the extradition, $1 million will be paid according to the following schedule: $333,000 to the charity of choice of the local police agency that arrests him; $334,000 to the individual or individuals who provide the information directly leading to his arrest and extradition; and $333,000 to the Wiesenthal Center to continue its activities in tracking down and investigating Nazi war criminals. The $1 million comes in addition to rewards pledged earlier that total $375,000.
Meanwhile, newly declassified government documents indicate that the Central Intelligence Agency began receiving reports in 1971 that Mengele was heavily involved with partners in illegal narcotics trafficking in Paraguay, the country where the Nazi war criminal was known to have been living in the late 1970’s.
According to the documents, obtained by The New York Times, a CIA source who is reported to have interviewed Nazis in Paraguay produced information to the CIA in 1974 that Mengele had undergone plastic surgery and appeared much younger than his age, which would now be 73.