Kohl Pledges to Ask Stroessner About Mengele During Paraguay Leader’s Visit to West Germany

Chancellor Helmut Kohl said today that he will inquire into the where-abouts of Josef Mengele, the Auschwitz death camp doctor, during the upcoming visit here of President Alfredo Stroessner of Paraguay. He said he would ask what has been done to locate and arrest the Nazi war criminal who is widely believed to be living in Paraguay.

Kohl, leader of the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and his spokesman, Peter Boenisch, defended the invitation to Stroessner whose rightwing regime has been accused of giving haven to Mengele and protecting him. Kohl told the Cabinet today that his government seeks friendly relations with all states and he rejected political pressure to cancel the Stroessner visit.

Nazi-hunter Beate Klarsfeld last week criticized Bonn for inviting Stroessner who, she said, was responsible for sheltering Mengele. The West German author, Guenther Grass, said in Berlin that the invitation demonstrated a lack of political instinct on the part of Kohl. But according to Boenisch, the Chancellor feels his critics manifest a moral double standard by appeasing leftwing regimes while calling for the boycott of rightwing totalitarians.

According to Boenisch, Simon Wiesenthal, who has devoted his life to tracking down Nazi war criminals, said Stroessner’s visit was an opportunity to put pressure on Paraguay to locate and arrest Mengele.

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