TEL AVIV (Apr. 21)
Gideon Hausner, the man who prosecuted Adolf Eichmann, declared that by visiting a German war cemetery, where SS killers are buried, during his trip to West Germany next month, President Reagan is handing Hitler a posthumous victory.
Visiting a Nazi concentration camp site on the same trip cannot compensate or balance that “appalling act,” Hausner said in a radio interview over the weekend. Reagan is to place a wreath on the Bitburg war cemetery where Wehrmacht soldiers who battled the Allies in World War II are buried, along with more than a score of Waffen SS.
“This would be, in our view, a victory of Hitler from beyond his grave and a desecration of the memory of his Jewish victims,” Hausner said. “It is an irony of fate that while the American machinery of justice is dealing with the extradition of Demjanjuk as a war criminal, the President of the United States will pay tribute to the comrades in the army of this war criminal who are buried in that German war cemetery.”
Hausner was referring to John Demjanjuk, a UK-rainian-born war criminal who operated the gas chambers at Treblinka. Demjanjuk, who entered the United States after the war by lying about his Nazi past and was naturalized, has been stripped of his U.S. citizenchip and presently faces extradition to Israel to stand trial for the murder of Jews.
‘IT IS AN ABSURDITY’
Hausner noted also that “Countless acts of savagery were perpetrated against the British, American and Soviet prisoners of war by the Waffen SS” who are among the dead Reagan plans to honor. “It is an absurdity to assume that since both the murderers and their victims are now dead, a misguided idea of comradeship in arms should lead to an even-hand-edness of attitudes to both sides.” Hausner said.
“There was, in fact, never any comradeship in arms between the murderous SS and the Allied soldiers … It is therefore astonishing that with such people the President is now to perform a symbolic act of reconciliation.
“Does the President now intend to obliterate all demarcation lines between those who embarked on the destruction of civilization and those who gave their lives in defense of it?”