WASHINGTON (May. 21)
A sense of the Congress resolution calling on Paraguay to launch an “immediate investigation” into the whereabouts of Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele was passed unanimously last week by the Senate.
The resolution urges the Paraguayan government to ascertain whether the notorious Nazi fugitive is still living in the South American country of which he was a citizen for some twenty years, and if so, to arrest him and extradite him to West Germany, Israel or Poland — all of which have sought to bring him to justice.
Wanted for the murder of hundreds of thousands of Jews at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp, and for the gruesome medical experiments he conducted on inmates of the camp, Mengele enjoyed Paraguayan citizenship until 1979, when the government revoked it under international pressure.
The resolution also calls upon the U.S. government to “enlist similar efforts on the part of other regional governments,” should a Paraguayan probe fail to locate the German fugitive, and requests that the President submit a report to Congress by October 15, of this year, detailing Paraguay’s efforts to apprehend him, the degree to which other countries have cooperated and the final results of the investigation.
Sponsored jointly by Senators Daniel Moynihan (D.N.Y.), Arlen Specter (R.Pa.), Edward Kennedy (D.Mass.), Alfonse D’Amato (R.N.Y.), and Claiborne Pell (R.R.I.), the resolution was passed last Wednesday as an amendment to the foreign assistance authorization bill. It follows an announcement by Israel, the U.S. and West Germany that the three countries are coordinating efforts in the worldwide search for Mengele.
In a statement, Moynihan said the findings of the President’s report “surely will be instrumental” in determining how much, if any, foreign aid would be provided to Paraguay next year.