Protest Issued over Election of a Former Nazi Party Member As an Officer of UN Human Rights Unit

The Simon Wiesenthal Center has protested to United Nations Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar, over the February 3 vote at the UN in Geneva, which elected a former Nazi Party member as vice president of the UN’s Commission on Human Rights.

Hermann Klenner, who entered the Nazi Party on April 20, 1944 (Hitler’s birthday) with a card bearing the number 9756141, was nominated for the post of second vice president for the Commission on Human Rights by the Soviet Union’s Byelorussian delegate, with the backing of Arab representatives. The nomination was approved by voice acclamation over the vehement protest of Israel’s Ambassador Efraim Dubek.

A letter from Simon Wiesenthal Center officials to the Secretary General said, in part, “With the moral stock of the United Nations already at an all-time low, it is shocking that an individual who sought to reap the benefits of fascism by enthusiastically joining the rank and file of Hitler’s supporters should now be elected by acclamation to an important post dedicated to human rights and the dignity of man.”

The protest went on to say that “this cynical move was introduced by the Soviet Union’s Byelorussian delegate and received the backing of Arab diplomats, only underscores the moral bankruptcy of those regimes. It also represents a dark day in the history of the United Nations — a day on which the founders and ideals of an organization which was created in order to defeat everything Klenner previously embraced. were slandered.”

The Center called for “prompt investigation and action in connection with this travesty.” It was signed by Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper, dean and associate dean, respectively, of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

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