NEW YORK (Apr. 21)
United Nations Secretary General Javier Perez de Cuellar and Edwin Meese, the United States Attorney General, were urged Sunday to make public all documents in UN and U.S. archives that would shed light on the war-time activities of Kurt Waldheim, the former UN Secretary General.
The call to make the documents public came in the form of a letter to the two officials by Kenneth Bialkin, the chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, the umbrella group of 40 of the largest Jewish religious and secular organizations in the U.S.
“Whatever purpose there was in keeping these documents confidential over the past 40 years has been superseded by the overriding public need to have all of the evidence relating to charges that Mr. Waldheim knew about and participated in Nazi war crimes,” Bialkin declared in the letter.
“Accusations against Mr. Waldheim, and the shifting response he had made to them, have raised the most serious questions not only about his knowledge of any responsibility for Nazi war crimes but about the role of others as well.”
Bialkin questioned whether, for example, the UN had full knowledge of Waldheim’s war-time activities and “engaged in a cover-up of his record. Were the Soviet Union or the United States or others, aware of his service with the Nazi army in the Balkans? If so, why the cover-up?”
Waldheim, the conservative Peoples Party candidate in next month’s Austrian Presidential election, acknowledged last week that he was aware of atrocities committed against Yugoslav partisans during his wartime service as a German officer, though he remained insistent that he was not involved in the atrocities.