Wjcongress Delegation Meets with President of Brazil

A World Jewish Congress delegation visiting here last week submitted to the Foreign Ministry the secret United Nations War Crimes Commission file on Austrian President Kurt Waldheim which labeled him a Nazi war criminal. The file, dating from 1947, recommended that Waldheim stand trial for “murder” and “putting hostages to death” when he was a Wehrmacht intelligence office in the Balkans during World War II.

The delegation, headed by WJC president Edgar Bronfman, also handed over the text of a 1946 resolution by the Organization of American States (OAS) which called on all nations in the Western hemisphere to bar entry of former Nazis. The WJC noted that the Foreign Ministry pledged its continued cooperation in bringing Nazi war criminals to justice.

Bronfman and his group met for an hour with President Jose Sarney who spoke of his country’s desire to strengthen relations with Israel. In response to a suggestion from Bronfman, Sarney said Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres would be most welcome to come here on an official visit.

He said cooperation with Israel has been increasing steadily, especially in the fields of high technology. Brazil in recent years forged strong ties with Arab countries, particularly Iraq from which it receives most of its oil and to which it sells arms.

Both President Sarney and Foreign Minister Roberto Abreu Sodre expressed sympathy for the plight of Jews in the Soviet Union and deplored the fact that free emigration for Soviet Jews has not materialized. The two spoke warmly of the contributions of Brazil’s Jewish community to national life and culture.

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