Klarsfeld Says Waldheim Must Be Held Accountable for His Nazi Background

Nazi-hunter Beate Klarsfeld believes that when efforts are made to bring Nazi war criminals to justice, it is most important “to go after … those who gave the orders.” But in the case of Austrian President Kurt Waldheim, there is “a moral responsibility” to hold him accountable for his Nazi background, Klarsfeld said in an interview on the ABC-TV “This Week With David Brinkley” program Sunday.

“Let’s say just for public opinion, I think we have to take something, we have to learn something from what happened during the Second World War … So how can we admit that people, Kurt George Kiesinger of Germany, the former Chancellor, and Waldheim can represent states today?” Klarsfeld said.

The Austrian Charge d’Affaires, Christian Prosl, who also appeared on the program, contended that Waldheim was barred from entering the U.S. without being proved guilty of charges that he was involved in Nazi persecution and atrocities during World War II.

“What is not fair is to put somebody who is head of state of a friendly country on a list where the normal people and even The Washington Post, equals that to convicted criminals,” Prosl said referring to the Justice Department’s watch list of foreigners not admissable to the U.S.

“Mr. Waldheim was not a Nazi and he was not a war criminal,” the Austrian official stated. He said Waldheim would soon “bring out a white paper to show exactly what he did during the war.”

Mark O’Connor, the American attorney defending accused war criminal John Demjanjuk, now on trial in Jerusalem, was also interviewed. He questioned the fairness of the trial.

“We have the issue of three judges that have to put aside their Jewishness. They have to look at the issues objectively. They have to look at the narrow range of evidence which is available, in terms of the witness’ memories after 45 years, and their identification of a questionable photo spread,” O’Connor said.

NEXT STORY