UNITED NATIONS (Jun. 8)
Israel received Monday 489 files on Nazi war criminals from the confidential archives of the United Nations containing the names of 36,000-40,000 Nazi war criminals and their collaborators.
The files were handed to Binyamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, who went with his aides to the UN archives in midtown Manhattan.
“This initial delivery is part of the files requested by the Israel government for the Yad Vashem Institute for Holocaust Research in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu told a press conference here Monday afternoon.
The files are in addition to 349 files that Israel received and inspected in recent months. Netanyahu said the latest files contain the names of and information about senior Nazi officials, Gestapo agents, SS officers, death camp doctors, camp commanders and ghetto supervisors.
“The information contained in these files can shed important new light on the personnel, organization and crimes of the Nazi extermination machine,” the Israeli envoy said.
He said that six countries that were members of the now defunct United Nations War Crimes Commission support Israel’s demand that the UN archives be opened to the public. They are Australia, Poland, Yugoslavia, Denmark Greece and the United States. The Israel government will continue its efforts to convince the remaining member states to support opening the files, Netanyahu said. “It defies logical comprehension why these files should continue to be closed to public inspection,” he explained.
NAMES INCLUDE BORMANN
Netanyahu gave the press conference a sampling of the names contained in the files he received Monday. Among them are Martin Bormann, who was secretary of the Nazi Party, Hitler’s personal secretary and signer of a protocol on October 2, 1940 which launched the Final Solution. He was sentenced in absentia to life imprisonment at Nuremberg on September 30, 1946. If he is alive, he would be 87.
Another name was Otto Abetz, the German Ambassador to Vichy who deported 40,000 French Jews to death camps on July 2, 1942. He was sentenced to life imprisonment by a Paris court in 1949 but was released five years later. He died in an automobile accident in 1958.
Also among the names was Dr. Werner Vest, who represented the Third Reich in Denmark during the war and ordered the deportation of thousands of Danish Jews. Most were spirited by the Danes to neutral Sweden. Vest was sentenced to death in Copenhagen in 1946 but was released in August 1951. He was tried again in 1969 but released in 1972 for health reasons. He is still alive.
Another name was Dr. Otto Dreschler, the Nazi Governor of Riga, Latvia, who ordered 15,000 Jews deported to death camps on November 29-30, 1941 to make room for a transport of 18,000 Jews from Vienna, Hamburg and Prague. His whereabouts are unknown.