NEW YORK (Oct. 28)
The Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith and B’nai B’rith Canada have commended the West German government for doubling its reward for information leading to the arrest of wanted Nazi war criminal Josef Schwammberger.
The reward, announced by the Ministry of Justice in Bonn, now stands at the equivalent of $250,000. Schwammberger is accused of organizing the deportation of Jews in Poland to the Auschwitz death camp and of personally murdering at least 50 Jews in Przemysl, southeast of Warsaw, on Sept. 3, 1943.
Reported to have sought refuge in Argentina after World War II, Schwammberger, 76, is now believed to be living in Canada, under an alias, with members of his immediate family. His name was on a list of the 10 most wanted Nazi fugitives issued in Jerusalem Oct. 14.
Elliot Welles, director of the ADL’s Nazi War Criminals Task Force, said the West German move “serves notice on all Nazi war criminals, wherever they may be hiding, that they will be hunted down and brought to justice.”
Frank Dimant, executive vice president of B’nai B’rith Canada, noted in Toronto that the increased reward is payable for information leading to Schwammberger’s whereabouts or arrest. It no longer carries the condition that he be extradited to stand trial in West Germany.
FITS NEW CANADIAN LAW
This is significant inasmuch as the Canada recently adopted legislation allowing war criminals found on Canadian soil to be prosecuted for crimes committed elsewhere. Dimant said B’nai B’rith Canada has worked with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s war crimes division on individual cases of alleged war criminals, in conjunction with the ADL’s war criminals task force.
In addition, Dimant urged Canadian Justice Minister Ray Hnatyshyn to immediately launch the prosecution of 20 alleged war criminals living in Canada who were cited by the Deschenes Commission.
The commission, headed by Judge Jules Deschenes of the Quebec Superior Court, conducted a year-long investigation of war criminals living in Canada and submitted its report and recommendations to the government earlier this year. The law allowing the prosecution of war criminals in Canadian courts was one of the recommendations.
Welles said that individuals who have information on Schwammberger should contact Prosecutor Hoeschner in Stuttgart, West Germany, or the ADL at 823 United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017;(212) 490-2525.