VIENNA (Oct. 29)
A ranking member of Austria’s governing Socialist Party this week denounced President Kurt Waldheim as “a perfidious liar” and demanded that he resign for the good of the country.
Thunderous applause greeted the remarks by Josef Hindels, president of the Federation of Socialist Freedom Fighters, at the opening of the party’s three-day national congress here. “When an official does serious damage to the country, it is not undemocratic to say: ‘Resign in the interests of Austria, Mr. Waldheim,’ “Hindels said.
He assailed Waldheim for having concealed for 40 years–including two terms as secretary general of the United Nations–the fact that he served during World War II as an intelligence officer with a German army unit in the Balkans that was involved in the deportation of Greek Jews and atrocities against civilians and resistance fighters.
The 575 delegates attending the Socialist Party congress are to debate two resolutions on Waldheim, the World Jewish Congress reported One calls for his resignation; the other would place a greater distance between the party and the Austrian head of state.
Waldheim’s Nazi past was exposed by the World Jewish Congress during his campaign for the Austrian presidency in the summer of 1986. He has since been placed on the U.S. Justice Department’s “Watch List” of aliens barred from entering the United States.