BRUSSELS (Mar. 9)
World Jewish Congress president Edgar Bronfman said he has given to the Belgian minister of justice a document from the United Nations war crimes archives listing the names of nine of the 244 Austrians wanted in Belgium for war crimes, including murder and torture.
Bronfman spoke at a press conference here Tuesday, accompanied by WJC executive director Elan Steinberg. Steinberg said it was not clear that the Belgian government was aware of these names.
He said the justice minister, Jean Gol, told Bronfman he would compare the names with Belgian lists of war criminals and decide if further action can be taken against them.
War crimes committed in Belgium fall under a statute of limitations. But if the nine persons on Bronfman’s list are still alive, they could be barred from entering Belgium.
Bronfman also lashed out at Austria for perpetuating “this lie that they were the first victims of Nazi aggression.” The matter has come up in connection with the 50th anniversary of the Anschluss — the absorption of Austria into the Third Reich on March 11, 1938.
“Austria has to face its past and recognize that it took part in the Holocaust if it wants to join the honorable society of civilized nations,” Bronfman declared. He claimed that more Austrians than Germans served in the SS in death camps.