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Nazi Sought in Argentina Reported Dead in Switzerland 15 Years Ago

A Dutchman currently being sought in Argentina for Nazi war crimes is now reported by Interpol to have died in Switzerland 15 years ago.

Interpol, the international police force, has said that Bernardus Andries Riphagen died in Geneva in 1973.

Interpol’s report was made to Dutch authorities, which had requested the extradition of Riphagen in order to stand trial for his wartime deeds.

Riphagen was accused of the arrest of more than 2,000 Jews and the death of some of them, according to Rabbi Morton Rosenthal, director of Latin American Affairs for the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith.

Riphagen was one of three Dutchmen being sought in Argentina for Nazi war crimes. Rosenthal went to Argentina in November with a list of these men and was assured by Argentine authorities they were actively searching for them.

One of the others on Rosenthal’s list, Jan Olij, was arrested Dec. 7 in Buenos Aires and told police that Riphagen had left Argentina many years before and was believed to be in West Germany.

Argentine authorities appear to have been unaware of this information. Rosenthal spoke to Argentine Interior Secretary Ricardo Gil Lavedra Wednesday on the matter of the three Nazis, and Lavedra did not seem to know of Olij’s report.

Riphagen, who was born Sept. 7, 1909, in Amsterdam, obtained Argentine citizenship on Aug. 25, 1953.

(JTA correspondent Henrietta Boas in Amsterdam contributed to this report.)

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