ATHENS (Feb. 28)
The Greek government is about to launch the first official investigation into the extermination of the 50,000 Jews of Salonika under Nazi occupation during World War II.
The investigation, formally requested by West Germany, could lead Bonn to seek the extradition of Alois Brunner, one of the last major Nazi war criminals still at large, who is known to be living in Syria.
The request, by the West German Justice Ministry, was signed by Mein Vetsell, the attorney general in Frankfurt.
It refers to specific criminal acts by Brunner, a close aide of Adolf Eichmann who was an SS captain stationed in Salonika.
President Kurt Waldheim of Austria also may be implicated. He served as an intelligence officer with the German army in Greece and Yugoslavia during the war.
Bonn asked the Greek authorities to try to obtain testimony from four Greek Jewish deportees who may still be alive. They are Alfonso Levis, Elena Cunio, Eduard Cunio and Emilia Soul.
The four were allegedly deported to Yugoslavia by Brunner. But they survived the war and returned to Greece.