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President of Paraguay Promises Wjc Access to Archives on Nazis

The recently elected president of Paraguay has promised to allow researchers from the World Jewish Congress to inspect governmental archives on Nazi fugitives who found haven in Paraguay following World War II.

President Juan Carlos Wasmosy told WJC President Edgar Bronfman during an hour-long meeting at WJC headquarters here last week that the organization could “count on our complete support” in opening up any secret files relating to former Nazis in Paraguay.

Bronfman, noting that Wasmosy was the first democratically elected Paraguayan head of state, said, “The Paraguay of today is not the dictatorship of the past and has embarked on the road to democracy by bravely confronting historical truth.”

Following the war, a number of Nazis sought refuge in Paraguay.

Edward Roschmann, known as the “butcher of Riga,” died in the Paraguayan capital of Asuncion in 1977. “Angel of Death” Josef Mengele was believed to have lived in Paraguay before going to Brazil, where it has been determined that he died of a stroke while swimming in 1979.

Recently discovered Paraguayan police files appear to indicate that Adolf Hitler’s top aide, Martin Bormann, died in Paraguay in 1959.

That information contradicts the widely held theory that Bormann committed suicide in Berlin in 1945.

Because of the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah and the American holiday of Columbus Day, the JTA Daily News Bulletin will not be published Friday, Oct. 8 and Monday, Oct. 11.

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