Wiesenthal Center Urges the Dutch to Revive Its Extradition Efforts

The Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center is urging the Dutch government to again seek the extradition of Dutch Nazi war criminal Abraham Kipp from Argentina.

Appearing on a Dutch television program Sunday night, Ephraim Zuroff, director of the Israeli office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said there was a better chance now for Kipp’s extradition than in 1989, when a similar Dutch request was refused. That request was made after Kipp’s whereabouts in Argentina were discovered.

During World War II, Kipp was a member of the SS. He betrayed many people in Holland during the German occupation and, following the war, was sentenced to life in prison. He served part of his term, and then managed to escape in 1949 and reach Argentina.

Appearing on the same television program as Zuroff, Paul Brilman, the Dutch public prosecutor in charge of locating Dutch war criminals, said there were legal problems involved in Kipp’s extradition which he did not think could be solved.

In June, Brilman said that a Dutch request to Argentina for the extradition of Kipp stood no chance of succeeding. Brilman said at the time that he knew for several years that Kipp was living in Argentina.

However, he said, the Argentine government turned down his request for Kipp’s extradition three times, saying the statute of limitations for war crimes had run out.

The fact that Kipp was living in a suburb of Buenos Aires surfaced in the news recently after an Argentine television program showed Kipp and a Belgian war criminal, Wilhelm Sassen, a former aide to Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels, living in Argentina.

Brilman said there are 14 Dutch war criminals on his wanted list who are still living abroad, but there is little possibility of bringing them to trial in Holland. Of that total, 11 are now living in Germany and have acquired German nationality. Two, including Kipp, are living in Argentina, and one is in Spain.

According to reports here, the Simon Wiesenthal Center will shortly open an office in Buenos Aires because it believes that Argentine President Carlos Menem is prepared to help in the extradition of war criminals.

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