(JTA) — The Simon Wiesenthal Center has called on President Obama to release a 2006 Justice Department report disclosing that the U.S. government provided a safe haven for Nazi war criminals.
The New York Times on Nov. 12 reported on the 600-page report, posted on the newspaper’s website, which says that the U.S. government provided a safe haven for Nazis and detailed the government’s effort to bring some alleged Nazi war criminals to justice.
“The Simon Wiesenthal Center urges the immediate release of the entire report," said Rabbis Marvin Hier, founder and dean, and Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the center. "There must be full transparency as to who, how, and why war criminals and Nazi collaborators were protected by our government during the Cold War.
“We urge the President to order Attorney General (Eric) Holder to immediately post the entire report, including any omissions, online along with all official documents related to it. The victims of the Holocaust are owed no less.”
The report examines the work of the Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, which was created in 1979 to deport Nazis. More than 300 Nazis have been deported, stripped of citizenship or blocked from entering the United States since the creation of the OSI, according to the report.
The report accuses the CIA of knowingly allowing Nazi war criminals to enter the United States "for postwar intelligence purposes." The report also said, however, that the number of Nazis who entered the United States after WWII was smaller than the 10,000 figure that is often cited.
The report was commissioned in 1999 by then-Attorney General Janet Reno, and edited by Mark Richard, a senior Justice Department lawyer, in 2006. The department has kept the report under wraps since 2006, only turning it over to the private National Security Archive last month under threat of a lawsuit.
Some legally and diplomatically sensitive sections of the report were omitted before it was turned over, the Times reported, adding that it obtained a complete version.