PHILADELPHIA (Oct. 27)
Representatives of one of the largest advertising agencies in the United States, and a major industrial firm here, face today the threat of a lawsuit by Otto Skorzeny, former officer of the Nazi SS Elite Guard. Skorzeny objected to a reference to him in a recent documentary television program on Adolf Eichmann, Hitler’s specialist in mass extermination.
Skorzeny’s name was used during the October 12 show on Eichmann, on a TV program sponsored by the Armstrong Cork Company. Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborne is the company’s advertising agency.
Skorzeny, now living in Spain, was described on the program as being wanted by the Israel Government for war crimes. He promptly informed the company that he would sue if a retraction were not made. He said in his complaint that he was acquitted in September 1947, by a United States military court in Dachau where he had been tried on charges of having violated the rules of war.
The sponsor and the agency are understood to be weighing the evidence, as well as the question of whether Skorzeny would be successful in a lawsuit. Another problem is understood to be concern as to the reaction of the American public if an apology were tendered on a national television program to a former high officer in Hitler’s Elite Guard.