Employees of Ec Demand Expulsion of Achenbach
Menu JTA Search

Employees of Ec Demand Expulsion of Achenbach

Download PDF for this date

Several hundred employees of the European Commission headquartered here have demanded that Ernst Achenbach, a West German Liberal deputy, be expelled from the European Parliament.

In a petition, the employees demand Achenbach’s expulsion on the grounds that his attempt to block the ratification of the Franco-German treaty providing for the re-trial in Germany of Nazi war criminals is contrary to the fundamental principles of the European community. Achenbach presently heads a sub-commission of the European Parliament.

Achenbach had originally hoped to become president of the European Commission itself but his bid was blocked because of his Nazi past. In 1970, former resistance fighters working for the European Commission campaigned against his candidacy because of his responsibility in the deportation of French Jews during World War II. Nazi hunter Beate Klarsfeld also fought his nomination as did his fellow countryman, Willy Haferkampf. At the time, Haferkampf headed another commission in the European Parliament and threatened to resign if Achenbaoh was nominated.


Achenbach, formerly a German war-time diplomat in Paris, had close connections with Gestapo Chief Kurt Lischka, and has up to now successfully blocked ratification of the 1971 Franco-German treaty that could bring Lischka and many others to trial in Germany. Mrs. Klars Feld is now appealing a two-month sentence from a Cologne court for her attempt to kidnap Lischka and bring him to trial in France.

Last week the German Young Free Democrats demanded Achenbach’s resignation as an FDP member of Parliament. A FDP leader said Achenbach’s conduct over the treaty ratification has been a “political scandal which could have consequences for the FDP,” harming its political image and the credibility of its foreign policy. He described Achenbach’s call for amnesty for Nazi criminals as “cynical.”

The Free Democrat Executive Board meanwhile has proposed that Achenbach be removed from the Bundestag Foreign Affairs Committee, where he has been handling the ratification of the 1971 treaty. Mrs. Klarsfeld’s trial and the support she has had outside Germany has spotlighted Germany’s failure to ratify the treaty and Achenbach’s central role in blocking ratification.

Founding Funders

The digitization of the JTA Archive would not have been possible without the generous support of the following donors:
  • The Gottesman Fund
  • Righteous Persons Foundation
  • Charles H. Revson Foundation
  • Elisa Spungen Bildner and Robert Bildner, in honor of Norma Spungen
  • George S. Blumenthal
  • Grace and Scott Offen Charitable Fund