NEW YORK (Apr. 28)
An official of the World Jewish Congress proposed Monday that Austrian Presidential candidate Kurt Waldheim should come to the organization’s Geneva office to give testimony under oath of his war-time activities.
The proposal came as a counter-offer to Waldheim’s invitation, in an interview published Monday in an Austrian weekly magazine, to meet in Vienna with WJC Secretary General Israel Singer.
The WJC has provided evidence of Waldheim’s past activities as a Wehrmacht officer in the Balkans and his service as an intelligence officer under the command of Gen. Alexander Loehr of Army Group E. Loehr was later hanged for his war crimes.
WJC executive director Elan Steinberg told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency that Singer, who was unavailable for comment, had not yet received in invitation from Waldheim, the UN Secretary General from 1972-1981.
“What we consider proposing,” Steinberg continued, “is that he come to Geneva to give testimony to our general council there under oath.” Saying Waldheim “has shown himself to be a proven liar,” Steinberg said testimony in Geneva could focus on uncovering the truth of his past actions.
WALDHEIM: ‘I HAVE NOTHING TO HIDE’
Waldheim, in the interview in Basta magazine, said of Singer, “I would be happy to discuss all these things with him. I have nothing to hide and I believe we should put our relationship back on a friendly footing.”
Waldheim again issued a statement denying involvement in brutal campaigns against Yugoslav partisans and the deportation of Greek Jews to death camps. “I recognize our partial responsibility in the Nazi regime. Terrible things happened during those years of the Hitler era.
“We all bear joint responsibility for this. But the individual soldier who served at the front is no war criminal. I will keep stating that until people understand it,” he declared.