A small but raucous gang of British neo-Nazis demonstrated outside a London hotel Monday while members of Parliament and others deliberated over the need for legislation to allow the prosecution of Nazi war criminals who found refuge in Britain.
The members of Parliament joined turnout of government officials, legal authorities and concentration camp survivors attending an all-day “Time for Justice” conference called by the Parliamentary All Party War Crimes Committee.
But as they arrived at the Royal Westminster Hotel, the M.P.s were greeted by members of the neo-Nazi British National Party, who were shouting and waving Union Jacks and placards proclaiming “The Holocaust is an evil lie.”
The neo-Nazis also handed out copies of revisionist writer David Irving’s “Leuchter Report,” which claims there were no gas chambers at Auschwitz.
Later, the Board of Deputies of British Jews accused the police of “inadequate” handling of the demonstrators.
It said they allowed a dozen or more to stand at the hotel entrance for an hour before moving them across the road, where they soon dispersed.
There was a brief disturbance when Rabbi Hugo Gryn, a Holocaust survivor attending the conference, confronted demonstrators distributing an anti-Semitic hate sheet.
He called them Nazis who would have murdered had they had the chance.
FOUR COULD BE TRIED
The conference was held in advance of a scheduled debate in the House of Commons on pending legislation to try suspected war criminals in Britain.
Sir Thomas Hetherington, a former director of public prosecutions, said there are three British citizens who should be charged immediately.
Ephraim Zuroff of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center handed over the name of a fourth suspect. All four were members of the same mobile killing squad, he said.
The Wiesenthal Center provided Britain with its first list of 17 war-crime suspects three years ago, which led to the establishment of an official inquiry.
Members of Parliament are expected to vote across party lines when the legislation is introduced.
Hetherington said the first suspects are not in the “Nuremberg class” of war criminals, but nor are they “small fry.”
Neal Sher, director of the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigations, said no war criminal is “small fry.”
He related the case of Bohdan Koziy, a Ukrainian, one of 1,200 suspects investigated by the OSI.
One day during the war he picked up a 4-year-old Jewish child, Monica Singer.
“She was begging for her life to be saved, begging to be let go. He put his pistol to her head and blew her brains out. Then he went on to murder a Jewish family,” Sher said.
“To those who say that all that are left are the small fry, would anybody say he was small fry?” Sher asked.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.