The Simon Wiesenthal Center demanded the resignation of an Austrian governor who attended a former Gestapo leader’s birthday celebration. Tyrol province Gov. Herwig Von Staa joined other politicians to mark the 90th birthday of Ferdinand Obenfeldner, who oversaw the Gestapo in Innsbruck during Kristallnacht in 1938. He also served as deputy mayor of Innsbruck from 1962 to 1985. Efraim Zuroff, a Nazi hunter for the Los Angeles-based Wiesenthal Center, told The Associated Press he was outraged “that individuals whose deeds during the Nazi period — who should be publicly repudiated — instead are honored by Austrian public figures who clearly should be acting differently.” Zuroff learned of Obenfeldner’s past when Austrian teachers contacted the center about the January birthday party. In addition to Von Staa, the mayor of Innsbruck and several regional leaders of the Social Democratic Party attended. Tyrol’s Social Democrats, defending their attendance, said on a party Web site that Obenfeldner has “always stood on the side of democracy,” according to The Associated Press.
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.