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Dutch Nazi, Soon to Be Extradited, Begs Forgiveness for Wartime Crimes

March 26, 1992
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

One of Holland’s most wanted Nazi collaborators, who may soon be extradited to stand trial here for war crimes, was interviewed by Dutch television last week from Argentina, where he found refuge 43 years ago.

Jan Olij, whom a Dutch court sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison, said he was sorry for what he had done and begged forgiveness.

He submitted to the interview reluctantly after the Argentine government announced it was prepared to extradite him and another Dutch war criminal sought for years by the authorities in the Netherlands.

Earlier requests for extradition had failed because Argentina did not have an extradition treaty with the Netherlands until December.

Now 71, Olij lives in a Buenos Aires suburb. His whereabouts were unknown until 1981 when, apparently homesick, he advertised for a pen pal in the local newspaper in the village where he was born.

Olij and his brother joined the Waffen SS soon after the German invasion of Holland in 1940 and were trained at a barracks in Munich. Jan Olij served on the eastern front, where he allegedly participated in killing Jews.

On his return to Holland in 1943, he joined the so-called Green Police, which hunted down people hiding to avoid deportation.

Olij was arrested after the war but escaped to Spain, from where he sailed for Argentina in 1949. He became an Argentine citizen in 1952.

His father, Sam Olij, was an even more notorious Nazi collaborator. A policeman in Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation, he was a relentless Jew-hunter.

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