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German Official Willing to Be Suspended Pending War Crimes Probe

September 2, 1966
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

Dr. Friedrich Karl Vialon, Secretary of State in the West German Ministry of Economic Cooperation, suggested in a television interview here today that he be temporarily suspended, pending the outcome of an investigation as to whether he was involved in the wartime German mass murders of Jews.

Dr. Vialon offered the suggestion after the West German television network broadcast a sharp attack on him Tuesday night, demanding his immediate suspension because of the charges. The network documentary asserted it was hard to believe Dr. Vialon’s court testimony that he had never known about the Nazi murder of Jews. The network also noted that the state prosecutor in Bonn has been investigating for two years the charges that Dr. Viaion committed perjury in his defense against the charges.

Dr. Vialon served as registrar of Jewish property in the German administration in occupied Riga from 1942 to 1944. He made his statement about never having heard of the mass murders as a witness in a war crimes trial. Later he was accused by East Germans of having been involved directly in the Nazi “final solution of the Jewish problem, ” Documents from Latvian archives are among the materials being studied by the Bonn state prosecutor.

The network program displayed documents bearing Dr. Vialon’s signature presumably proving that he had given orders that Jewish gravestones be sold for the benefit of the Nazi regime. Simon Wiesenthal, head of the Documentation Center for Nazi Crimes in Vienna, appeared on the program. He said that Franz Maurer, a defendant in a trial of Austrian Nazi war criminals, was in possession of considerable material against Dr. Vialon.


The office of President Heinrich Luebke described today as “forgeries” signatures of Dr. Luebke on a Communist-sponsored display of documents allegedly demonstrating that he gave wartime orders for construction of concentration camps. The exhibit is being held in Munich.

The president’s office said that he had never participated in any such activity and that the allegations were without foundation. The office added that, on December 30, 1964, the United States Embassy in Bonn commented on similar charges made then, saying that Dr. Luebke’s entire life was known to the United States Government, that all details of his life had been checked, and that the United States had the greatest respect for him.

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