Documents released Monday by the World Jewish Congress have “a shattering effect” on assertions by Austrian Presidential candidate Kurt Waldheim that he had no knowledge of the war-time deportation of Greek Jews to Nazi concentration camps.
The documents, discovered in the National Archives in Washington, include two secret Nazi reports for the intelligence section of the high command of Army Group E. Evidence released by the WJC last week showed that Waldheim was an intelligence officer of senior rank in this section, giving morning and evening briefings to the Chief of the General Staff of Army Group E.
The WJC, in releasing the documents, noted that Waldheim, the United Nations Secretary General from 1972-1981, had written in a letter to WJC president Edgard Bronfman March 7 that he had “never been informed” about the deportation of Greek Jews.
DOCUMENTS ‘BELIE HIS CLAIM OF IGNORANCE’
“The discovery of these documents has a shattering effect on Waldheim’s assertions,” the WJC said. “They belie his claim of ignorance of Jewish deportations by demonstrating that reports on the deportations were specifically directed to his very intelligence department.”
The first document, dated July 15, 1944, contains a paragraph with an underlined heading, “deportation of Jews.” Referring to the islands of Rhodes and Crete in Greece, the document speaks of the “deportation of Jews of non-Turkish nationality from all areas under the command,” by the end of July 1944.
The second document, dated August 11, 1944, refers to the same regions of Greece. It notes that “the evacuation of the Jews from the area under command” wa received by the local Greeks and Italians there “with mixed feelings.”
The report added that “in some cases the Germans were characterized as barbarians” by the Italians and Greeks.
Waldheim has vehemently denied the allegations of his past war-time activities. He has also denied WJC charges based on documents, that he had joined Nazi groups or that he was cited for merit, as other documents allege, in the 1942 campaign that has come to be known as the Kozara massacres of thousands of Yugoslavs.
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.