|New York, Monday, July 1, 2002|
leader faces fraud charges for trying to
sell "Hitler suicide gun"
By Henry Benjamin
Australia, July 1 (JTA)
The head of the militant
Jewish Defense League in Australia has
been accused of fraud for his attempts to
sell the pistol Hitler purportedly used to
Ze'ev Korwan, 51, faces a
September court date on 139 counts of
Korwan, who was charged under his
real name of
Michael O'Hara, allegedly forged
documents using ink produced in Germany in
1936 in an effort to authenticate Hitler's
gun as well as a second gun owned by
Geli Raubal, Hitler's niece and
The documents - including letters from
SS chief Heinrich Himmler and
Emile Maurice, Hitler's driver and
bodyguard - then allegedly were inserted
into archives in Germany and Russia.
Asking $2.5 million for each gun, Korwan
put them on the world market through
dealers in Melbourne, Australia, and
I CONFESS that until this
story arose I had always harbored
the belief that whatever
documents of suspicious
provenance there were floating
around outside the various
government archives, I had yet to
hear of a fake document surfacing
security measures -- documents
bound into special folders,
special tapes and seals, etc.,
were too strict to permit any
fraud: so I thought. (The former
Soviet archives were less strict
in this respect, admittedly).
I challenged the authenticity of
the 1943 Bischoff
document in the Lipstadt
trial (on the basis of which
document alone the huge
liquidation rate of Auschwitz is
calculated) I had no knowledge of
the methods already in use by
this self professed Jew to salt
the archival mines with fake
documents in order to establish a
huge financial gain.
gives food for thought, and I
wish I had had these press
clippings in hand during my
cross-examination of Lipstadt's
The sellers claimed the guns had been
taken from Hitler's valet by the Russians,
kept in Stalin's safe and then stored in
The sale allegedly was being made on
behalf of an Austrian family that had paid
$700,000 to get the guns out of
Melbourne Sunday Age newspaper
and the German publication Der
Spiegel uncovered the alleged fraud
after they combined forces to
investigate the authenticity of the
Korwan has been described in the media
as a private investigator, British soccer
player and swimming coach.
He told an Australian newspaper that
"through the Hitler guns, the JDL
identified several major illegal arms
operators supplying so-called legitimate
Arab royals, who then passed the weapons
on to terrorist cells."
In his capacity as the Australian
representative of the JDL, Korwan has been
visiting synagogues and attempting to
raise funds for the group.
But Jewish officials in Melbourne and
Queensland's Gold Coast have barred him
from entering synagogues, and Jewish
communities throughout Australia have been
placed on alert.
"We do not believe Mr. Korwan is
Jewish, and I have advised the community
to have nothing to do with him," said
David Paratz, the leader of the
Queensland Jewish Community.
"We are aware that he has tried to
elicit funds in Melbourne, and I believe
he has been successful in some cases,"
added Graham Leonard, president of
the Jewish Community Council of Victoria.
"We can only warn people to be
Korwan told JTA: "We told them they had
no right to stop us. I wanted to speak
with Hashem in his house," referring to
items on this website:
gun dealer (posing as Irishman) faked
archive documents, Hitler death gun in
multi million-dollar scam
1998 story: US dealer offering Hitler's
guns for sale "from Russian source"
Goodenow warns: They are fake!