Unless correspondents ask us not to, this Website will post selected letters that it receives and invite open debate.
Harold T writes us from Brussels on July 28, 1998. about the Kurt Waldheim affair
The Waldheim Affair
YOU ARE no doubt familiar with the so-called 'Waldheim affair', which started with a ferocious campaign against Kurt Waldheim by the World Jewish Congress during the 1986 Austrian presidential elections.
The WJC accused Waldheim of having participated in a number of war crimes during World War II in the Balkans, including the deportation of Greek Jews to Auschwitz.
When the attacks on Waldheim began, I wondered how a 25 year old reserve lieutenant in the regular German Army, who served in minor staff positions during the period in question and had no command authority, could have committed the crimes of which he was accused. My suspicions deepened when the US Government joined the attacks on Waldheim and in 1987 placed him on the so-called Watch List of undesirable aliens, without producing any evidence of his guilt.
The Office of Special Investigations (OSI) of the US Justice Department claimed to have definite proof of Waldheim's culpability, set forth in a 200 page report, which it refused to make public until forced to do so in 1994 following a Freedom of Information Act law suit. It turned out that the OSI report did not contain such proof, and was merely a rehash of the World Jewish Congress accusations. OSI, incidentally, is the agency which caused John Demjanjuk to be extradited to Israel to face a death sentence as "Ivan the Terrible" of Treblinka, even though its lawyers knew that he was the wrong man.
I am convinced that this is a story which should be made public to set the historical record straight, since Waldheim is still widely viewed as a Nazi war criminal outside of Austria, and particularly in the USA. He has been the victim of a witch hunt which had the enthusiastic support of the American press, especially the New York Times.
Harold T is a retired American lawyer (Yale Law School, 1954) now living in Brussels. He has written a book entitled Waldheim - The Anatomy of a Witch Hunt. The big American publishing houses are however "scared" to print the true story.