Kurt Waldheim (Q1260)

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4th Secretary-General of the United Nations, President of Austria
  • Kurt Josef Waldheim
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English
Kurt Waldheim
4th Secretary-General of the United Nations, President of Austria
  • Kurt Josef Waldheim

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Kurt Waldheim (German)
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Kurt Waldheim's grave.JPG
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When defending himself against assertions that he had links to the Nazis, Waldheim always asserted that he never had belonged to a Nazi-affiliated group. But, in fact, at the age of 19 he joined the National Socialist German Students League - a Nazi youth organization - just a month after the Anschluss. Then in November 1938, he enrolled in the SA, the paramilitary Nazi organization of storm troopers.Robert Edwin Herzstein, a historian and professor at the University of South Carolina, played a crucial role in uncovering Waldheim's Nazi past through archival research. (English)
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Kurt Waldheim, the former UN secretary general and president of Austria whose hidden complicity in Nazi war crimes was exposed late in his career, died Thursday in Vienna, Austrian media reported. He was 88. He died of heart failure, the state broadcaster ORF reported.Although it was never proved that Waldheim himself committed atrocities during World War II, he was a lieutenant in army intelligence, attached to brutal German military units that executed thousands of Yugoslav partisans and civilians and deported thousands of Greek Jews to death camps from 1942 to 1944. Waldheim lied about his wartime service in the Balkans, maintaining that his military career ended in 1942 after he was wounded in a battle on the Russian front.But more than four decades later, his assertions were disputed by witnesses, photographs, medals and commendations given to Waldheim, and by his own signature on documents linked to massacres and deportations. (English)
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Twenty files on Adolf Hitler, Josef Mengele and other top Nazis were released by the US intelligence service, the CIA, at the end of last week, including material on the former Austrian president Kurt Waldheim. They prove that, by 1945, the CIA already knew, via British intelligence agents, about Mr Waldheim's wartime curriculum vitae.As a 24-year old, the document confirmed, Mr Waldheim had worked as a fairly junior Wehrmacht officer in a Nazi intelligent unit in the Balkans which was renowned for the atrocities it committed. However, the document was forgotten by the time Mr Waldheim was first suggested as UN secretary general years in 1971. A CIA check on him at the time revealed nothing suspicious. (English)

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