Simon Wiesenthal Screws Polish Survivor and Maybe about 1100 Other "War Criminals"

Published: 1984-10-01

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Dougherty writes that Simon Wiesenthal is responsible for bringing Adolph Eichmann and "some 1,100 other Nazi war criminals to justice," as if the statement were a proven fact. Of the 1,100, Wiesenthal is stated as saying, "only three confessed to their crimes." The implication being that while only "three confessed," the other 1,097 or so were clearly guilty anyway.

Wiesenthal has bragged publicly to reporters of the Chicago Sun Times that he has "never had a case of mistaken identity." Let us now turn to an account of the trial of "Nazi war criminal" Frank Walus. Perhaps the best account of this mistaken identity story is that reported by Flora Johnson in the Chicago Reader, 21 January 1981. The Reader headlined the story:

"The U.S. government wanted a war criminal. So with the help of Simon Wiesenthal, the Israeli police, the local press, and judge Julius Hoffman, they invented one."

"Let's get something straight," Johnson begins.

"Frank Walus is innocent. He did not kill Jews in the ghettos of Kielce and Czestochowa in Poland during World War II. He wasn't even in Poland during most of the war, he was in Germany, where he was a forced laborer, a sort of slave, on German farms. He has witnesses and documents to prove it…

Simon Wiesenthal's role in this story is… mysterious… In 1974, the much glorified 'Nazi hunter' apparently sent a letter to the U.S. Government in which he charged that Frank Walus had committed war crimes. Nobody seems to remember what was in the letter, if they had seen it at all… John Gubbins (U.S. prosecutor) says that this letter caused the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization to begin investigating Walus. "Toward the end of 1974, Wiesenthal's Jewish Documentation Center issued a year­end report that stated: 'The Documentation Center succeeded in tracing a Pole in Chicago who performed his duties with the Gestapo. His name was Frank Walus.' But the report didn't say on what basis, if any, Wiesenthal denounced Walus …

According to Gerald C. Bender, the lawyer who represents the Jewish Documentation Center in the (American) midwest, Wiesenthal 'will not reveal any of his sources unless the people who give the information consent. So we are not likely to find out where Wiesenthal did get his information, or whether he had any. However, no documents ever have been produced linking Walus to the Gestapo, and all witnesses against Walus were located after 1974. Thus it is logical to assume that the 'reports' received by Wiesenthal actually were rumors …

In other words, Simon Wiesenthal had no evidence against Frank Walus. He denounced him anyway."

You really have to read the original article in full to grasp how much fraud, lying and slander went into Walus being convicted in court as a "Nazi murderer." The judge was the notoriously stupid and comic Julius Hoffman of the "Chicago Seven" scandal. When the appeals court ordered that Walus be retried, the U.S. Government simply dropped the case, as it saw no hope of winning the case before a sane judge.

"In the daily press, stories about the Seventh Circuit decision (ordering a retrial) on the Walus case received little play. The only newspaper to focus on the decision was the Chicago Lawyer, a monthly read primarily by lawyers. Chicago Lawyer reported the decision in detail and wrote in an editorial: 'To read the opinion of the Seventh Circuit in the Frank Walus case is to Feel a sense of shame …

Not surprisingly, newspaper stories – except for the Chicago Lawyer – left the impression that Walus might be guilty, but that the government had not been able to obtain enough evidence to prosecute him successFully… [emphasis supplied]

Why was Walus made to suffer this last indignity? The Chicago Lawyer analysis is that the 'Nazi hunters' don't care about Walus one way or the other, that they want to rescue the reputations of the 11 eyewitnesses who 'identified' Walus as the man they saw commit war astrocities 35, now 40 years, after the fact,…"

Prima Facie wonders if there isn't a story here someplace? Maybe the next time Simon Wiesenthal flies into your town to cook up some geriatric war criminal hysteria, one of you could ask him about the claim that, when it comes to fingering war criminals, "Simon Wiesenthal never makes a mistake," which is how he put it to Chicago Sun Times writer Abe Peck.

Perhaps one of you could ask Wiesenthal this question: "What distinguiShes the way you handled the Frank Walus Fiasco from the way you handled the other 1,099 Nazi war criminal cases where everyone the accused, except three, claimed he was innocent of your charges and everyone was convicted?"

It would be alright if you asked him that. You're professional journalists!

Additional information about this document
Property Value
Author(s): Bradley R. Smith
Title: Simon Wiesenthal Screws Polish Survivor and Maybe about 1100 Other "War Criminals"
Sources: Prima Facie, no. 1, October 1984, pp. 3f.
Published: 1984-10-01
First posted on CODOH: July 7, 2012, 7 p.m.
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