Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 29, 1975 · Page 62
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June 29, 1975

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 62

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Charleston, West Virginia
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Sunday, June 29, 1975
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Page 62
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Page 62 article text (OCR)

14D --June 29,1975 Sunday Gawtte-Mail ,, * -Charlesfav West Virginia Former Gestapo Officer Believed Held Walter Kutschmann 1941 Picture BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP)-Authorities are holding a man believed to be Walter Kutschmann, a former Nazi Gestapo officer accused of executing 38 Polish Jews in 1941, government sources said Saturday. Information supplied to Argentine police by the Jewish Documentation Center in Vienna said Kutschmann and his men also were responsible for the deaths of between 1,500 and 2,000 other Jews in Brzezany and Podhajce in 1942, but the specific accusation was in connection with the group of 38. The man being held, who is 61, has been living in Argentina since 1947 under the name of Pedro Ricardo Olmo and is now sales manager for Osram, an Argentine manufacturer of lamps and appliances. He was arrested after police received a report from Simon Wiesenthal, a well- known Nazi hunter who runs the Jewish Documentation Center, the sources said. Wiensenthal supplied The Associated Press with a 1975 picture of Olmo. Wiesenthal said in Vienna after the arrest that he was gratified by the prompt action of Argentine police and hoped West Germany would now request the man's extradition. "He cannot be tried in Argentina for crimes he committed as a member of the Nazi SS against Polish Jews," Wiesenthal said, "but he can be tried in West Germany." * * * ONE OF SEVERAL highly placed sources in Buenos Aires said Wiesenthal's information "has been passed to very high levels, and there is no information we can give. But we can confirm that Olmo has been detained." Federal police said they had no information on the case, and there was no public record of charges. Apparently authorities here were detaining Olmo pending international investigations. Wiesenthal told a news conference Friday in Vienna he had "irrefutable evidence" that Kutschmann-Olmo headed an execution squad that murdered 20 Polish professors and 18 family members on July 4,1941, in the Polish city of Lemberg, now in the Soviet Union and named Lvov. The reported sites of the 1942 killings also are in the Soviet Union now. Police had been advised of Olmo's suspected identity by the magazine Vision, which circulates in Latin America and by information from representatives here of the Jewish Documentation Center, the sources said. Argentina has acted slowly in the past in cases of suspected war criminals. Israeli agents located Adolf Eichmann in 1960 and captured him in a Buenos Aires suburb, sneaking him out of the country for trial. · Josef Mengele, accused of performing fatal experiments on Jews during the war, was known to be living here for some time in the 1950s and, when an arrest order was finally issued, he fled before it was carried out. 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