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DATE=10/6/1999 TYPE=BACKGROUND REPORT TITLE=ARGENTINA/NAZI COMMISSION PART TWO NUMBER=5-44426 BYLINE=BILL RODGERS DATELINE=RIO DE JANEIRO CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: An Argentine government commission investigating Nazi activities in Argentina after World War Two says there is still more work to be done -- even though its two-year mandate is just about over. In this second of two reports, V-O-A's Bill Rodgers tells us the commission was unable to get access to all the Argentine government documents it wanted. TEXT: The Commission of Inquiry into Nazi Activities in Argentina(EDS: Comision Para la Esclaracion de las Actividades del Nazismo en Argentina, CEANA), is making its findings public as it nears the end of its two-year mandate. Formed in 1997, the Commission has succeeded in tracking shipments of looted Nazi gold, determined the number of war criminals that arrived in Argentina, and found evidence of government complicity in helping settle war criminals and Nazi collaborators in the immediate post-World War Two period. But the Commission, known by its Spanish acronym as CEANA, says more needs to be done before the full extent of post-war Nazi activities in Argentina can be learned. CEANA coordinator Ignacio Klich tells V-O-A the panel has barely scratched the surface in finding out about post-war Nazi activities in Argentina. /// KLICH ACT /// The results we have presented now are the results of two years of work. We cannot, however, call it a final report -- it is a report of a stage, one stage in which this commission functioned under the mandate that it was given by the president of the Argentine government. That government ceases to be in office on the 10th of December and it will be for the next government to decide whether to heed the requests or recommendations by members of CEANA's international panel and advisory committee to have CEANA continue under its present form or whatever form they decide to give it. /// END ACT /// //Opt// Mr. Klitch says researchrs would like to do more work in the archives of the former Yugoslavia -- given the large number of Nazi collaborators from Croatia that found refuge in Argentina after the war. //End Opt// He says the commission also needs to examine Argentine documents that were not available to researchers -- citing as an example papers from the former Argentine War Ministry. Mr. Klitch said these documents, now presumably kept by the Defense Ministry, were never found. Also, he said requests to the government's intelligence secretariat for documents pertaining to the post-war period went unanswered. Mr. Klich says he is not sure if there was a deliberate attempt to keep information out of the commission's hands. /// KLICH ACT /// We don't know, a priori, whether someone actually is hiding these papers from our side to prevent us from discovering something even bigger -- or whether this is a case of, basically, so many years have gone by and Argentina does not have such a strong archivistic tradition as to have archives organized....At this point, all I can say it was difficult to gain access to these and we wanted to see them. /// END ACT /// But commission researchers were able to look at thousands of other documents, both in Argentina and abroad. It was enough so that the commission was able to reveal some previously unknown post-war Nazi activities, including the arrival in Argentina of 200 kilograms of looted gold brought by members of Croatia's pro-Nazi Ustasha government. The work of the CEANA commission is unprecedented in Argentina. There was a previous effort to investigate Argentina's Nazi past in the 1950's following the overthrow of President Juan Domingo Peron, but little was revealed. Mr. Klich believes the commission's work can be used as a model for other such investigations -- such as into the human rights violations committed during the late 1970's by Argentina's military dictatorships. /// KLICH ACT /// This is an unprecedented and in a certain way unique self-introspective exercise -- one which has elicited the support and the participation of the best Argentine academic minds in Argentina and elsewhere, because we've had in this project participating Argentine experts from Argentina and from abroad. So, one of the merits of this commission is that it can serve as a precedent for other self-introspective exercises that Argentines are interested in -- whether it has to do with something in 19th century history, or the much more recent dirty war of 1976 to `83. /// END ACT /// The Commission plans to make its conclusions public in the coming weeks, both abroad and in Argentina. The full report also will be available on CEANA's internet web site: www.ceana.org.arg. (Signed) NEB/WFR/JP 06-Oct-1999 15:45 PM EDT (06-Oct-1999 1945 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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