- Red Cross Admits It Helped
Mengele And Other Nazis Flee
- BBC News
- Auschwitz's Angel of Death Josef
Mengele obtained Red Cross papers
- Nazi war criminals escaped to
Argentina using false identities supplied by the Red Cross, the
humanitarian organisation has admitted.
- The International Committee of the
Red Cross has said it unwittingly provided travel papers to at least
10 Nazis, including Adolf Eichmann, Josef Mengele and Klaus Barbie.
- A statement issued by the ICRC, from
its Geneva headquarters, said they were among thousands of people
found in refugee camps who were given Red Cross travel documents.
- The ICRC said documents were
provided unknowingly and it was committed to dealing openly with the
"painful and regrettable experiences" of the past.
- ICRC spokesman Urs Boegli said:
"The travel documents were swindled out of the ICRC."
- The Nazi deception was uncovered
after the ICRC was given a list of aliases used by Nazi war criminals.
- But it remains unclear exactly how
many Nazis used the Red Cross as a means of escaping war crime trials.
- Fales identities
- Rene Kosirnick, who heads the ICRC's
World War II working group, said: "All we can do is check whether
we issued travel documents that correspond to the aliases we have been
- Mr Boegli said applicants for
passports had to supply an identity document, proof of permission to
leave the country they were in and proof of permission to enter their
country of destination.
- Mengele, known as the Auschwitz
'Angel of Death', gave an Italian residency document with a false name
and permission to enter Argentina. He received his passport in 1949.
- Eichmann was abducted in 1960 from
Argentina by Israeli agents. He was taken to Israel where he was tried
- Barbie, a Gestapo leader in Lyon,
France, was convicted of crimes against humanity in 1987.
- SS captain Erich Priebke also
obtained Red Cross travel documents. He was convicted in 1997 for his
role in the 1944 massacre of 335 civilians at the Ardeatine Caves
outside Rome and sentenced to life imprisonment.