VIENNA — Documents leaked to news organizations that linked former U.N. Secretary-General Kurt Waldheim to Nazi wartime atrocities were altered, an official in his presidential campaign said today.
Michael Graff, secretary general of the Austrian Peoples Party, released two documents he said had clearly been doctored to indicate that Waldheim knew about the deportations of Greek Jews to Polish death camps and about Nazi retaliation against Yugoslav partisans.
"There is no doubt that documents used in the entire Waldheim campaign were manipulated," Graff told a news conference. Both documents appeared in the weekly Austrian magazine Profil and were also given to the World Jewish Congress, Graff said.
A representative of Profil stood during the news conference and said that his magazine did not know the documents were tampered with and that there would be a corrective story in the next edition.
One document used by Profil was a report marked "secret" listing "enemy" actions in Nikaria, Greece, dated July 15, 1944.
Profil also printed a second section of the report that stated, "End of July 1944. The deportation of Jews who have no Turkish citizenship has started on order of the Supreme Command of Army Group E, IC-AO." Waldheim was a member of that unit.
Graff said the typewriters could not be the same because on the first page the letter "r" was not printing correctly and on the other page the letter "r" was working.
He also noted reference in the past tense to deportations at the end of July, but the document was written July 15.
He said that in a daily report on army activities along the Eastern Front, the name of the chief writer of the report was deleted at the bottom and only the name Waldheim was left. This was an attempt to portray Waldheim as the author of the intelligence report, he said, when his duty was actually to confirm that it was correctly typed.