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Waldheim and Austria's Past

May 16, 1986

Those who are astonished by the near-victory of Kurt Waldheim in Austria should remember that the Anschluss , the joining together of Germany and Austria in 1938, was greeted with popular enthusiasm by the majority of Austrians who welcomed their compatriot, Adolf Hitler, with open arms.

Austria can no longer attempt to perpetuate the charming turn-of-the-century image of Gemuetlichkeit , sweeping romantic Strauss waltzes and Sachertorte in order to attract the tourist trade. They have traded on that golden image for a long time and did not suffer the reprisals by the Allies as did the former Third Reich.

Let us remember that it is not solely our Jewish friends who are loud in denunciation of Waldheim's dishonesty but also all those who remember the murderous dark shadow of Nazi occupation that threatened to exterminate our civilization.

We, too, who fought this monstrosity, will never forget. Let the Austrian people declare themselves at the runoff election when they decide if the former Nazi officer and confessed liar, Waldheim, will represent them as president.

ERNEST NUKANEN

Santa Monica

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