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'Greater Reich' Urged in Thesis by Waldheim

June 28, 1986|From Reuters

THE HAGUE — Austrian President-elect Kurt Waldheim faced further political embarrassment Friday over a doctoral thesis that called for Switzerland, Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands to be incorporated into Adolf Hitler's empire.

Luxembourg Foreign Minister Jacques Poos told journalists the thesis was written by Waldheim in Vienna in 1943 when he was 25. Poos said the thesis, calling for the four countries to be incorporated into the "Greater German Reich," had to be taken seriously. "You cannot say this was just a youthful sin," Poos said.

He said the government, which had been given the document by the Dutch ambassador in Vienna, who represents Luxembourg's diplomatic interests there, was examining it thoroughly.

Poos and Luxembourg Prime Minister Jacques Santer said they would consider what action the Grand Duchy should take over the document, but he ruled out a withdrawal of Luxembourg's diplomatic representation in Vienna.

Unfair to Austrian People

"Waldheim was elected president of the republic (of Austria) and as such he represents Austria," Santer said. It would be unfair to the people of Austria to withdraw diplomatic representation because of criticism of Waldheim's past, Santer said.

Waldheim, elected Austrian president earlier this month, was awarded a doctorate in law in 1944 by the Consular Academy of Vienna University.

He was widely accused of belonging to two Nazi organizations and of having served under a German general who was later hanged for war crimes.

Waldheim, former secretary general of the United Nations, denied the allegations.

Diplomats said Thursday that European Communities officials decided at their two-day meeting to keep representation at Waldheim's July 8 inauguration at the lowest level consistent with diplomatic protocol.

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