WASHINGTON — A Nazi-hunter group Friday handed the Argentine ambassador its files on Josef Schwammberger, arrested a week ago in Argentina, and offered its help in prosecuting him for war crimes.
Schwammberger was ranked fifth among most-wanted Nazi war criminals, said Rabbi Marvin Hier of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center, who met with Ambassador Enrique Candioti. Hier said he was promised that copies of the files would be transmitted immediately to Argentine government and judicial authorities in Buenos Aires.
Schwammberger, 75, has lived in Argentina since 1949. Federal police arrested him a week ago at Huerta Grande, a village in the hills of Cordoba province 500 miles northwest of Buenos Aires. He told a federal judge last Monday that he is the man wanted for war crimes,.
Hier said Schwammberger was the commandant of three Polish concentration camps between 1942 and 1944, was responsible for the murder of more than 5,000 Jews, and took part in a number of actions that led to the deportation of thousands more to the death camp at Auschwitz. The West German government had offered $300,000 reward for Schwammberger.