The Nizkor Project: Remembering the Holocaust (Shoah)

Shofar FTP Archive File: people/w/waldheim.kurt/waldheim.001

Archive/File: holocaust/austria waldheim.001
Last-Modified: 1994/11/06


    VIENNA, July 6 (Reuter) - Former Austrian president Kurt Waldheim
received on Wednesday a high Papal honour conferred on him by Pope John
Paul earlier this year.
    The decoration, the Pius Order, was awarded to Waldheim for his
efforts for peace during his two terms in office as
U.N. secretary-general from 1972 to 1980. It was awarded to him by the
papal nuncio to Austria, Monsignor Donata Squicciarini.
    Waldheim was shunned by the Western world after revelations that he
covered up his service as an officer in Hitler's army in the Balkans
during World War Two.
    He was elected Austrian president in 1986 after an election campaign
during which he was accused of war crimes and evidence emerged he was put
on an allied list of Nazi war criminals after the war.
    Waldheim denied the charges. An international historians' commission
appointed by the Austrian government concluded in 1988 that, as an
intelligence officer in the German army in the Balkans, he eased the way
for Nazi atrocities.
    In 1987 Washington barred Waldheim from visiting the United States
as a private citizen, a ban that still holds.
    The Pope was the only Western head of state to receive Waldheim
officially while he was Austrian president. He stepped down in 1992
after his six-year term of office expired.

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