- Auschwitz's Angel of Death Josef Mengele
obtained Red Cross papers
- Nazi war criminals escaped to Argentina
using false identities supplied by the Red Cross, the humanitarian organisation
- The International Committee of the Red
Cross has said it unwittingly provided travel papers to at least 10 Nazis,
including Adolf Eichmann, Josef Mengele and Klaus Barbie.
- A statement issued by the ICRC, from
its Geneva headquarters, said they were among thousands of people found
in refugee camps who were given Red Cross travel documents.
- The ICRC said documents were provided
unknowingly and it was committed to dealing openly with the "painful
and regrettable experiences" of the past.
- ICRC spokesman Urs Boegli said: "The
travel documents were swindled out of the ICRC."
- The Nazi deception was uncovered after
the ICRC was given a list of aliases used by Nazi war criminals.
- But it remains unclear exactly how many
Nazis used the Red Cross as a means of escaping war crime trials.
- Fales identities
- Rene Kosirnick, who heads the ICRC's
World War II working group, said: "All we can do is check whether
we issued travel documents that correspond to the aliases we have been
- Mr Boegli said applicants for passports
had to supply an identity document, proof of permission to leave the country
they were in and proof of permission to enter their country of destination.
- Mengele, known as the Auschwitz 'Angel
of Death', gave an Italian residency document with a false name and permission
to enter Argentina. He received his passport in 1949.
- Eichmann was abducted in 1960 from Argentina
by Israeli agents. He was taken to Israel where he was tried and executed.
- Barbie, a Gestapo leader in Lyon, France,
was convicted of crimes against humanity in 1987.
- SS captain Erich Priebke also obtained
Red Cross travel documents. He was convicted in 1997 for his role in the
1944 massacre of 335 civilians at the Ardeatine Caves outside Rome and
sentenced to life imprisonment. a