terça-feira, 25 de novembro de 2008


"It is very strange, Vestermanis says that not in the Soviet
archives nor in the Latvians archives, are there any incriminating
records against Cukurs. "

"The jews who killed Cukurs claimed, that with this action, they wanted to
influence the debate of the statutes of limitation of Nazi crimes
on-going within the German Bundestag. Neither the German government
nor the parliament have protested against this blackmailing of
their democratic institutions by an other state. Journalists and
historians then accepted, without any checks, the description from
the Mossad."

"In the Jewish museum in Riga, nevertheless, no-one is championing
that book. "It is really shaming", says Margers Vestermanis, the
curator," that of the Mossad works so badly, so primitively, about
(the factual) concerns of the book; The Execution of the Hangman of
Riga ".

"Margers Vestermanis leads the Jewish museum in Riga. He himself was
a slave worker of the Nazis during World War II. The book
"Execution of the Hangman of Riga" is " a complete nonsense ", he
says. Indeed, Cukurs has been a member in the murder group of
Viktor Arajs, but Herbert Cukurs was not responsible for
assassination of 30,000 Jews. "Neither Viktor Arajs nor Cukurs were
a member in the Perkonkrust whose history is well known."

"Cukurs became a media event, a national hero, and the Latvian air
force hired him as a captain. He was not known as an anti-
Semite,says Vestermanis."

By Gaby Weber.


Disinformation from the Mossad office
Historical forgery about a mysterious homicide case in Montevideo
On March 6th, 1965, Uruguayan police officer Alejandro Otero was
informed that the Bonn office of the Reuters news agency had
received an anonymous letter from a group calling themselves,"Who
can never forget ". It said that in Shangrilá, Uruguay, the Latvian
war criminal Herbert Cukurs had been executed for his murders of
some 30,000 Jews during World War II.
When the policeman went to the indicated address, he found that the
doors and windows were closed. Otero remembers: "What I could see
from outside, was frightening: The whole room was covered with
Found inside, and placed beside the corpse was an extract from the
pleading of a British accuser in the Nuremberg trials process. The
next day, newspapers around the world proclaimed that these were
the proofs against the executed alleged Jew's mass murderer. This
was five years after the arrest of Adolf Eichmann, and the press
speculated that the Israeli Secret Service, Mossad, had been at
work. The government in Tel Aviv wrapped itself in silence.
Twenty years later, at the Auschwitz tribunal in Jerusalem, the
then head of Mossad, Isser Harel, who himself came from Latvia,
declared that the execution of Cukurs has been the last action of
his Secret Service in the matter of Nazi criminals in South
America. This was in 1985. And other twelve years passed, until the
Israeli Keter publishing company published a book with the title "
the Execution of the hangman of Riga " in which the execution of
Cukurs' is described in detail.
with this
The authors claimed, that with this action, they wanted to
influence the debate of the statutes of limitation of Nazi crimes
on-going within the German Bundestag. Neither the German government
nor the parliament have protested against this blackmailing of
their democratic institutions by an other state. Journalists and
historians then accepted, without any checks, the description from
the Mossad. „The Execution of the Hangman of Riga " was then
translated in German, and in Latvian and praised worldwide as an
"important historical document ".
Four years ago, the book appeared in English, with a preface by
general Meir Amit, the Mossad Chief at that time. He writes in it:
"The state of Israel had decided to eliminate the leading nazi war
criminals. This was a specific, selective and efficient
elimination. One of the most prominent ones was Herbert Cukurs who
had committed disastrous crimes against Latvian Jews and had
escaped the persecution of the allies."
These words may well be doubted. The Cukurs operation was probably
one of the most dilettante operations of the Israeli Secret Service
and the book "The Execution of the Hangman of Riga " a product of
their department of "dis-information".
The author of the book is called "Anton Künzle". He has carried out
the execution of the dis-information. "Künzle" is a pseudonym. He
was in 1919 born in Germany and later migrated to Palestine, so it
says in the book cover flap text. There he served in the ranks of
the Hagana, the precursor of the Israeli army, and later the
Mossad. The journalist Gad Shimron, who himself was active for ten
years with the Mossad, had helped him with the writing:
“When one day my grandchildren ask me “Grandpa”, of everything
you´ve ever done, what are you most proud of? I will tell them
about my role in this difficult and complicated operation of
settling the account with the Hangman of Riga”, reads one qoute
from the book.
In the Jewish museum in Riga, nevertheless, no-one is championing
that book. "It is really shaming", says Margers Vestermanis, the
curator," that of the Mossad works so badly, so primitively, about
(the factual) concerns of the book; The Execution of the Hangman of
Riga ".
Alejandro Otero was the police officer in charge in Uruguay. Today,
he is retired, however, he still remembers every detail. At the
scene it stank unbearably, the corpse had lain there two weeks in
summer temperatures. The dead body lay in chest and beside the
chest lay the extract of the British accuser in the Nuremberg
process. That sheet is in the police records on the case. In that
extract is described the “special action groups" of Nazi leader
Himmler. It is not referring to Cukurs or Latvia.
The Federal Police in Germany sent to Otero the letter of the
anonymous group, the so-called "death sentence". It described
Cukurs as a leader of a Latvian fascist's troop called Perkonkrust
(Thundercross): "Because of his demonstrable personal
responsibility for the death of 30,000 men, women and children, we
have decided to issue to Herbert Cukurs the death sentence ".
Police officer Otero got in contact with the family of the dead
person. From São Paulo came his son, Gunnars, who had already
missed his father. His father had lived legally in Brazil since
1946 and in the beginning of the fifties the Jewish community had
raised reproaches against him, Gunnars said. Nothing within any of
these reproaches was proven to be true and after a certain time the
campaign lay dormant. That is until "Anton Künzle" appeared in São
Paulo and presented a commercial proposition to his father. He
invited him to Uruguay and left 160 dollars for the flight from São
Paulo to Montevideo. It was evidently a trap.
Otero found out that Künzle had spoken German fluently and Spanish
with an Argentine accent, as had his accomplices,. And they
probably had initially planned only for kidnapping Cukurs. However,
they were not professionals. At least five young men, neighbours
had observed, had stayed in the house in Shangrilá, a suburb of
Montevideo. Otero theorizes that, "They didn´t want to execute him.
Then they could simply have shot him before in Brazil. They had
lured him under a pretext to Uruguay to take him away to another
place. Cukurs was a very strong man in spite of his age. He
preferred to die than to be caught. The fight ended with his
The fact that five young men could not defeat a 64-year-old,
contradicts the image of the extraordinary efficiency that Mossad
"The corpse laid in a gigantic chest ", according to Otero, "and
the chest had several air holes in front and on the side. There
were robust metal buckles and thick belts which lay beside the
chest." These belts would presumably prevent the chest from being
opened from the inside. Several neighbours, according to his
inquiries, had observed that during the proported time of that
action a big ship had anchored in the bay of Shangrilá. It waited
there 48 hours. However, in the national registers Otero did not
find the ship.
The policeman supposed that the ship would have taken aboard the
kidnapped man to be stolen away. Otero checked border crossings and
airports. And he travelled to São Paulo, to speak with the Cukurs
family. He found that the man who was called Anton Künzle and had
lured Herbert Cukurs to Uruguay where he had rented a car. He
needed an international driving licence and applied for it with the
Brazilian Automobile Association. From there, Otero received the
second photo of the licence, the photo of the murderer. "I wanted
the help of Interpol in the international search, but Interpol
officially informed me that it concerns the murder of Cukurs as a
political criminal case, and in such cases Interpol does not become
active". So thus, the inquiries had run into the sand.
Otero was very busy at that time. In Uruguay, it was the time when
the guerrilla group Tupamarosbecame active and Otero was charged
with persueing them. One of their founders was Tabaré Rivero,
living today in Montevideo. He remembers the Cukurs case well and,
above all, he remembers a certain Amodio Pérez, one of the most
reckless comrades who had made a quick career inside the guerrilla
Rivero said: "I found out that Amodio participated in the Cukurs
action, he has driving the car of the operation. He used false
documents which had probably been handed over to him by the Mossad.
He also knew the house in Shangrilá. The Israelis had organized the
operation with very few people, among them was also the first wife
of Amodio."
Amodio Perez is a Jew. And at that time, the Uruguayan left
maintained close contacts with the Jews in Montevideo. One had a
common enemy. The local Nazis attacked left offices at that time
with bombs. The fact that Perez had taken part in the Mossad
action, however, had not occurred by order of his organization,
Rivero said. He had gotten to know of his participation only later.
In 1972, Perez was arrested and told everything that he knew. In
his army uniform he was led on the streets to identify his comrades-
in-arms. Even then the rumour circulated that he was a spy inside
the Tupamaros. After the military coup, he left without processing
out of the country.
Only once did he appeared since then. He was involved in the middle
of the eighties in the attempt to kill Nicaragua Contra leader Eden
Pastora. Pastora, called also "Comandante Zero", wanted to speak in
a press conference about the pressure which the CIA exercised on
him. However, there was a bomb explosion, and eleven people were
killed, and Pastora was injured. Journalists later showed police
officer Otero a video about the press conference and he identified
Perez clearly.
Margers Vestermanis leads the Jewish museum in Riga. He himself was
a slave worker of the Nazis during World War II. The book
"Execution of the Hangman of Riga" is " a complete nonsense ", he
says. Indeed, Cukurs has been a member in the murder group of
Viktor Arajs, but Herbert Cukurs was not responsible for
assassination of 30,000 Jews. "Neither Viktor Arajs nor Cukurs were
a member in the Perkonkrust whose history is well known."
The Perkonkrust was a nationalistic, paramilitary troop, born
during the first Latvian republic under Kalis Ulmanis, an
authoritarian ruler. At that time about 80,000 Jews lived in
Latvia, five percent of the population. Under Ulmanis, they lived
quiet well, in comparison to the era before it, as Latvia had been
under Russian administration, where they could choose their
professions and acquire land.
Perkonkrust did the agitation against these people with his 6,000
members. They saluted"Kampf Heil", with the fascist's greeting and
were against all foreigners. Their slogan was "Hit the Jews and the
Germans"! In 1940, the Red Army annexed the Baltic States. And this
was the first time for contacts and physical connections between
the Perkonkrust and the German Abwehr - against the common enemy,
the Communists.
But Cukurs never was a member of the resistance, says Vestermanis,
but a daredevil and adventurer who loved the risk, enjoyed
travelling, pleasures and a good life. On the flea market he bought
an old Citroen motor and inserted it in a scrapped airplane with
which he flew to Gambia. The newspapers of Latvia financed his
adventure and from all stations he cabled reports to Riga. Then he
became a special correspondent in the war of Abessynia and in
Cukurs became a media event, a national hero, and the Latvian air
force hired him as a captain. He was not known as an anti-
Semite,says Vestermanis. He rather tried to take advantage of all
situations for himself. Even later, under the Soviet occupation of
Latvia, he presented himself as a convinced anti-communist, but he
still made an arrangement with the Russians. On the 9th April 41 he
went to Moscow and offered his collaboration, probably to do
personal business with the Soviet air force. With which authorities
he had contact in the Soviet Union, never became known.
On the 16th of April 1941 he went back on his farm in Latvia where
he was at the time of the invasion of the German armed forces. Many
suspected him as a Russian spy because of his Moscow trip, and the
situation had become dangerous for him, speculates Vestermanis.
Probably to prove his loyalty to the new rulers, Cukurs enlisted
into the special command of Victor Arajs.
The mass murder of the Latvian Jews happened in several great
actions. The first homicide action began a few days after the
invasion of the Germans by Latvian fascist's groups. With the
second, at the end of 1941, the Germans killed 25,000 ghetto
inhabitants in the forest. Germany later announced the transport of
Jews to Riga as there was a claim to need space in the ghetto.
Herbert Cukurs membership within the Arajs command is proven. He
was his chauffeur and his right hand man. The fact that those
troops committed heavy crimes - shootings, tortures, synagogues
burned - is likewise recorded. Whether and how Cukurs was involved
in these actions personally, cannot be proven today. With
certainty, he carries a joint responsibility for his membership in
this terrorist group, but whether he carries a penal
responsibility, is not clear.
Margers Vestermanis knows well the documents, both for, and against
him. For him, two Jewish women have spoken out. Ella Medalje (born
Ella Guttmann), was aided in escaping her being shot because she
had presented herself as an "Aryan". Cukurs had driven her to the
Waldemar Street nazi headquarter s building and he did not betrayed
her, although he knew that she was a Jew. And later, Miriam
Keitzner gave testimony in Brazil saying that Cukurs had hidden her
on his farm.
However, during the executions in November, 1941, Cukurs had been
present, says Vestermanis, under direct orders, he fired blindly in
the mass of prisonars. These massacres were ordered and organisedthe by the German SS. Primarily, three persons were responsible: SS-
group leader Friedrich Jeckeln who had come from the Ukraine where
he had been very active in the murder of the Jews of Kiev. SS-
leader and commander of the Riga ghetto, Eduard Roschmann who
became known as the "butcher of Riga ". And Viktor Arajs, the
Latvian boss of a special murder group.
Herbert Cukurs was often at the nazi headquarter at number 19
Waldemar Street. It was an expropriated building of a former Jewish
banker, where the Arajs group had their offices. There was the
garage of their cars for which Cukurs was responsible. In the
basement, there were torture cells for prisoners, Jews and
On the third floor of that building, were the rooms of the
Perkonkrust. However, after only one month of German occupation,
these Latvian fascists got into trouble with the Germans and were
forbidden to remain within the building.
The book " The Execution of the Hangman of Riga " quotes eight
witness's statements of surviving prisoners of Waldemar Street.
They have been filed before Jewish organisations. The originals are
in the archive of the memorial Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, copies in
the Jewish museum in Riga.
The fact that these witnesses were victims of the worst
humiliations, is excepted without any question. However, something
in these statements is inexact, something even wrong, means
Vestermanis. The fact that in it Cukurs is named as a member of the
Perkonkrust, proves nothing. The witnesses have been tormented and
been traumatised and would have hardly differentiated anyone on the
other side according to their party affiliation.
It is very strange, Vestermanis says that not in the Soviet
archives nor in the Latvians archives, are there any incriminating
records against Cukurs. After the war, the Soviet Union wanted to
exert a big war crimes trial because of the nazi massacres in the
Baltic States and, therefore, interrogated thousands. "After the
war, 365 members of these fascist commands were condemned. The
astonishing thing is that in the all the testimonies, there are no
criminal incriminations against Cukurs".
The book about the supposed "Hangman of Riga "mentions a request
for extradition by the Soviet Union to the Brazilian government.
However, such a request has never existed. The Brazilian embassy in
Buenos Aires informed me that‚‘‘Neither the Soviet Union, nor
Israel, ever applied for the extradition of Cukur‘‘. On a list,
published in 1960 in Israel, with the names of nazi war criminals,
the name of Herbert Cukurs did not appear.
Today Gunnars Cukurs is 77 years old and lives in the south on SãoPaulo where he had done handicrafts with his father making model
airplanes and boats. He cannot remember the Jew's pursecution in
Latvia. With the invasion of the Germans he was ten years old. He
does not believe that his father had played any active role in
these crimes. The fact that he was a chauffeur and right hand of
Viktor Arajs, the head of the execution command, he does not deny.
He answers to my question whether his father had in this position
theoretically the possibility not to take part in the crimes: "It
was wartime". The fact that the Jews, women and children, were not
war-leading parties, he knew, of course.‘‘
Towards the end of 1943, his father sent his wife and children to
Germany for their safety and security. He himself stayed behind in
It was in August 1944 when the red army had encircled Riga. The
ones who were able to, fled by sea to Sweden and took their
property with them. Cukurs was also present during those last war
days with such transports. He admits this in a letter to the US-
American consul in Brazil which is in the Uruguayan criminal
record. The skilled pilot probably crossed the Baltic Sea by
airplane. Whom and, above all what, he may have taken with himself
and delivered into Sweden there can only be speculations.
After the war, those refugees that fled to Sweden were delivered
back to the Soviet Union. But what has happened with the things of
value which they had taken on their escape, never became known.
At the end of August, 1944, remembers Gunnars, his father returned
home to the family, which had landed in Szczecin. With him was
Miriam Keitzner, a young Jew that he had hidden in Riga on his
farm. From there, they fled, before the red army, to the west. Near
Kassel they got taken into US captivity. The young Jewish lady made
some miracles happen, and after three days the family could go on.
Through Marseilles, they emigrated to Brazil.
In 1956 Herbert Cukurs moved from Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo. His
youngest son, Richard, had just been born, and therefore, his stay
in Brazil was protected. He worked in the south of the metropolis
with his sons in making new tools, for example, a small submarine
for civil and military purposes which he offered of the US-Navy.
However, the Navy answered that the project was too expensive.
Where were the motives behind his planned hijacking? Was the plan
to get information from him? Maybe information about what had
happened during the last war days in Latvia, before the red army
closed the circle around Riga? Was he involved in transporting of
funds? The funds of the Ostbank, brought by airplane to Sweden and
deposited there in the Wallenberg bank? Was Herbert Cukurs involved
at that time as the pilot?The fact is that the Nazis had enough time to save their pillage
before the coming of the red army. In August, 1944 the German
defeat was foreseeable. Many Nazis fled across the Baltic Sea to
Gothenburg, and Cukurs had taken part in these escape movements as
he told to his children later.
To the US consul in Rio de Janeiro he confirmed that he supplied,
up to the last minute, "the German forces with weapons" and - thus
literally – in Danzig he saved whole "units”. This letter lies in
the criminal records of the Uruguayan police.
The "Ostbank" was created after the German occupation of the Baltic
States, unifying the central banks of Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia
and Weissruthenia. Into the Ostbank were paid all the taxes from
the occupied areas as well as the income from the sales of "Jewish
and partisan property". The so-called "Jew's property" formed a
"considerable part of the economic property of the former Baltic
states", this can be read in a letter of Gauleiter Hinrich Lohse to
the Führer Adolf Hitler. With this money the Nazis financed their
machinery of war. On the 18th of February 1944, say documents in
the National Archives of Berlin, the bank accounts of the Ostbank
still contained more than 84 million Reichsmark. What has happened
with this fortune - as well as the foreign exchange reserves and
gold reserves-, is not noted in the records.
On September 8th, 1944 the German minister sent a telex to the nazi
commissioner in Riga: "In the process of saving the economic goods,
the Gauleiter and the General Commissioner must report to me
immediately about the realisation of the measures, signed by
(Alfred) Rosenberg."
The saving of the Nazi gold from the Baltic States was in the hands
of Nazi minister Rosenberg himself. These assets had to be brought
to a neutral country. Switzerland was too far away. Sweden was
officially neutral. However, they maintained only narrow contacts
with the Nazis.
Several Swedish commissions wanted to clear up the dark chapter of
the collaboration with the Third Reich. Also the companies of the
Wallenberg family were investigated. The family is known, above
all, by Raoul Wallenberg: the diplomat who saved thousands of Jews
before the deportation in Nazi occupied Budapest. But other members
of the family co-operated with the Nazis and supplied them with
armament goods.
Their Enskilda bank had taken part in the monetary laundry for the
Nazis, and the Swedish central bank bought gold from Germany which
presumably came from Holocaust victims. Number accounts did not
exist at the Wallenberg bank, so, there were some confidential
letter accounts. The Swedish commissions had no access to these
accounts. So it is unclear whether on the name of Rosenberg, oranother Nazi leader, a letter account was maintained. And‘‘ no
comment“ was what I received from the Wallenberg family.
After the end of the war, the Swedish government delivered many of
the fled SS officers to the Soviet Union. Is not known whether it
has also returned loot and whether Israel got a share of it.
Only few persons were convicted for the massacres of the Latvian
Jews: The Soviets condemned the SS-group leader Jeckeln as a war
criminal and hung him in Riga. But the former SS commander of the
Riga ghetto, Eduard Roschmann, moved to Argentina and moved there
openly. Viktor Arajs, the leader of the shooting command, fell into
British captivity. The military government soon allowed him freedom
of movement within the country, sent his records to the German
justice department, and then hired Arajs as a driver. The British
let him go to London where he received a faked passport from the
Latvian exile government. Arajs was arrested in 1975 in Frankfurt
and was condemned to lifelong custody by the district court of
Hamburg for of murder of at least 13,000 people.
The murder of Herbert Cukurs is considered, still to this day, as a
Mossad action, which claimed as it’s purpose, to punish a mass
murderer. This version tookpresence even in the Encyclopaedia
Britannica. The family of the victim protested and asked them for
omission. They wanted to present documents, remembers the son
Gunnars. "But the Britannica did not want to see the documents. And
we had no money for a court procedure."
The Israeli Intelligence Service Mossad is keeping silence on the
Cukurs case. However, the publishing company which has published
the German issue of the book "The Execution of the Hangman of Riga"
answered to my inquiry. They informed me by email: "We have no
closer information about the pseudonym Anton Künzle. According to
our information the author is protected by the Verfassungsschutz
(internal German intelligence service)". They say that they made no
contract with him and paid no author's fees. Whether the publishing
company has received money for the publication and whether the
contract was concluded with the Israeli government or a Secret
Service, they refused to answer. They also refused to respond to
whether and how the publishing company can protect itself against
being accused participating in historical forgery.
Anyway, the rights for the book have been sold to the German
Psychosozialverlag and they answered: "The questions whether, how
and between whom contracts were concluded concern Internal things
which we do not give out. We ask for this for understanding".
Künzles co-author, the long-standing Mossad agent Gad Shimron, gave
a bit more information. He has, in the meantime, developed a career
with the Israeli newspaper Maariv and maintains, he wrote me in an
email, "no more contact to the Mossad". "For many years I knowmister Kuenzle. And I trust every word in his report (about the
He refused to put me in contact with Künzle. He, Shimron, is from
the "old school" and might not disclose Kunzles true identity. He
did not answer why he has not done research in Latvian, German,
Soviet and US American archives. To the point of fact that Israel
has never filed a request for extradition to Brazil, he explained
with the supposition that the state had to solve "more urgent"
problems. Only sporadically has the state tried "to track down"
Nazi criminals like Cukurs.
How he dared to call Cukurs as a member of the fascistic
"Perkonkrust" and responsibel for 30,000 murders - the journalist
passed on this question. But he pointed out the‘‘fact‘‘ that
"certain circles in Riga" celebrate the man again as a nationalist
and have given him something like a general "denazification
This is right. There was in Riga an exhibition about the 'national
hero' Herbert Cukurs in which his work was shown in the Arajs
command as harmless. And a known Latvian lawyer recently published
a book with the title "Schaffott". He calls the procedure against
SS- group leader Jeckeln a "show process" and shows him as a victim
of the Soviet justice.
However, historical falsification is no answer to historical

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