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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                      Nov. 29, 1995, V3, #216
All the News the Big Guys Missed

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Hizbullah Targets Northern Israel

By Al Pessin (VOA-Jerusalem)

Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres says he holds Syria responsible for the heavy barrage of Katyusha rockets fired into northern Israel Tuesday by the Syrian-backed guerrillas of Hizbullah. Peres made that and other sharp comments the day after hopes were renewed for progress in peace talks between Israel and Syria.

After visiting the area hit by more than 30 rockets, Peres said Syria can not avoid responsibility for the attacks, which he called very grave, unjustified, and a violation of the understanding on the level of fighting between Israel and Lebanon. Peres said the barrages launched by Hizbullah were timed and aimed to kill Israeli civilians.

Peres said Lebanon's government is not capable of controlling Hizbullah and that Israel would have to take action to protect its northern region. He did not elaborate, but Israel Minister of Internal Security Moshe Shahal said Israel must make an effective response to ensure such rocket attacks are not repeated. Shahal said Israel could launch attacks which would make Lebanese civilians want to stop sheltering Hizbullah fighters.

Swiss 'Schindler' May be Exonerated

By Douglas Roberts (VOA-Geneva)

A provincial court in Switzerland is expected to rule this week on a bid to overturn the 1940 conviction of a police captain, dismissed from his post for helping Jews escape Nazi-controlled Europe. In the summer of 1938, at the urging of Nazi Germany, the Swiss government sealed off the country's borders to Jewish asylum-seekers from Nazi-controlled Europe.

War-time documents, recently declassified, reveal that at least 10,000 Jews were turned away, and some already in Switzerland were handed over to German authorities. It is feared that most ended up in Nazi death camps.

One man defied the Swiss government action. Captain Paul Grueninger commanded the district police force in St. Gallen, on Switzerland's northeastern border with Austria.

He continued to allow Jews to enter the country, falsifying travel documents so it appeared they had crossed before the border closure went into effect.
As many as 3,000 Austrian and German Jews are thought to have escaped almost certain death because of Grueninger's action. But in 1939, he was caught. And a year later, he was tried and convicted of fraud, fined, and dismissed from his post.

Captain Grueninger's life was shattered. He never found a steady job again. He died almost a pauper at age 80 in 1972. But his relatives say the former police captain never regretted what he did. And the Grueninger family has waged a decades-long judicial fight for his rehabilitation.

The Grueningers' lawyer argued that what the police captain did was justified because it saved lives. And he said the Swiss government order to close the border to Jews contravened international law.

Some of the Jews Grueninger allowed into the country testified on his behalf this week before a five-judge panel in St. Gallen.

The judges quickly agreed to a retrial. And a decision on whether to overturn Grueninger's conviction is expected later in the week.

The case has again focused attention on revelations of Swiss government collusion with the Nazi regime -- revelations that have provoked some painful soul-searching here over the past year.

In addition to barring Jewish asylum-seekers at Berlin's behest, war-time records also reveal that Switzerland was an important source of supplies for the Nazi regime. And German authorities deposited millions of dollars in numbered Swiss bank accounts.

After an at times wrenching political debate, Switzerland's President, Kaspar Villiger, issued a formal apology last spring. He told a special session of parliament the war-time government was guilty of persecuting Jews. Switzerland's action, he said, was unforgivable.

Audi Cars and Dead Sea Works to Cooperate

The German Audi Motor Corp. and the Israeli Dead Sea Works are establishing a plant to use magnesium from the Dead Sea to build the most economic cars in the world. In the long run, about 3 million metal parts made from magnesium are expected to be produced at the plant for Audi cars. The Volkswagen Corp., of which Audi is a subsidiary, has signed the agreement, which provides for an investment by both partners of about $600-million during the next 18 months. Audi plans to produce a 3-liter diesel model--which will travel 20.6 miles on a liter of fuel--because of the car's lighter weight.

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