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Publisher\Editor Don Canaan

                       April 9, 1996 V4, #63
All the News the Big Guys Missed

Israeli Air Force Will Train Over Turkey

By Amberin Zaman (VOA-Ankara)

Syria has expressed concern over a military cooperation agreement signed between Turkey and Israel. The Syrian Embassy here expressed its concern over an arrangement allowing the Israeli air force to train in Turkey.

The Syrian government said it hoped that Ankara would review the agreement and safeguard what it termed the historic relations between the Islamic people and the Arab states.

Turkey became the first Muslim country to open its air space and military bases to the Israeli air force for training purposes when Turkish officials signed a military cooperation accord in Tel Aviv in February.

Turkish defense officials say the use of Turkish airspace was granted to the Israelis in view of what they described as Israel's limited airspace.

Foreign observers say the leaking of the accord is clearly intended as a warning to Syria, which they say has been steadily strengthening military ties with Greece -- a claim Syria denies.

Relations between Ankara and Damascus have taken a further plunge following Syria's recent campaign to rally Arab support against Turkey over the sharing of the waters of the Euphrates River.

Damascus has long claimed Turkey's multi-billion dollar irrigation project in southeast Anatolia has jeopardized its supply of the river's waters on which it heavily depends. The project, known as the Gap, includes construction of 22 dams on the Euphrates.

Ankara says that because the river originates in Turkey, Damascus has no right to dictate how much water it should get.

The Truth About Albert Speer

By Paul Francuch (VOA-Chicago)

Albert Speer -- Hitler's "architect" and a powerful leader of the Third Reich -- escaped the gallows following the Nuremberg Trials but spent 20 years in Spandau prison after accepting guilt for his enormous crimes.

But Speer's stated knowledge of what murderous events happened when under the hand of Adolph Hitler remained vague -- purposefully vague, argues British journalist Gitta Sereny in her book "Albert Speer--His Battle with Truth," published in the US by Alfred A. Knopf. Sereny recently talked about her psychological probing of Speer during an interview in Chicago.

Sereny spent 12 years after Speer died in 1981 talking with those who knew him personally -- this after a series of probing interviews, telephone conversations and letters with Speer himself during the final few years of his life. It was a project, says Sereny, which Speer initiated after reading works by the respected journalist.

"And I didn't like him (laughs). I looked at him on TV and I thought, no this man is really ... just too smooth for me. And all these mea culpas I didn't believe. (And) there were so many interesting people in the world to see, to talk with. I just didn't want to see him."

In a process which seems somewhat like journalistic psychoanalysis, Sereny gradually dredged from Speer memories which he cleverly tried to hide. Eventually, she says, Speer revealed knowledge of Nazi murders against millions of Russian and Polish civilians. She is also convinced he knew much earlier than he previously admitted of what came to be called the "Final Solution" to exterminate the Jews.

"I tried throughout these conversations with Speer to get him to tell the truth, to admit what he had never admitted, which was that he had always known or had known for many years about Hitler's horrors. I'm not only speaking about the extermination of the Jews, but I'm speaking of other horrors which the Nazis committed -- you know, millions of murders of civilians in the East, which nobody ever speaks of, but they're extremely important in the whole context of the thing."

But while he knew more than he had ever publicly revealed, Sereny believes there were some Nazi crimes against humanity that he probably did not know about, nor certainly was directly involved in.

"Not involved, of course, directly. He was never directly involved in anything -- he gave orders from his desk in Berlin. But still, he travelled to these places. He saw things happening. The murder of the Jews in gas chambers he had absolutely nothing to do with -- literally. And I think that his knowledge there, really, was quite late and partial. I would in fact say ... It is quite possible that he never knew until (the) Nuremberg (trials) about the gas chambers."

Sereny spends considerable time in her lengthy book examining the close and complicated relationship Speer had with Hitler -- one which bordered on platonic love. She says Speer was one of many who succumbed to Hitler's messianic charms -- something even Sereny admits she felt as a young school girl in Vienna, when she attended a Nazi rally where Hitler spoke.

It was charisma that grew into evil seduction. Sereny says an important message she hopes her book will convey is that charisma in a politician should always be viewed as a potential danger.

"Charisma is an incredibly dangerous quality in statesmen, in politicians. And we need to be very, very careful of it."

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