A Radical Electronic Resource . Will Bush Purge Nazi Collaborators in the G.O.P.? . by Rus

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From: New York On Line 212-852-2662 A Radical Electronic Resource ======================================= . Will Bush Purge Nazi Collaborators in the G.O.P.? . by Russell C. Bellant . Source: The New York Times, Op-Ed page, November 19, 1988 The campaign may be over, but George Bush still needs to say what he plans to do with the 20-year-old Republican Heritage Groups Council, the ethnic outreach arm of the Republican National Committee. There is substantial evidence to suggest that the council was founded and continues to be led by people and organizations that collaborated with the Nazi occupation of Eastern Europe during the Second World War. The Bush campaign scored a major success in Sptember when it quickly discharged seven members of its ethnic coalition after a series of of news reports linked them to fascist, anti-Semitic or pro-Nazi organizations. But four of the seven discharged Bush ethnic leaders continue to hold leadership positions within the Heritage Groups Council. Florian Galdau, for instance, still heads the Romanian-American Republic Clubs, one of the components of the Heritage Council. A retired priest, he was an ally of the late Archbishop Valerian Trifa, who was convicted by the United States for concealing his crimes against humanity committed in a Bucharest pogrom in 1941. A leader of the pro-Nazi Iron Guard, Archbishop Trifa recruited Mr. Galdau in 1955 to run a Manhattan church. Former Iron Guard members, Federal Bureau of Investigation reports and Romanian Orthodox priests have identified Mr. Galdau as a recruiter for the Iron Guard. Mr. Galdau has denied these charges. But F.B.I. reports and Iron Guard publications from the 1980's link him to Iron Guard activities. Another Republican ethnic activist ousted from the Bush campaign is Radi Slavoff, head of the Bulgarian section and also executive director of the Heritage Council. Mr. Slavoff is also the Washington representative of the Bulgarian National Front, an American-based group formed in a postwar merger of several wartime pro-Nazi and Fascist orgnaizations. Mr. Slavoff continues as executive director of the Heritage Council despite these associations. Phil Guarino is a leader of the Italian section of the Heritage Council as well as a former vice-chairman of the council. Mr. Guarino, a Republican National Committee staffer, was removed from the Bush campaign after reports surfaced of his involvement in the P-2 Lodge of Italy. P-2 was a group of influential people--high-ranking military and intelligence officers, industrialists and some political party leaders, among others--tied in Italian press reports to the 1980 bombing of the Bologna train station, which killed 85 people. The goal of the group--which is now believed to be defunct--was to destabilize the Italian Government and, ultimately, to install a dictatorship. The fourth ethnic leader expelled from the Bush campaign was Laszlo Pasztor, who founded the Heritage Groups Council in 1969 with the encouragement of Richard Nixon. It was Mr. Pasztor's job to select the groups and leaders that formed the G.O.P.'s first permanent outreach to ethnic America. Mr. Pasztor worked as an embassy aide in Berlin for the militantly pro-Nazi Arrow Cross government, which was installed in Hungary in 1944. (He has since said that he regrets his involvement.) When he began selecting people for the Heritage Council, Mr. Pasztor frequently selected those with backgrounds like his. And when he helped form Mr. Nixon's ethinc campaign group for the 1972 election, he opened the doors to numerous people with a Nazi collaborationist past, including some accused of war crimes. One of them, Boleslavs Maikovskis, recently sought asylum in West Germany to avoid deportation to the Soviet Union. A United States court ordered him deported in 1984 for concealing his involvement in war crimes in Nazi-occupied Latvia. Another of those recruited by Mr. Pasztor in 1969--and stillhoding a leadership slot in the council--is Nicolas Nazarenko, a squadron commander of a Cossack unit under German command in World War II. Mr. Nazarenko told me during a seven-hour interview that Jews were his "ideological enemy" and that he was active today with Nazi groups here. The Slovak section of the council is run by sympathizers and at least one former official of the Slovak Nazi state created by Hitler in 1938. Although the Slovak state declared war on America one day after Hitler did, and deported many Slovak Jews to gas chambers, the leaders of the Heritage Council Slovak section still hold annula memorials of the 1938 founding of the puppet regime of Slovakia. Mr. Bush defends Mr. Galdau, Mr. Pasztor, Mr. Guarino and Mr. Slavoff as innocent of all accusations of collaboration and insists they are all honorable men. But the historical record belies his assertions. The G.O.P. for decades has misread ethnic America's concerns about crime, employment, anti-ethnic discrimination and the future of its youth. It has offered instead the fascism and ethnic prejudices of the Heritage Council, which focuses primarily on funding Radio Free Europe and stopping Justice Department prosecutions of war criminals who illegally entered the country. As the chairman of the Republican National Committee in the early years of the council, and now as head of the Republican Party and President-elect, Mr. Bush owes Americans a complete explanation. (Russell C. Bellant is author of a recent study of the role of right-wing emigres in the Republican Party and the Reagan Administration.)


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