Kurt Waldheim, ex-U.N. chief with dark past, dies
Waldheim, who served as U.N. chief from 1972-81, was first confronted with purported evidence of his personal implication in wartime atrocities when he ran for the Austrian presidency in 1986. He consistently denied wrongdoing, defending himself against disclosures made by his main accuser, the World Jewish Congress, and by foreign media.
But his initial denial of serving in the German army unit -- and then assertions that he and fellow Austrians were only doing their duty -- led to international censure and a decision by Washington to place him on a "watch list" of persons prohibited from visiting the United States. That ban was never lifted.
Waldheim's ascendancy to the presidency led to a bruising controversy at home, and it damaged Austria's reputation abroad. During Waldheim's tenure from 1986-92, Austria was largely shunned by foreign leaders, and he never honored his pledge to be a strong president.
comments powered by Disqus
- 2 conservative groups are leading the fight against the new AP standards
- The secret of successful history departments
- AHA president suggests older historians should consider making way for younger historians
- Niall Ferguson Joins Schwarzman Scholars as Distinguished Visiting Professor in China
- Francis Fukuyama is still bullish on where history is headed, but Americans should worry: republics can decay.