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Shorts II

Comptroller Pushes Swiss to Act

The Washington Post
New York

The comptroller of New York City has called upon major Swiss banks to reveal what contributions, if any, they have made to a special fund for aging Holocaust survivors.

He said that failure to do so could expose the banks to actions harmful to their stock value.

Alan G. Hevesi said in an interview Monday that he is not threatening the banks with retaliatory measures such as boycotts or a sell-off of New York's sizable holdings in Switzerland. His aim, he said, is simply to spark some action in the slow-moving effort to prod the Swiss into making some atonement for their alleged aid to Nazi Germany and to help Holocaust survivors recover family assets held by Swiss banks since World War II.

"I have not crossed the line where I'm threatening anyone; my interest is in encouraging the banks to do the right thing," said Hevesi, who had relatives killed in the Holocaust.

East German Leaders Convicted

Los Angeles Times

Unified Germany's long-running attempts to bring the leaders of the defunct East German dictatorship to justice yielded three convictions Monday, all on manslaughter charges stemming from fatal shootings of would-be escapees at the Berlin Wall.

Egon Krenz, East Germany's last hard-line Communist leader, was sentenced to 6 years in prison after 115 days of testimony and evidence in what has come to be known here as "the Politburo trial."

"The defense of the border was placed above human life" in Krenz's system, said presiding judge Josef Hoch, in a verdict that took two hours to read.

Two other former Politburo members, Guenther Kleiber and Guenther Schabowski, received sentences of three years each, as Germany continues the slow and difficult process of sorting out blame and punishment for the woes and moral crimes of the former Communist East.