The News, A3
11 August 1992.
MIAMI BEACH (AP) — A Jewish human rights group dedicated to the memory of the Holocaust called Monday for military intervention to stop the bloody ethnic conflict in what was Yugoslavia.
President Bush should take the lead in halting alleged Serbian atrocities through air strikes and other force if necessary, said Robert Novak, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s southern chapter.
“Fifty years ago, the world was silent, and through the silence Adolf Hitler was allowed to do what he did nad six million Jews died in the Holocaust,” Novak said. “We have to speak out now.”
The group handed out petitions to Bush to about 200 people Monday evening at the Holocaust Memorial, in a city where thousands of survivors of Nazi genocide settled after World War II.
Novak said thousands of similar petitions have been handed out nationwide in the hours since the lobbying campaign was launched Sunday in Los Angeles.
The petition says Bush should press for unrestricted access by the Red Cross into Serbian-run camps where Croats and Bosniaks are being held, in order to avoid the failures of similar efforts at Nazi death camps.
“In 1941, the Red Cross visited Buchenwald, Theresienstadt and Mauthausen, and in 1944 Auschwitz,” Novak said. “The Red Cross only saw what the Nazis wanted them to see, and the same thing is happening with these camps. They’re not getting a chance to see the whole picture.”
Miami Beach Mayor Sy Gelber, a World War II veteran, said that television images of gaunt Croatians in the camps had a particular impact on his city’s Jewish population.
“We the people who have been victimized, the ones who know what it is like, … we thought we’d never see this again,” Gelber said.