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eMedals-A 1987 Letter from Former UN Secretary-General and President of Austria Kurt Waldheim

Item: EU14428

A 1987 Letter from Former UN Secretary-General and President of Austria Kurt Waldheim



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A 1987 Letter from Former UN Secretary-General and President of Austria Kurt Waldheim

A letter, measuring 209x296mm, extremely fine condition with folding creases, with envelope, measuring 178x122mm, extremely fine condition with light creasing and minor discolouration. It was sent by the federal president of Austria, Kurt Waldheim, to Mr. and Mrs. Alan
Boyce in Brantford, Ontario. The letter is dated to Vienna on May 211987. It was stamped and sent on June 3. Waldheim signed it in blue ink.

Footnote: Kurt Josef Waldheim was born on December 21, 1918. He served in the Austrian army from 1936 to 1937. After the Anschluss of Austria, Waldheim joined the National Socialist German Students’ League and shortly after the SA. He was placed in the Wehrmacht in early 1941 and deployed to serve on the Eastern Front. From there, Waldheim went on to serve as an interpreter in Italy and Bosnia in 1942 and then became a liaison officer in Greece and again Bosnia. He was awarded a Medal of the Crown of King Zvonimir in Silver with Oak Branch Cluster, and finished the war in 1945 in the rank of Senior Lieutenant. Afterwards, Waldheim obtained a law degree from the university of Vienna and began a diplomatic career that led to his election as UN Secretary-General from 1972 to 1981. In 1985, Waldheim ran for presidency in Austria. He was ultimately successful, being president from 1986 to 1992, but before being elected had to explain omissions about his service during the Second War in his biography, which started the so-called “Waldheim affair”.
He had stated that he was discharged from front service after being wounded in 1942, which, after an inquiry, turned out to not be true. He had initially said that he didn’t know about war crimes and reprisals against Serbian prisoners, which he later admitted to be false. Among the controversy were even allegations of war crimes, of which Waldheim was eventually cleared. It was found that he had lied about his service record and his extend of knowledge of Nazi war crimes, yet had not participated in them or indeed been able to do much about them. Waldheim died on June 14, 2007.


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