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Waldheim dies a forgotten figure

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Waldheim dies a forgotten figure


Former United Nations Secretary General and Austrian president Kurt Waldheim has died of heart failure in Vienna at the age of 88.

Trained as a lawyer, Waldheim was at the helm of the United Nations during the 1970’s and early 80’s before being elected president of Austria in 1986.

But his mandate was tainted by revelations that he was a Nazi officer for Hitler’s Wehrmacht in the Balkans. Waldheim always denied any knowledge of Nazi war crimes including the deportation of thousands of Greek Jews.

He refused to step down but was made persona non grata across most of Europe and in the United States. His only visit as head of state was to the Vatican.

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