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Mr. HALL. All right, and you would have been one of those people that they would have contacted, I would assume, at some investigative stage of those proceedings.
Mr. SCHIANO. I would like to think so, but not necessarily so. I said I was a trial attorney. I would like to think so, because I think the investigation and prosecution of these cases should be under the auspices of a trial attorney who directs the investigation and marshals the evidence and evaluates what further steps are to be taken.
Mr. HALL. In your investigation of the Ryan case, did you uncover evidence of additional alleged Nazi war criminals who were in the United States?
Mr. SCHIANO. Now, as I said, during the case itself we got phone calls, information, we were almost being deluged and we were not in a position to organize the material. As I said, we were handicapped. We didn't even have enough money for our witnesses. We didn't have enough money to take care of them. There were 14 witnesses, I think, that were mentioned during the denaturalization case investigation which were possibly to be brought over in case they would have to go to trial.
Mr. Hall. During the time this woman was being tried and investigated, you were an arm of the U.S. Government?
Mr. SCHIANO. That is right.
Mr. HALL. And you were shunted to a very small area, as you state in your statement?
Mr. SCHIANO. Technically, I was probably the second highest ranking officer in New York.
Mr. Hall. Does it appear strange to you as to why your office and why your people were shunted into a cubicle there that was of such smallness as you have mentioned here?
Mr. SCHIANO. I cannot claim credit for my people. I didn't have any except Mr. DeVito concerning this case, and my other people were busy working my section. I said I had some 2,000 cases to control as well.
Mr. HALL. Did you not say at one time you had to go across the street to get a phone call?
Mr. SCHIANO. That's right. Mr. Hall. That seems rather strange to me that you had to climb over each other to get to the desks.
Mr. SCHIANO. That's right.
Mr. Hall. Because you were prosecuting an infamous matter, were you not?
Mr. SCHIANO. I don't know if that was the cause.
Mr. HALL. Have you always had that kind of treatment when you were with the agency, did they always give you on any case you tried, those accommodations?
Mr. SCHIANO. No; most of the times they gave me whatever I wanted.
Mr. HALL. I wonder why the accommodations were so bad during this trial of the investigation of this case?
Mr. SCHIANO. You might have to ask someone else.
Mr. Hall. As you testified here today, sir, and I appreciate your testimony, I am sympathetic with what you say in this report; do you believe that there exists in any of the services that you have had any connection with, whether it be INS or any of the other agencies, any organized effort to slow down the process of trying to investigate these alleged war criminals that still live in the United States?
Mr. SCHIANO. I don't think there is any organized effort. At the same time, I don't believe there was the proper inspiration either.
Mr. Hall. That leaves us in between.
Mr. HALL. Are you speaking back when you were active with INS or now?
Mr. SCHIANO. Speaking back. Now, I don't know. I would rather believe, hope to believe, that the Service, the Immigration Service, could be commended for its efforts it has taken since this committee has been prodding it.
Mr. HALL. I think the impetus behind everything that has taken place has come from the strong persuasive efforts on the part of the chairman of this subcommittee, Congressman Eilberg, and Congresswoman Holtzman. I think that is what built the fire under a lot of people. And I admire them for doing that.
The thing I would like to ask you, and I don't want to be repetitious, but it appears to me that we are hearing testimony of people who were in places of great importance, and all of these people, without exception, have strong indications in their minds and also they testified that someone, somewhere in the great beyond was pulling or had pulled some strings to slow down, to do everything to prevent and hinder a proper investigation of these people.
Mr. SCHIANO. Well, I think it's like every area of human activity, you feel when there is a gung ho attitude to go ahead and you get the feeling when there is a sort of reluctance, whether it be psychological or otherwise, to afford you the necessary inspiration and leadership to go ahead and push/for it, whether it be in military terms or government service, I think it operates the same way.
Mr. Hall. Well, when you had to climb over Mr. DeVito to get to your desk, did you think at that time somebody was not encouraging you to work on that case?
Mr. SCHIANO. I think so.
Mr. Schiano, in answer to one of Mr. Hall's questions you said that you didn't think there was a deliberate attempt by ÎNS officials to obstruct the investigation or prosecution of alleged Nazi war criminals.
You did say that?
Mr. SCHIANO. I don't know. I can only express my experience in that particular case. I felt less than inspired on it. I felt I was not given the same facilities I was given in other cases.
I had a case in Philadelphia, the name I will not mention, which they asked me to go right ahead, prosecute, no holds barred of a man who was 642 years in the United States at the age of 61. He was never convicted of a single crime.
I prosecuted hundreds of cases of people who were convicted of petty larceny, and never saw a memorandum by a central office official about punishing the person twice for such an offense by deportation process.
I think it ws an untoward attitude taken on this case.
Mr. EILBERG. All right; you have stated a couple of times in the last few minutes that while there was no deliberate attempt to obstruct or impede an investigation or prosecution, nevertheless there was clearly a lack of inspiration as far as your superiors were concerned.
I wonder if you can expand on that?
Mr. SCHIANO. As I said, at that time, in other case of major interest
Mr. EILBERG. I didn't hear.
Mr. SCHIANO. Other cases of major interest I was told whatever I wanted, I got, if I needed an investigator, if I had to send somebody out to get some document, I got it. To get an investigator in the Ryan case where we were well underway in the case, we had already established certain aspects of the case, and I was without an investigator and I was left without the means of controlling or speaking to witnesses, and I had to run a section.
I was working seven days a week. We have problems with bringing witnesses from overseas. While some 14 witnesses that had originally been earmarked for testimony in the denaturalization case, there was I think information and instructions given to our overseas post to cease and desist locating the very same witnesses to their availability in the deportation case.
We were not given moneys to pay the hotel bill of one of the witnesses. We expended moneys out of our own pockets.
Mr. EiLBERG. Mr. Schiano, what motives do you believe prompted these officials to take these actions?
Mr. SCHIANO. I think they got kind of caught in the bind and made mistakes and now they covered up maybe their own ineptitude.
Mr. EILBERG. Caught in a bind and making mistakes in what way?
Mr. SCHIANO. I think they failed to rise to the occasion of prosecuting these cases, they may have closed them out for maybe inauspicious reasons. I don't know, and now they didn't know how to explain them except wish they would go away by never happening.
Mr. EiLBERG. Now, why in your opinion would your superiors provide you with all of the facilities necessary in prosecution of other types of cases but not in the connection with prosecuting Nazi war criminals?
Do you have any idea as to their motive?
Mr. SCHIANO. No. I think it's a matter for this committee to pursue and ask these people these questions as to why such attitudes, why such memoranda. I think I was concerned about, which troubled me, Mr. Zutty said, for over 20 years he was able to review such evidence in the files and determine what hapened before. On the contrary, the Attorney General did not share his points of view and it was not possible to determine from the files why certain cases were not investigated.
Apparently there was some void, some lapse, something is missing.
Mr. EILBERG. Are you familiar with any file or any case where an official of the Immigration and Naturalization Service or other agency directed that no further investigation take place into any of these cases?
Mr. SCHIANO. No; we heard about it, Mr. DeVito and I, through the courts. We never substantiated, at least at that time. For instance, now I find it distressing to hear if you interview 60 witnesses on a case that you don't go for the other five witnesses. That to me would not be good investigative technique.
Mr. EILBERG. Are you familiar with cases presently under judicial proceedings, Nazi war criminal cases?
Mr. SCHIANO. Some of them, only generally from the newspapers.
Mr. EILBERG. Have you had the opportunity to observe any of these proceedings personally?
Mr. SCHIANO. No.
Mr. EiLBERG. Are you in a position to give us a candid evaluation of the conduct of these proceedings with regard to the Government trial attorneys or the Immigration judges?
Mr. SCHIANO. Well, I think it's unfair to get a trial attorney and place him in a case and say, go ahead, anymore than if one was asked to prosecute a malpractice action against a physician without grounding himself well into medical language, medical procedures, and what not.
I had such an experience at one time; it took me a good, I would say, 3 months to learn about certain anesthetic procedures before I could go ahead with the hearing.
I think if you put a trial attorney in charge of something, you must tell him, he has to orient himself, educate himself as to the background of which he is going to be involved.
For instance, to give you an example, in the Ryan case he spoke of toward the end of the War she took some 60 inmates and took them out of the camp with her as if this was some beneficent gesture, and traveled westward away from the on-rushing Russians. Actually, a knowledge of SS laws and procedures would have taken a different attitude, that anyone, any SS office in charge of transporting concentration camp inmates gets priority of transportation and that could very well have been a motive.
Mr. EiLBERG. All right. Getting back to the point I was making a moment ago, what is your judgment of the quality of the judges and trial attorneys involved in these cases?
Mr. SCHIANO. I don't know the judges well, I am sure they are competent. The trial attorneys, I don't know. I do know of some of them, excellent people, like Paul Vincent, I have the highest respect for him. I don't know about some of the others. I have not seen them.
Mr. EILBERG. Are you in a position to make any recommendations as to the handling of these cases presently?
Mr. SCHIANO. No; I wish I were involved with them more.
Mr. EILBERG. Turning to the involvement of other U.S. government attorneys in these cases, was total cooperation accorded to INS in its investigations by other agencies, as you had to deal with other agencies?
Mr. SCHIANO. Well, very little, frankly. Everything the experience of the things I had in the instant use, feelings I had in the instant case, that at that time, I think it probably violated our protocol procedures, but I directly communicated with both the German and Polish Governments for evidence and an action for possible extradition, which I felt was a shortcut to final result in the case, where the bottom line would be the prosecution of that person for the crimes which were never tried.
Now, I went to the Embassy, the Polish Embassy in Washington twice, directly. I communicated with the German office in charge of the Nazi war prosecution in Dusseldorf, and a Judge Auerbach, not Oscar Karbach, but Judge Auerbach in Dusseldorf, came over to see me where we discussed the extradition process and requirements and he informed me his government had undertaken extradition.
Mr. EILBERG. Do I understand you had no complaint about cooperation with other governmental agencies?
Mr. SCHIANO. I had little to do with them.
Mr. EILBERG. Were there other agencies who might have withheld information from INS?
Mr. SCHIANO. Well, there was an incident, I don't know, I will correct it, as Tony DeVito advised me of it, we had requested the Polish Government to transmit certain information and documents and material to us that might have been available to us concerning that case. I understand a package had arrived at the State Department and I don't know whether it was transmitted to the Department of Justice, but it was never sent forward to me, but was returned to the Polish Embassy.
We never found out why it was, what it was, or anything at all.
Mr. EILBERG. Mr. Schiano, I believe we have concluded our questioning of you and we want to express our deep appreciation and respect for your coming here and relating your experiences and all that you have gone through. We regard you as a friend.
Mr. SCHIANO. On the contrary, thank you and your committee.
Mr. EILBERG. Thank you very much, and we will recess briefly before we will take the final witness for the day.
(A short recess was taken.] Mr. EILBERG. The subcommittee will come to order once again. Mr. Mario de Capua.
Mr. de Capua was formerly Chief, Security and Investigations, Displaced Persons Commission (Europe).
Mr. de Capua, do you swear the testimony you are about to give will be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help you God?
Mr. DE CAPUA. I do.
Mr. EILBERG. Mr. de Capua, we welcome you this morning. I do not know whether you have a statement or not.