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No. 5 / 2009
Dear Sir or Madam, Dear Friends, In the latest edition of our newsletter, you will learn about the recent activities of ECCHR in our three major lines of work: business and human rights, universal jurisdiction and the fight against terrorism and human rights. We are happy to announce a new edition to the staff at ECCHR, increasing the number of European staff members in our team: Along with German-Hungarian Operations Manager Albert Koncsek, Greek jurist Dr. Jorgos Sotiriadis, British political scientist Ben Hayes and Polish jurist Kamil Majchrzak (all working in the field of counterterrorism), Dutch jurist Grietje Baars (director of the program for universal jurisdiction) will now be working with us. Dr. Miriam Saage-Maa (director for the program of business and human rights) is the only German in our team other than myself, Wolfgang Kaleck, Secretary General of ECCHR. Additionally, there are 12 interns and trainee lawyers currently working with us. We would like to draw your attention to our two upcoming events: NATO and Human Rights. The Role of NATO Post-9/11 on April 1, 2009 in Strasbourg and Impunity for Torture: The long-desired end or continuity? on April 3, 2009 in Berlin (further details below). During the ECCHR conference Transnational Corporations and Human Rights, held last October 2008, we discussed the possibility of holding corporations that commit human rights violations legally accountable. With the guidance of Denise Bentele we gathered together and analyzed numerous cases (the majority of which were European cases) that dealt with this issueand created an overview of the proceedings that took place over the last few years. Our findings and analyses are published on our website: html. On our website you may also find extensive

01 Introductory Remarks by Wolfgang Kaleck Business and Human Rights 02 ECCHR Conference Report and European Cases Database Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights 03 Second Edition of Extraordinary Rendition booklet now available Universal Justice 04 ECCHR criminal complaint against Ramzan Kadyrov on the charge of torture 06 The obligation not to keep silent - Interview Ellen Marx Conference Announcements 12 Conference NATO and Human Rights in Strasbourg on April 1, 2009 14 Conference Impunity for Torture in Berlin on April 3, 2009 14 Lectures on Law Schools in the USA 15 Impressum

documentation of the conference, such as reports, video contributions, and interesting interviews with conference participants (including Colin Gonsalves from India and member of the ECCHR advisory board Peter Weiss from the U.S): http://www.ecchr. eu/tnc.html. The brutal murder of the Chechen critical Umar Israilov on 13 January 2009 in Vienna has raised much alarm and concern. In Austria on June 13, 2008 the ECCHR pressed criminal charges of murder and torture against the President of the Russian Constituent Republic Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, based on the principle of universal jurisdiction. Kadyrov made a stopover in Austria during the UEFA European Championship. The unpublished charge against him is mostly based on the testimony of Israilov, who has also lodged a complaint against Russia to the European Court of Human Rights. Israilov has described how he had been arrested

by Kadyrovs followers and tortured in a detention center. Israilov had seen how other detainees were tortured, sometimes even by Kadyrov himself. What is particularly disturbing about this case is the fact that Austrian authorities failed to take action when there was evidence of a threat against the witness and his family. Moreover, even when Israilov made a request for personal protection shortly before his murder, the authorities did not provide it. Tremendous hopes were brought along with the shift of governmental power in the US, many of which have been realized since President Obamas first week in office. The former Bush Administration not only passed along a substantial deficit and economic crisis into the hands of the new administration, but also left a very sensitive, legal decision to be made. The question of whether the Obama Administration should undertake criminal prosecutions against high-

level officials of the former administration for torture has been widely debated over the past few months. From a critical human rights perspective, we offer our support and guidance to the new administration in deciding what measures to take for this issue. Conjointly with the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, the ECCHR has made criminal proceedings against the former US President George W. Bush. Nowak, also a renowned Viennese professor has written an introduction for the newly revised, second edition of our book CIA Extraordinary Rendition Flights, Torture and Accountability A European Approach , which is available in hard copy and on our website at Sincerely, Wolfgang Kaleck ECCHR Secretary General

Business and Human Rights

ECCHR Conference and European Cases Database On October 9 and 10, 2008, experts from around the world came together in Berlin for the ECCHR Conference, Transnational Corporations and Human Rights , which was organized in cooperation with the church aid organizations Bread for the World (Brot fr die Welt) and Misereor. There, representatives of human rights and development organizations, lawyers, social activists, and academics discussed human rights violations committed by transnational corporations and ways to hold these corporations accountable. Especially at issue was the effect of globalization on issues of human rights. Twentyeight speakers and over two hundred participants from more than thirty countries and five continents attended the conference. The ECCHR has already published documents from the conference, including summary reports from

panel discussions, selected interviews, and videos. This comprehensive material is now also available in PDF format and can be downloaded at: http:// European legal systems are not equipped to deal with human rights violations caused by transnational corporations. It is therefore very difficult to seek legal redress, whether in civil or criminal proceedings. Legal norms and standards are insufficiently applied to TNCs by courts and law enforcement agencies in European countries; their legal systems are failing to address the reality of globalized economic structures. This conclusion follows the analysis of 69 court cases across Europe involving alleged human rights violations by transnational corporations under the direction of Denise Bentele of ECCHR. The 69 lawsuits contained in ECCHRs European Cases Database stem from 46 separate cases.

The European Cases Database can be downloaded at: More detailed information in regard to each case can be ordered by writing an e-mail to The methodology employed by ECCHR allowed comparative analysis of these cases, despite the jurisdictional and procedural differences among European legal systems. Now that some of the largest TNCs are comparable to the GDP of entire countries, these corporations wield tremendous power over European economies and labor markets. The growing power of TNCs has not been matched by legal checks-and-balances or mechanisms for accountability. This is particularly the case in politically and economically unstable regions, where TNCs can have a substantial ecological, political, social and cultural impact. This often includes the violation of civil, social, cultural and economic human rights. In the opinion of ECCHR and many others across civil society, legal responsibilities arise from the actual power of transnational corporations. This opinion is also shared by many nongovernmental, as well as scientific organizations. The international ECCHR conference held in 2008 extensively discussed this topic as a key issue. As stressed by John Ruggie, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General on Business and Human rights, the corporate responsibility to respect human rights exists independently of state obligations. Prerequisite for the successful use of legal instruments against transnational corporation and board members responsible for human rights violations is both a careful analysis of the legal situation in the affected jurisdictions and a systematic analysis of previous legal practice. Until now, there were no attempts on the European level to systematically record and evaluate proceedings concerned with human rights violations of corporations with headquarters in Europe. Some databases record proceedings across Europe, but

these databases neither record all proceedings, nor do they provide an analysis of the proceedings. The present study of ECCHR aims to remedy these inadequacies. However, the intention is not to continuously update this database, but rather to review and analyze previous legal work, with hopes of learning lessons for future cases. As a European organization, ECCHR aims to identify human rights violations of European corporations and tries to hold these corporations responsible for their actions.

Counter-Terrorism and Human Rights

Second Edition of Extraordinary Rendition booklet now available
We are delighted to introduce to you our second edition of the ECCHR publication: CIA Extraordinary Rendition Flights, Torture and Accountability A European Approach. The second edition of the publication provides an overview of the legal reactions of affected European countries (Germany, Poland, Italy, Spain, etc.) and the USA regarding the CIAs extraordinary rendition program. Prof. Dr. Manfred Nowak, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment and Director of the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Human Rights in Vienna (Austria), has written an inspiring introduction for this new edition. He argues that it is important to deal with the present topic as current U.S. practice provides an extremely poor and dangerous example. Margaret L. Satterthwaite of New York University School of Law has, for the second time, contributed to the new article The U.S. Program of Extraordinary Rendition and Secret Detention: Past and Future. She examines the secret CIA programs discord with international law as well as potential changes that the new administration in Washington D.C. might bring about. The authors of ECCHR provide detailed analyses of the civil and criminal proceedings initiated by victims and human rights organizations in Europe

and the U.S. Moreover, they examine attempts to comprehensively clear up facts by trying to legally enforce the free flow of information. Over the last years, the ECCHR dealt with the CIA program and the responsibilities of European states in several events, for instance in Berlin, Warsaw and Copenhagen. Human rights organizations and committed lawyers in affected countries offered their support and assistance in clearing up the overall program, as well as in the resolution of individual cases. However, despite the positive impact of the

The printed version of the booklet is available through the ECCHR at a service charge of 6 EUR + shipping fees. Please contact for more information.

Universal Justice
ECCHR criminal complaint against Ramzan Kadyrov on the charge of torture
On January 13, 2009, Umar Israilov, considered a persecuted political refugee in Austria, was shot dead in the streets of Vienna. The circumstances of the event show that Israilov was the victim of a politically contracted murder. Previously, Israilov had served as a chief witness in the court proceeding against Russia, held before the European Court of Human Rights (EGMR) in Strasbourg, and in another proceeding led by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) against Ramzan Kadyrov, the sitting president of the Republic of Chechnya. On June 13, 2008, Austrian lawyers on behalf of ECCHR filed a complaint against Kadyrov on charges of torture and attempted duress. The public prosecution in Vienna is currently pursuing a preliminary investigation concerning this issue. Prior to his murder, Israilov had reported that he had been illegally detained in Chechnyas Camp Tsentoroi from April to July 2003 and tortured repeatedly by President Kadyrov himself. Moreover, during his captivity at Tsentoroi and subsequent period of forced labor imposed by the Chechen security service, Israilov witnessed numerous accounts of systematic torture and unlawful executions conducted by Kadyrov and his associates. The criminal complaint filed by ECCHR contains detailed testimony from Israilov regarding the human rights abuses committed by Kadyrov and his subordinates, the so-called Kadyrovsty. These members are known to be involved in arbitrary detentions, kidnapping, blackmailing, harassment of family members, torture and unlawful executions. Unfortunately, Israilov and his family discovered these truths the hard way.

investigations, it must be emphasized that the investigations faced several legal and political obstacles. The ECCHR learned firsthand about these obstacles when attempting to expose the CIAs abduction of German citizen, Khaled El-Masri. In September 2007, the German government announced that, in order to avoid political conflict, it would not request extraditions from the United States. Therefore, in June 2008, the ECCHR filed a complaint against the Federal Republic of Germany at the Administrative Court in Berlin on behalf of El-Masri. An extradition warrant was requested for the CIA agents involved in the abduction of El-Masri, who had already been issued an arrest warrant by the district court of Munich.

Israilov reported that on April 15, 2003, Kadyrov and his bodyguards entered his cell and harassed him unconscious with cigarette butts, pistol grips, and other instruments. First, his bodyguards began to beat me, Israilov recounted. Then, Kadyrov himself hit me with his pistol and started kicking me. I tripped and lost consciousness. On other occasions, Israilov was tortured with electric shocks. In reference to Israilovs testimony: Kadyrovs guards forced me to sit on an exercise machine and attached one cable to my ear and another to my pinky finger. Then, Kadyrov began turning the crank handle which delivered an electric shock. I felt an awful pain in my head and my hand. In addition, Israilov recalls being abused with a metal rod as thick as a finger and stabbed in his legs. The scars and burns caused by the torture that Israilov experienced during his four-month detainment are still visible years after the mistreatment had occurred. A medical evaluation confirmed that the physical injuries were compatible with the statements made by Israilov. Moreover, the Independent Office for Asylum (UBAS) approved the credibility of the allegations of torture and considered him a refugee. Israilovs father had undergone similar experiences. He, along with his wife and sister-in-law, were unlawfully arrested on Kadyrovs order in autumn 2004. At this time, Israilov and his wife had managed to escape to Poland with fake passports. Israilovs father was also tortured and subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment by the security service in an attempt to encourage Israilov to move back to Chechnya. This continued for over ten months. Among other episodes, he was beaten unconscious while tied to a pool table and tormented with electric shocks. During his imprisonment, he also witnessed systematic torture and mistreatments and is now willing to testify before court. President Kadyrov, besides being strongly suspected of committing these ill-treatments, was also believed to have attempted grievous duress. In 2008, a male individual contacted Israilov and threatened him to withdraw his complaint before the EGMR and

return to Chechnya. It is assumed that this man was instructed by Kadyrov. These warnings, directed at Israilov and his family, declared: If we can clarify all issues on the phone tonight talk to you no harm will happen to you or those who are close to you... so nobody can touch them. Also: I came only because you have children and a wife and because someone will go to your family and torment them. The seriousness and legitimacy of these threats was never doubted. It is mentioned in past reports by independent human rights organizations that the disappearance of family members and endangerment of lawyers is not unusual in Chechnya. Kadyrov himself openly boasted about the policy of clan liability and explained: We will punish their relatives according to law ... and if there is no such law, we will ask for it; we will turn to the Russian State Duma and they will pass such a law so that it becomes possible to punish. Evidence and testimony against Ramzan Kadyrov prove that he is strongly suspected to have committed crimes such as torture and attempted grievous duress. In response, ECCHR has already informed the Austrian authorities on July 13, 2008 of their plan to press criminal charges against him. Yet it is difficult to understand why the Austrian authorities neither started investigations in the first place nor issued an arrest warrant when Kadyrov visited Austria, as now confirmed by Austrian authorities, during Russias participation in the EM football games. Numerous opportunities for investigation were available, as it was known that he was attending at least part of the games between Russia and Greece on June 14, 2008, between Russia and Sweden on June 18, 2008, and between Russia and Spain on June 26, 2008. As for their response, the Prosecution of Salzburg claimed to be unable to issue an arrest warrant without first transferring the proceeding to the competent authorities in Vienna. Originally, however, the public prosecution declined to react because it was the weekend. Afterwards, without having questioned Israilov and without conducting any type of investiga-

tion, they refused to issue an arrest warrant against Kadyrov claiming that the evidence brought forward would be insufficient. Wolfgang Kaleck, Secretary General of ECCHR, has assailed the behavior of the Austrian authorities by saying that these incidents are unacceptable for a constitutional state. Austria is obligated to intervene in such cases under the UN Convention against Torture. Austria ratified the UN Convention against Torture in 1987. Article 5 (2) explicitly states that every contracted state is obligated to take the necessary measures in order to establish its jurisdiction over such offences in cases where the alleged offender is present in any territory under its jurisdiction. Manfred Nowak, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, confirms that this implementation of the principle of universal jurisdiction obligates all 154 contracting states of the UN Convention against Torture to institute penal investigations against every person suspected of torture who is present in its territory for whatever reason. This obligation stands irrespective of where the crime was committed and the nationality of the offenders and victims. The only precondition necessary to establish the jurisdiction of the state is the presence of the alleged offender. Since Kadyrov remained in Austria during much of the European Championship, this precondition was clearly met. Moreover, article 6 (1) of the UN Convention Against Torture reads that a Party State, in whose territory a person alleged to have committed any offence referred to in article 4 is present, shall take him into custody or take other legal measures to ensure his presence. According to this provision, persons alleged of torture shall be arrested immediately and criminal investigations shall ensue. The Austrian federal government understands that universal jurisdiction is applicable in Austria and affirmed that Austria will make use of the jurisdiction

according to Art. 5 of the Convention irrespective of the laws applicable at the scene of the crime. Thus, the penal investigations against Kadyrov should have been instituted immediately while he was present in Austria. As President of Chechnya, a non-sovereign federal state within the Russian Federation, Ramzan Kadyrov is unable to plead personal immunity on any account. Therefore, Austria did not meet its legal responsibilities regarding the UN Convention against Torture to bring action against Kadyrovs allegations of torture. In addition, in January 2009 the Austrian police still refused to provide security protection to Israilov, his pregnant wife, or his three children. At this point, there was sufficient evidence indicating the preparation of a politically contracted murder and organized displacement of dissidents. The tragic consequence was the assassination of Israilov in Vienna on January 13, 2009. What rests now is the hope that the Austrian authorities thoroughly investigate both the assassination of Israilov as well as his preliminary harassment and that the proceeding against Ramzan Kadyrov on charges of torture continue to be actively pursued.

The obligation not to keep silent: Interview with Ellen Marx

On March 24, 1921, Ellen P. de Marx was born in Berlin; on September 11, 2008 she died in Hogar Alfredo Hirsch, a Jewish residential care home in the province of Buenos Aires. During the last decades of her life, Ellen Marx was one of the most important representatives of the Argentinean human rights movement. Ms. Marx came to Argentina in 1939 with a group of Jewish adolescents. Her mother and nine other members of her family had been killed by the National Socialists. In August 1976, during the last military dictatorship in Argentina, her youngest daughter Nora had been kidnapped. To this day her whereabouts remain unknown. Testimony suggests that she did not survive her first days in custody under grave torture. Ever since, Ellen Marx struggled to uncover the truth and seek punishment

for the crimes of the dictatorships in Argentina and Germany. Until recently she headed a group consisting of mothers of German origin of disappeared persons and other victims of the dictatorship. In 1998, this group, together with the Argentinean Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel, provided the impetus for the establishment of the German human rights network Coalition against Impunity. Since then, the coalition and its lawyers have initiated criminal investigations by German prosecuting authorities in the name of 39 victims of the dictatorship amongst them Nora Marx against a total of 90 members of the Argentinean military as well as high-ranking staff of Mercedes-Benz. At least 14 independent unionists disappeared in the companys Argentinean factory. In recent years, Wolfgang Kaleck (1999) and Gert Eisenbrger have each interviewed Ellen Marx. Mr. Kaleck spoke with her about her adolescence in Berlin and her emigration to Buenos Aires, while Mr. Eisenbrger discussed her commitment in Argentina. From their interviews, they have composed the following text which provides insight into a great humanist and an exceptional woman. Ms. Marx, what are your memories of your time in Berlin before you emigrated to Argentina? I was born on March 24, 1921 in the Oranienburger Strae in Berlin-Mitte. My father, who dealt in leather goods, had an office there with a cellar. First I attended the 24th elementary school which was situated behind the Garnisons-church, then the high school in the Ziegelstrae. After we had moved to Charlottenburg I attended the Frstin-BismarckSchool. One of my most traumatic memories is related to the Reichskristallnacht. On the night between November 9-10, 1938, I awoke because of loud noise. I heard cars driving up and down the street and the sound of glass breaking. I got up and looked through the window. Across the street, windows of a grocery story owned by Jewish widow Kppen had been smashed. The cars then departed. From the distance, I heard fire department sirens on Kurfrstendamm. The next day we heard on the radio that all synagogues not adjoining German civil buildings had been burned down. Nevertheless, I

went to school the next morning. There, the deputy headmaster handed out a letter to me in which the mayor of Berlin asked my father to take his daughter from the school. One of my teachers took me aside and whispered that he wished me all the best. Other teachers and classmates looked away. After the Kristallnacht, all Jewish students were thrown out of the school day after day. I received my final marks and that was it. I had not even made my final secondary school examinations (Abitur), and although I later tried to catch up in Argentina, I never succeeded. From 1933 onwards I was already aware of a growing stifling atmosphere. The teachers all identified themselves more or less with National Socialism. Many of the girls at school were members of Bund Deutscher Mdel [League of German Girls, the female branch of the Nazi party youth movement]. Since many Jewish families had been living in Charlottenburg, there were many Jewish girls at this school in the beginning. The first ones that left the school came from families that had fled Bolschevism in the Soviet Union or anti-Semitism in Poland and Hungary. Apparently these families had preserved their instinct for danger. In contrast, the long-established Jewish educated bourgeoisie felt itself as part of the German culture and people, and chose to ignore the danger. I had also felt like I belonged to the German culture. By the way, I still do. I still remember verses of Schiller and Goethe in critical moments. I experienced German culture by the Berliner Kulturbund, which was established after 1933 for the Jewish cultural life. I was also very much interested in history. Already my grandfather and my mother had been members of the Social Democrats. My father and my maternal grandmother had been democrats. I read a lot of authors from the Weimar Republic. What was your relationship to Judaism at that time? While I was going to school, I was a member of the Jdischer Bund. My father made sure that I was part of the youth movement of the Central-Verein, as I was his only daughter. There we discussed Jewish culture, Jewish history and the development

of the youth movement. We acquired good Jewish education. Apart from our group there was the Haschomer Hazair, the so-called Werkleute. They were oriented towards emigration to Palestine, and they were running farms first in Germany and later on in Denmark. I had become very familiar with these groups. From April 1939, all attention was focused on saving our lives and using every opportunity to leave the country. Why did you and your family decide that you would be the only member of the family to emigrate? On December 10, 1938 the Gestapo came to our apartment to arrest my father. He had, however, just left for the little synagogue in the Johann-GeorgStrae in order to save ritual objects, among others the Torah scroll. They wanted to bring my father to the concentration camp in Oranienburg. Since he was not present, the Gestapo left. From the window, my mother saw my father coming around the corner. He passed by the Gestapo guys without anyone taking notice. My mother then relocated him to my grandfathers house. He stayed there until the danger was over. In November and December 1938 many Jewish men were arrested and brought to concentration camps. Most of them could leave after four to six weeks because they had assured the authorities that they wanted to emigrate. Some of them endured forced labor. The winter of 1938/39 was extremely cold. They had to push railway cars that were so cold that some of them lost their fingers to the frost. You could see many men with fingers frozen-off on the streets at that time. In view of these events, everything was clear to us. My mother started making plans for my emigration. She herself did not want to leave Berlin because she was taking care of her 85-year-old father who had only recently become a widower. She did not want to leave him alone. Another reason for my parents and many others choosing not to emigrate was that they no longer could dispose of their savings. Especially my father, who felt too old to start form the beginning again somewhere else. That is why my parents, like many other older families, stayed in Germany. When I boarded the train to Paris, I was conscious that this was a final farewell, although I was of course hoping that I would one day see them again.

How were the preparations for your departure? The Jdische Bund prepared its members for a joint emigration after the Kristallnacht. I had taken lessons in Spanish at the Frstin-Bismarck-Schule for two years. I had always been very interested in foreign languages and knew Latin, English and French. Apart from that, we had very little time to prepare our emigration, since we were no longer allowed to meet as an overall organization. All Jewish associations were closed. We used to go in pairs to the houses and wait until the others had disappeared around the corner before leaving ourselves. How was the emigration itself? Three groups departed from Berlin consecutively, and I was in the third group. On April 13, 1939 we departed from Janowitzbrcke station. My mother and my grandfather accompanied me to the suburban train station in Bellevue and said goodbye to me on the platform. My father was not able to bear the farewell, so he stayed at home. This was the last time that I saw my family. We then came to Aachen, where we were harassed again but for the last time. They strip-searched us and wanted to see whether we had taken more than 10 Marks with us, the maximum amount permitted. Because of that procedure we missed the train, and our group of 32 or 33 people had to take a local train at around midnight, arriving in Paris early in the morning. There we received visas and tickets for Argentina that the aid organization HIAS had arranged for us. We had to commit ourselves to work hard and to refund the costs later on. The young people were all between 17 and 25 years old. We stayed in Paris for five days. Our group leader reminded us that we are about to say farewell to European culture, so we made visits to Versailles, the Louvre and to the Rodin museum. We all came from various different cities, but we still got to know each other. From Le Havre, we took a French cargo steamboat to South America. We reached Buenos Aires on May 25th, Argentinas National Day. There we first had to stay on the boat because we only had visas for Bolivia. We had already heard about boats that had been sent back. The next train to Bolivia was

not scheduled until five days later. But the Jewish aid organization finally provided visas for Argentina, which were initially valid for only six months. We were completely and officially legalized later on. Upon our arrival in Argentina we only had ten Pesos in our pockets. If the aid organization had not rented some rooms in a guesthouse for immigrants in Belgrano, we would not have known where to sleep. We were dependent on finding a job as soon as possible. We girls took every job available, as home help or as nannies. It was clear to us that we did not have the possibility to choose. Most of the boys started working as Pen unskilled workers. At my first job, where I stayed for five months, I was asked to teach their child English. This child was only a little over two years old! The parents believed that the most important thing their child had to learn was English. Both parents and the grandparents had been born in Argentina, but since the father was in charge of an English company, it was necessary for his child to learn English. We earned just enough to survive. Once I lost a button off my dress. Since I could not get an identical button, I had to buy six new buttons, and that was a real financial problem. Moreover, our health insurance was inadequate, which became a problem for me when I came down with polio. I now often hear that people who emigrate to other countries often come down with polio. This seems to be a disease with deeper roots, not just an infection that you accidentally catch. It was often very difficult for us to get used to the Argentinean way of life. For me it was shocking to see how servile employees who were in my situation behaved towards their masters. They did not even dare to think on their own. This made me realize that even then, colonialism had never really ended and that there existed many people who never experienced the feeling of being a free human being. In Germany, no one had even the faintest idea about how big the gap was between the poor and the rich in Argentina. In the course of time we succeeded, step-by-step, to leave these first jobs behind us. I was lucky to find a

job in a day nursery, which had just been founded for children of Jewish emigrants. Through this work I learned a lot about the problems of emigration. Not only did we look after the children during the day, but we also took care of their health and possible psychological problems, though this began later. There was not a lot of knowledge about psychology in Argentina in the beginning of the 1940s, but some immigrants brought this knowledge with them. We also took care of the parents who came to us with their problems. We came to learn of all their stories and hardships. Did you have any information about the destiny of your family in Europe during the years of war and did you and other emigrants know of the extent to which the persecution of Jews in Europe had reached? I had written to my parents. However, after the war began only open postcards were allowed. Sometimes you received air post on very light paper. The cards wore stamps with the swastika. They were very bland and scripted postcards, in which you talked about the weather or about the visit that an aunt had paid. One day, towards the end of 1942 or the beginning of 1943 there was a remark on the edge of the postcard: Ms. Pincus is now just by herself. That meant the news of the death of my father. I only learned of the exact date of his death in 1983, and that his grave was in East Berlin. Through my visit to the memorial of Yad Vashem in Israel, I learned that my grandfather was brought to the Theresienstadt concentration camp. My father had a school friend who had left for Sweden and he had the information about that. At the memorial I found out all about my family. In total, ten people were hauled off. The transports had different numbers. My mother was on the 31 Transport to Auschwitz. There she had to do forced labor. Prior to that when she was still in Berlin, she also had to do a year of forced labor. One year later she was gassed. I found that out through a remark on a postcard to me, and later through my research at Yad Vashem. In Argentina I received periodic hints about what was happening in Germany. One aunt had escaped to

Brazil. Once she wrote a letter to me in which she explained a few things to me. During the war, we learned more and more about what was happening in Germany. It caused daily fear and depression. After the disappearance of my daughter, all of that came to life again: the feelings of despair, insecurity, the flaring hope and then the disappointment. In the evenings, after the daily work, the moment where you laid down and wanted to relax, everything fell down on you. I wasnt into politics back then, but I met a lot of emigrants at concerts, and we all had a really strong instinct to live. I only realized that later on. Just a few of us got depressed. Most of those that had come from Germany with me got married after two years and had given birth to at least two children. I married in 1942 and bore four children, the last one, Rubn, was born on November 18, 1964. After the birth of your children did you continue to work? Between the births of my children, I worked 14 years in total with the day nursery of the Jewish relief organization. For the last seven years I was in charge of the nursery. Afterwards I taught at the Pestalozzischool [an antifascist school founded in Argentina in 1934 after the Gleichschaltung alignment of the German schools. It was mainly attended by the children of Jews and leftists who had escaped for Germany and Austria], when my boy was two years old. In the first grade I gave German courses for children from non-German speaking families. From 1970 to 1990 I worked as a secretary in the Jewish community and was very familiar with those with Jewish and German connections. When the war was over, there was the possibility for emigrants to leave Argentina again. Obviously few wanted to go back to Germany, but many of the Jewish emigrants that had escaped to South America went later to Israel or the USA. Did you consider a second emigration? Naturally, Israel had always been quite attractive. The great emigration wave from here to Israel took place at the end of the fifties until the mid-sixties.

That was a politically terrible time in Argentina, the anti-Semitism of nationalist groups was then enormous. One very aggressive group was named Tacuara. Their leader, Padre Filipo, a catholic priest, was living right in our district. Right in front of our Synagogue he opened a bar. There were a lot of street fights, demonstrations, anti-Semitic graffiti and smashed windows in Belgrano, our district, where many German and Jewish migrants were living, and even at our day nursery. My children were also very conscious of it. These movements made them realize that there was no safe place to live as a Jew. All of our children were therefore organized in Jewish groups that formed a counter movement. There they were politicized and our eldest daughter and eldest son later migrated to Israel. I was thinking of emigrating myself the moment my eldest daughter Miriam moved to Israel. But then my husband said exactly what my father had said in 1938. He could not face starting from scratch again. We lived modestly in Argentina, but we were OK. The emigration of my daughter was the final push for me to go to the German embassy and get a German passport again, to reacquire German citizenship. Why? When my first daughter left, I wanted a German passport and citizenship again. By the way, later on I came to know that many emigrated Jews had done the same at the beginning of the sixties. We needed time before we had confidence in a new Germany. Of course, we followed very closely how the federal republic was developing. To many others and myself, the fact that Germany and Israel started to have diplomatic relations helped a lot. When David Ben Gurion, the prime minister back then, was asked why Israel started to have relations with a German country, he explained that Israel could never have accepted reparation payments from a country if it had not made Shalom (peace) with it. It made ethical sense to me, so I also made peace with the German country. I believe many others felt the same way. It was also clear to me that the German culture was something I couldnt get rid of, despite my sympathy for the

Argentinean way of life and culture. If you were able to admit to yourself and prove that you liked German culture, reattaining German citizenship was relatively easy. Moreover, if you still had your old emigration passport, the German administration moved along quickly and a new, federal German passport was soon issued to you.. Was the naturalization valid only for you or for your children as well? I didnt want to do it for my children. The oldest was already in Israel and our eldest son was preparing to go. He died there in a car accident in 1981. My youngest son does have a German passport, but when he applied for it, things were already more complicated because the naturalization period had expired. My husband didnt take German citizenship again. But the two of us followed developments in Germany intently. We read the Frankfurter Schule and felt very strongly about the movement of 68. Did your younger daughter Nora want to go to Israel as well? My youngest daughter would under no circumstances want to be anything else than an Argentinean. For that reason she disappeared under the Junta. At day nursery, children had already learned to appreciate life and to sympathize over the problems of other human beings. This was especially prominent at that nursery, where many of the children came from lower social classes. Most of all, Nora developed a strong feeling for social issues. She transformed what she experienced there into ironic wordplays. Her uncle called her the queen of clouds. Her interest lay in the exact sciences. She studied very thoroughly. While studying, she partly moved out, partly came home again and lived here with her boyfriend for a while. What role did Jewish belief play in your life? I would be reserved to say I am religious. Imagine the inner situation of teenagers between 13 and 17 years of age: suddenly, we as Jews were grabbed into an atrocious, incomprehensible destiny. How could we live on without finding some sense in this catastrophe and not feeling like helpless victims of a superior power? And where should you look for

sense and reasoning if not in the 4000-year long Jewish history, which is so rich in precedence cases and to which the bible and religion belong as well. That was the common problem of our youth group. At those studies, under the guidance of students, everyone needed to draw their own conclusions, which could naturally change over the years. The only binding thing was the monotheistic belief in a single God as the creator, as the embodiment of love, truth, righteousness and justice. The highest good is life, ones own and those of the closest to you. For me Judaism is an ethical-humanitarian duty not to lose belief in the absolute values and to respect every human being and his views. Everything else is just daily rules that make harmonious living together possible. Of course, the rules have to be adapted to new times and different situations. For that, you can express your own opinions, but the moral basis is categorical. How has the last Military dictatorship changed your life? On August 21, 1976 Nora disappeared. With all that I had been through with the disappearance of my daughter, the period under the last dictatorship changed my life the most. I would never have thought I would give an interview to a newspaper, or to speak in front of an audience bigger than my school class of 20 or 30 children. I would never have dreamt of it. Soon after the disappearance of my daughter, I joined a group of relatives of the desaparecidos with German origin, where I still work today. We still stick together, especially those who have been there from the beginning. Obviously some of them are no longer alive. Now I see it as one of my duties to get the two younger generations to work. There are only five or six left. But now the siblings and children of the disappeared have continued the work. Some are there already, along with two survivors of the secret detention camps who werent murdered. Did your commitment in the human rights movement help you cope with the pain that was caused by the disappearance of your daughter? I believe help is not quite the right word for it. But in every part of your life you should raise the question: what can, may or have I got to do? What are my

duties now? To me, since the disappearance of my daughter, the answer to those questions was simply the work in our group. And if after all those years and experiences - painful experiences - something stays that makes sense, then for me it is the duty not to remain silent but to insist on truth and justice. I know that I cant bring her back to life. But then I say to myself, I can and I must put things right, to help the lives of others! And this is only possible by upholding the memories of those that are not alive anymore and the experiences they went through. The published interview is a combination of two conversations that Wolfgang Kaleck and Gert Eisenbrger had with Ellen Marx. Wolfgang Kaleck pleaded the case of disappeared Nora Marx in German courts. Gert Eisenbrger is the responsible editor of the Informationsstelle Lateinamerika (ila) in Bonn. Original Interview in German. English Translation by: Christian Walburg and Lukas Theune.

of NATO and the European Court of Human Rights, the conference will be a unique platform to debate critical questions on the eve of NATOs 60th Anniversary Summit to take place in Strasbourg two days later and four months after the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration for Human Rights. The Conference will last for one day conference, with three panels and a keynote address. It will take place in the famous 18th century Salle Mozart, 1 rue du Miroir, in the heart of the city of Strasbourg (http:// from 9:00 AM until 5:00 PM. This conference is free and open to the public. For more information please contact: Claire Tixeire, E-mail:, Tel: +1 212-6146420.To register online go to

8:30 9:00: Registration and Breakfast Refreshments 9:00 9:15: Welcome and Introductory Note By Dan Van Raemdonck, Vice President of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) 9:15 11:05 PANEL # 1: NATOs Changing Roles in the Post-9/11 World Moderator: Alain Joxe, Study Director at lEcole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales and Director of CIRPES, Centre Interdisciplinaire de Recherches sur la Paix et dEtudes Stratgiques, Paris NATO Invoking Article 5 on September 12, 2001 By Edgar Buckley, Former NATO Assistant Secretary General for Defense Planning and Operations (1999 to 2003) NATO in Afghanistan - Problems of Command and Control By Otfried Nassauer, Founding Director of the Berlin Information-Center for Transatlantic Security (BITS) A Web of Secrets? NATO and the Diffusion of Secrecy Rules

Conference Announcements
Conference of the CCR, FIDH and ECCHR: 60/60 Years - NATO and Human Rights: Two Anniversaries, Two Celebrations? The Role of NATO Post-9/11 The conference on April 1, 2009 is jointly organized by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), based in New York, the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) based in Paris, and the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), based in Berlin. The purpose of the Conference is to discuss the nature and significance of NATOs commitment to international human rights and the rule of law. In particular, speakers will address NATOs changing role post-9/11 in the global context of the fight against terrorism, and, inter alia, examine NATOs role in the rendition of terrorist suspects to secret prisons and torture sites. With experienced and prestigious speakers ranging from academics, lawyers, and victims of human rights violations, to representatives

By Alasdair Roberts, Jerome L. Rappaport Professor of Law and Public Policy at Suffolk University Law School, USA NATO Post 9/11: The View from Moscow By Dr. Dimitri Danilov, Head of Department of European Security, Institute of Europe, Russian Academy of Science, Moscow 11:05 11:25 Break (with refreshments) 11:30 13:20: PANEL # 2: The Place of Human Rights and the Role of NATO in the Context of the War on Terror Moderator: Michael Ratner, President of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), New York Use of a NATO Framework for Renditions and Secret Detentions Operations in the War on Terror By Gavin Simpson, Human rights lawyer and investigator with One World Research, New York The International Legal Obligations of States in Respect of Secret Detention Facilities and InterState Transport of Prisoners By Giorgio Malinverni, Judge at the European Court of Human Rights, former member of the Venice Commission Voices from the Ground: NATOs Role in Afghanistan By Dr. Sima Samar, Chairwoman of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, former Minister of Womens Affairs for the Interim Administration of Afghanistan And by Yama Torabi, Representative of OPEN ASIA /Armanshahr, Afghanistan 13:20 14:35: Lunch Break 14:40 15:10: Discussion (including Q&A) with Maher Arar, Syrian-born Canadian citizen rendered and tortured as part of the U.S. extraordinary rendition program (Live via video conference) 15:15 15:35: Break (with refreshment) 15:40 17:40: PANEL # 3: 60 Years Later: Accountability and the Significance of NATOs Commitment to Human Rights

Moderator: Wolfgang Kaleck, Secretary General of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), Berlin Accountability for Human Rights Violations in a Time of Conflict: A European State Perspective By Phil Shiner, Attorney, Supervisor of Public Interest Lawyers (PIL), UK

Accountability of National Contingents and NATO to International Mechanisms By Francoise Hampson, Former expert on the U.N. Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights, Barrister and Professor of Law at the University of Essex, UK Arbitrary Detention and Detainee Abuse in Afghanistan By Pardiss Kebriaei, Attorney with the Guantanamo Global Justice Initiative at the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), New York An Overview of NATOs Guidelines and Response to Victims Rights Speaker soon to be confirmed, go to for updates End of Conference

Impunity for Torture: The longdesired end or continuity? How does the Obama administration deal with the crimes of the Bush era?
The conference on April 3, 2009 is jointly organized by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), the Republican Lawyers Association (RAV) and the working Group of Critical Lawyers (AKJ-Berlin) and will begin at 6:00 PM at Humboldt University of Berlin (Unter den Linden 6, 10099 Berlin, Main Building , 2. floor, Room 3075). Soon after his election, the new U.S. president Barack Obama made several decisions indicating discontinuity with the policies of his predecessor George W. Bush and honoring his pre-election promises. Among these decisions was the suspension of trials against terror suspects, the closing of the detention camp Guantanamo within one year and the closing of many secret prisons known as black-sites. Nevertheless, several questions remain unanswered. The fate of approximately 200 detainees still imprisoned in Guantanamo, as well as the scope of their right to demand a review of their detention through civil courts, remains unclear. Likewise, there have been no clarifications concerning the situation of detainees held captive in other detention facilities. Moreover, it is still undecided whether the Obama administration will try to investigate into the war crimes committed by the Bush administration through Truth Commissions and congressional hearings or whether the Bush administration will be held criminally responsible for their crimes. The speakers will discuss current legal and political developments in the U.S. and Europe: Michael Ratner, Attorney and President of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR), New York, Member of the Executive Board of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), Berlin

Pardiss Kebriaei, Attorney, Global Justice Initiative of the CCR, New York Andrea Wrdinger, Attorney, President of the Republican Lawyers Association (RAV), Berlin Wolfgang Kaleck, Attorney, Secretary-General of the ECCHR, Berlin Moderation: Carsten Gericke, Attorney, Executive Director of the RAV There will be time for further, informal discussions following the main event. No fee for admission to the discussion.

Lectures at US Law Schools

In the month of February 2009, Secretary General Wolfgang Kaleck was invited to make two guest presentations at law schools in the U.S. On February 6-7, 2009, Kaleck participated in the University of Michigan Law Schools 2009 Symposium: Territory without Boundaries. This two-day event brought together distinguished academics and guest speakers from across the U.S. and Europe to discuss many key issues in international law today. Some of the topics discussed included: Colonizing Natural Resources, Urban Territory in a Global World, and Immigration. Kaleck offered his expertise on the topic of Universal Jurisdiction. Following his visit to Michigan on February 10, Wolfgang Kaleck also held a lecture at the University of Notre Dame Law School entitled, The Case for War Crimes: Prosecution of Donald Rumsfeld et al. The presentation covered the cases the ECCHR filed before German and French Courts against former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and other Bush administration officials for their roles in the torture of prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.

Publisher: European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights Address: Greifswalder Strae 4 | D - 10405 Berlin Tel: +49 (0)30 400 485 90 | Fax: +49 (0)30 400 485 92 E-Mail: | Web: Editor: Kamil Majchrzak Layout: W3BUERO BERLIN | The ECCHR Newsletter appears several times a year in German and English. The Newsletter is distributed electronically. The ECCHR is registered as an association under German association law by the Berlin-Charlottenburg Regional Court and has received a tax-privileged purpose of only directly non-profit character.

The Human Rights work of the ECCHR needs your support. Please help us in the legal fight against grave human rights violations. The ECCHR is a member in the Human Rights Forum [Forum Menschenrechte] and the Coalitionagainst Impunity [Koalition gegen Straflosigkeit]. Donations are tax deductible. Donation Account: 74 877 48 000 Berliner Volksbank Bank Code: 100 900 00 IBAN: DE 54 1009 0000 7487 7480 00 BIC: BEVODEBB