Monday, October 31, 2005

Where is Boris Weisfeiler?

UPDATE!! Olga Weisfeiler and her daughter Anna are heading to Chile in March of 2006. Armed with new correspondence signed by 27 American legislators, they will meet with new President Bachelet to discuss gaining more information about about Boris' fate... Only continued public pressure will get them the information they need. Please keep up your support - more to come after the trip!

Though decades have passed, there is no end to this mystery. Jewish, Russian-born mathematics professor Boris Weisfeiler spent his holidays on tours we would all love to take. Solo hikes through the most desolate but beautiful parts of the world, Boris was an experienced hiker, swimmer, and survivalist. He emigrated to the U.S. in the 1980s and performed remarkable mathematical theoretical work at the Pennsylvania State University. Over Christmas of 1984, he decided to hike the Andes.

He hasn't been heard from since.

Credit card records show that Boris spent time in the south of Chile, and shared with a hotel employee his plans to hike near Parral, and to trek the beautiful mountains that make the border of Chile and Argentina. Unfortunately, circumstances were against him. On that border, that border patrolled by hyper-paranoid anti-Communist Pinochet soldiers, lay an enclave of reconstructed Nazis. Known to the CIA to be training Pinochet men in torture and interrogation, war criminals from WWII frequented the site, called Colonia Dignidad. And around its perimeter was where Boris Weisfeiler walked.

The U.S. State Department, not wanting to disrupt an ally in the anti-Communist movement, made diplomatic requests but never pushed the Chilean government to locate Boris. As time went by, escapees described the torture they endured at the hands of the Colonia inhabitants - and some thought they had seen Weisfeiler, starving and living in slavery.

So why won't anyone help?

That's the million dollar question. Boris' sister Olga came to the U.S. not long after his disappearance, and has made it her life's mission to determine his fate. She has travelled to Chile on more than four occasions, met with Ambassadors, agents, officials, judges, and more. The case has been profiled in the media, including on the front page of the New York Times. And still, no one has answers.

Of late, the former leader of the Colonia, Paul Shaeffer, has been arrested on child molestation charges. The Colonia, now called Villa Bavaria, is in disarray - and the Chilean government plans to excavate areas that are suspected to be corpse dumping grounds. Jewelry, papers and other possessions have been discovered on the Colonia grounds, and worse is expected to turn up.

The only way that Olga will determine what happened to her brother - and the U.S. will stand up and do the right thing in resolving what happened to one of its citizens - is with more and more pressure. The arrest of Pinochet and others is a start, but the coverup must end. The CIA and the State Department must once and for all tell what they know and come forward with whatever misdeeds they were involved in. Remember, this was an American citizen that was left to die a tortured, slow death - and if it happened to him, it can happen to any of us. You think the U.S. will rescue one of its own, who was accused of no wrongdoing in a peaceful, allied country - but State Department documents show that they took no steps whatsoever to recover Boris Weisfeiler.

Please visit and read more, about Boris, his life, his disappearance, and his sister's courageous battle. Write letters to your Senators and Congressmen, to the President, to the Secretary of State - and tell them that their inaction is unacceptable. If you take a moment to put yourself in her shoes, imagine what life is like for Olga Weisfeiler. Every day, she wakes up, not knowing, hoping, that someone, somewhere in the world can tell her something about her brother. Now help make it happen.


Blogger Sanford said...

Arlene - FYI - movement has been going on recently. Check out for more details.

4:10 PM  

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