HRW Expert With Nazi Artifacts Collection Suspended
15 September 2009 , 17:18
Marc Galasco has been suspended by HRW following the discovery of his avid interest in Nazi memorabilia. Photo: HRW Website
Marc Garlasco has been suspended by HRW following the discovery of his avid interest in Nazi memorabilia

Channa Reisin

On Monday (Sept. 14), Marc Garlasco, a senior military expert for the organization Human Rights Watch (HRW), was suspended from his position, after it was discovered that he is a passionate collector of Nazi memorabilia.

Garlasco, who calls himself a military geek, joined Human Rights Watch after a career as a defense intelligence professional in the Pentagon. In his position as military analyst at HRW, he repeatedly harshly criticized Israel for committing war crimes during the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead. Following these reports, Israel has accused Garlasco of paying disproportionate attention to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, while turning a blind eye on human rights violations in Arab countries, and of basing his accusations solely on Palestinian eye-witness evidence.

Last Tuesday (Sept. 8), Omri Ceren, author of the web blog Mere Rhetoric, had published an entry on his website revealing that the harsh Israel critic Garlasco is also a very knowledgeable collector of Nazi artifacts. During his online research the blogger uncovered Garlascos frequent activity in forums for collectors of Nazi medals. Garlasco has also published a book on the subject, called The Flak Badges of the Luftwaffe and Heer, which is advertised on as the result of years of study by one of the leading experts on the Flak Badges of the Wehrmacht. 

Following these revelations, HRW denied any influence Garlascos fondness for Nazi memorabilia might have on his work for the organization. Nevertheless, Garlasco has been currently suspended pending an investigation by HRW.

This newly uncovered information about the interest in Nazi artifacts of a senior HRW expert only adds to the recently discovered fundraising trip of HRW officials to Saudia Arabia highlighting HRW's battles with "pro-Israel pressure groups in the U.S., the European Union and the United Nations", and the statement written by Joe Stork, HRW deputy director for the Middle East, in the 1970s, openly supporting the Munich terror attack that killed eleven Israeli Olympics athletes in 1972, because it "provided an important boost in morale among Palestinians".