Over the past several weeks The Post has carried the story of the Office of Special Investigations' prosecution of my father, Martin Bartesch. The misquotes and false allegations have been so great that what most Americans now know is a gross distortion of the truth and equals the disinformation campaigns of the KGB. Some of the falsehoods that have appeared in print:
It is alleged that Martin Bartesch lied on his immigration form. He didn't lie -- his immigration form clearly states his service in the S.S. in 1943-45. He did serve in the Prinz Eugene division. His only oversight was to not list his duty as guard at Mauthausen for three weeks. A questionable oversight, not a lie.
It is alleged that my father fled the country to avoid prosecution. He didn't flee but left as a free man with a valid U.S. passport, with full knowledge and consent from the government. He left willfully to avoid financial ruin from a trial which, under the Holtzman Amendment, would have been grossly unfair and therefore impossible to win.
It is alleged that he is accused of murder. As a guard, his duty was to shoot at escaping prisoners. He shot an escaping convicted felon. The Wehrmacht penal code clearly stated that failure to perform duties would result in execution. This is exactly the command that the American GIs had who did shoot and did kill escaping Japanese from our internment camps.
It is alleged that my father assisted in the persecution of the Jews. His only guard duties before fighting on the Russian front were at labor camps that contained prisoners of war, resistance fighters and convicted felons. It is a known fact that the subcamps where my father was stationed had very few Jews and no women and children. Most of the deaths at Mauthausen occurred at the end of the war, long after my father left in October 1943.
Martin Bartesch committed no war crimes -- the OSI knows this. The complaint against him never even mentioned any war crimes. Again, his only "crime" was a questionable immigration infraction.
These are not all, but certainly the biggest of the falsehoods presented in my father's case. What the OSI did to my father was unfair, cruel, immoral and very un-American. It is appalling that the media acted as a free public relations vehicle for the OSI to spread its lies. HEINZ H. BARTESCH Corte Madera, Calif.