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Nazi hunters

Nazi hunters from Simon Wiesenthal to Efraim Zuroff.
Latest hand-picked WWII news. See also: Most wanted Nazis, Nazi Memorabilia, Rings & relics of nazi leaders, Aribert Heim, How nazis escaped, Nazi Guards, WW2 tour, Nazi Helmets, John Demjanjuk.

Simon Wiesenthal Center renews Nazi hunt with Operation Last Chance II - Offers cash rewards
The Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) wants to hunt down men who served in Nazi death camps and the Einsatzgruppen (special mobile killing units). The group launched its renewed drive "Operation Last Chance II" at a press conference in Germany. SWC offered cash rewards for anyone with information leading to arrest and conviction of Nazi criminals. SWC will give 5,000 euros upon indictment of the suspect, 5,000 euros upon conviction and 100 euros a day for the first 150 days of imprisonment of the criminal.
(digitaljournal.com)

Documentary film: Elusive Justice: The Hunt for Nazi War Criminals
"Elusive Justice," a fascinating and sometimes depressing documentary film on the fate of Nazi criminals after World War II, raises unavoidable questions about our whole concept of justice and revenge. The premise is that only "a sliver" of Germans who committed war crimes and crimes against humanity were ever held to account for it. Many Nazis who slaughtered civilians, or took an active managerial role in carrying out the Holocaust, slipped away after the war and lived long lives under assumed names in faraway places like Argentina and the United States.
(nydailynews.com)

The Auschwitz Files: Why to Prosecute Lower-Level Officials
Polish authorities recently reopened the investigation into crimes committed at Auschwitz-Birkenau. The investigation was shelved in the 1980s because it was too difficult to complete under the Communist regime at the time. While many people are discounting this investigation because of its predicted inability to secure convictions, mere exploration into the war crimes of World War II could be enough to demonstrate that committing horrific offenses as a result of following orders is not pardonable.
(policymic.com)

Director John Madden`s Nazi hunter film "The Debt" to be released on August 31 2011
John Madden, the director of "The Debt," a Nazi-hunter movie which will open August 31, could not have planned the release any better. The movie, which arrives on the heels of the assassination of Osama bin Laden, concerns three Mossad secret agents who become iconic figures for having hunted down and killed a Nazi war criminal. The plot alternates between the 1960s, and the late 1990s, when the three are confronted by unexpected and unsettling events.

See the official trailer on Youtube.
(jewishjournal.com)

Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff tracks Hitler`s henchmen from the jungles of Brazil to a flat in Germany
AS the world`s only full-time Nazi hunter, Efraim Zuroff has a unique job. Whether skulking in the jungles of Brazil or on the pampas of Argentina, in a retirement home in Austria or a flat in Germany, Zuroff has a simple message for the Hitler`s henchmen: "There is no hiding place."

"There are hundreds, maybe thousands, Nazis still out there and the Demjanjuk verdict makes it plain that with a will, we can try to get them into court and we can prosecute them for their crimes. I welcome this sea change in the attitude of German prosecutors. For so long after the war German justice was erratic. Some got tried, most got away."
(scotsman.com)

Nazi hunter Tuviah Friedman tracked down, tortured and killed Nazis
Tuviah Friedman, who hunted Nazis as part of a militia in the postwar Poland, has passed away at the age of 88. Earning the ominous nickname "the Merciless One", he tracked down, captured, tortured and killed Nazis as he sought to avenge the deaths of every member of his family except for his sister, Bella. In 1945 he once even posed as a captured Nazi officer wearing a tattered SS jacket to find the SS operative Konrad Buchmayer in a POW camp.

Friedman`s memoirs - The Hunter - were published in 1961.
(nytimes.com)

Nazi hunter Tuviah Friedman helped to locate Adolf Eichmann
Tuviah Friedman, a Nazi hunter and director of the Institute for the Documentation of Nazi War Crimes in Haifa, has passed away at the age of 88. Both Friedman - whose autobiography is named "The Hunter" - and Simon Wiesenthal, who was a much more self-promoting Nazi hunter, contributed to the locating and capturing of Adolf Eichmann. His career in Nazi hunting began in 1945, when Soviet and Polish authorities sent him to inspect an abandoned Nazi facility near Danzig:

"One room was filled with naked corpses. Another room was filled with boards on which were stretched human skins. Nearby was a smaller building, with a heavy padlock. We broke in and found an oven in which the Germans had experimented in the manufacture of soap, using human fat as raw material."
(washingtonpost.com)

Simon Wiesenthal Center: Number of Nazi cases increased in 2010 (includes chart of ongoing Nazi cases per country)
From April 2009 to March 2010 there were 852 Nazi cases open globally, compared with 706 during the previous period, reveals a report by the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC). Unprecedentedly, the A-grade for Nazi hunting didn`t go to the United States this time, thanks to Germany`s high rate of Nazi prosecutions. Now that John Demjanjuk is on trial, Hungarian police captain Sandor Kepiro has the questionable honor to lead the top 10 most wanted Nazis list.
(bbc.co.uk)

Nazi hunter`s questionable methods: Tom Segev`s critical Simon Wiesenthal biography
Simon Wiesenthal was the world`s best-known Nazi hunter, but he also used questionable methods: He took credit for the achievements of others, and antagonized many people who shared his goals. This dark side of Wiesenthal is revealed in "Simon Wiesenthal: The Life and Legends," a biography by Israeli historian Tom Segev. Wiesenthal had a "soaring ego" and a harmful "tendency to fantasize" - and he also harassed other Nazi hunters, for example, he told West German authorities that Nazi hunter Beate Klarsfeld was working for the Stasi (East Germany`s secret police) - without any evidence for the claim.
(spiegel.de)

Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal was a Mossad agent, claims new biography
Simon Wiesenthal, who spent his life tracking down Nazi war criminals, was seen as a one-man organization. But documents from his estate show he was a Mossad agent. "Simon Wiesenthal: The Life and Legends," by Tom Segev, reveals that the Mossad him $300 a month. When Israel was established, Wiesenthal was enlisted to work with the Mossad`s predecessor, the Foreign Ministry`s "state department." Though he was not Israeli, he had an Israeli passport. In 1948, the department sent 3 agents to Austria to capture Adolf Eichmann. With Wiesenthal`s help the agents lay in wait for Eichmann in Altaussee, but Eichmann never turned up.
(haaretz.com)

Hunting Evil: The Nazi War Criminals Who Escaped and the Quest to Bring Them to Justice by Guy Walters (WW2 book review)
Over 60 years after the end of World War II, there are still Nazi mass murderers and Nazi guards among us who have escaped justice. The book reveals how Hitler`s henchman Martin Bormann was thought to be living in South America long after his actual death. Bormann was reported dead by the Hitler Youth leader Artur Axmann, who escaped with him from Hitler`s fuehrerbunker in 1945 and saw Bormann dead. Yet nobody believed it. The body of the Gestapo chief Heinrich Müller was found with his id papers near the Reich Chancellery and laid to rest in a mass grave - but many still claim his disappearance is a WW2 mystery.
(telegraph.co.uk)

Eli Rosenbaum: The last Nazi Hunter in the U.S. (includes a photo list of 21 nazis captured in the U.S.)
Federal prosecutor Eli M. Rosenbaum is hunting mass murderers, but there is no crime scene, the witnesses are long dead, and the evidence is scattered worldwide. As the director of the U.S. Department of Justice`s Office of Special Investigations (OSI), he is America`s chief Nazi hunter. --- The list of the Nazis captured in the US include: two female Nazi guards who served at the Ravensbruck (Hermine Braunsteiner Ryan and Elfriede Rinkel), Viorel Trifa (a member of the Iron Guard, a Romanian fascist organization), Johann Breyer (SS guard), Hubertus Strughold (physician linked to medical experiments at Dachau), Liudas Kairys (SS commander at the Treblinka)...
(parade.com)

Heinrich Boere, 88-year-old wheelchair-bound SS officer, sentenced to life imprisonment
The state court in Aachen has handed down a verdict of life imprisonment to Heinrich Boere on 3 counts of murder. Boere, a SS hit man now wheelchair-bound, has on several occasions admitted the murders. Boere recalled how he and another SS man wore civilian clothes during visits to the people opposing the Nazis. After asking them if they were in fact the persons sought, the SS men shot them point blank with silenced pistols. Boere explained that, as a soldier, he was just following the orders of his superior officers.
(dw-world.de)

The success and regrets of Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff
Asked if a photographer can take a few shots, Zuroff replies: "So long as it`s just pictures. There are people who want to take other kinds of shots at me." The biggest obstacle to prosecution of Nazi war criminals is not finding them, but lack of political will. He compares a serial killer with a war criminal: The serial killer is a threat to the public and will be chased, but the latter may have been a good citizen ever since the war. "The real name that I should have is not Nazi hunter, but truth warrior. It wasn`t Germany and Austria against the Jews, it was Europe against the Jews."
(bbc.co.uk)

Heinrich Boere, a member of Nazi SS death squad, admits killing 3 Dutch civilians in 1944
A member of the Nazi SS has admitted in court that he killed 3 Dutch civilians in 1944, but said he was following orders. Wheelchair-bound Heinrich Boere told he had killed a bicycle-shop owner, a pharmacist and a resistance member as part of an SS death squad. "I knew that if I didn`t carry out my orders I would be breaking my oath and would be shot myself. At no time in 1944 did I act with the feeling that I was committing a crime. Today... I naturally see things from a different perspective." He joined the Waffen SS at 18, and after seeing combat on the eastern front, he ended up back in the Netherlands as part of the SS Silbertanne (Silver Pine) death squad.
(bbc.co.uk)

Nazi War Criminal Klaas F. eludes German justice system, enjoys a peaceful old age
The suspected Nazi war criminal Klaas F. is enjoying a quiet life in Bavaria. While some ex Nazis are facing trial, the 87-year-old Waffen-SS volunteer has sneaked through the cracks in the German justice system. Neighbor said Klaas F. and his wife were nice people, they kept themselves but were very decent. "He can tell you the rest himself." But Klaas F. remained silent. He must have his reasons, one of them may be that Klaas F. ranks number 5 on the Simon Wiesenthal Center`s list of the 10 most wanted Nazis. In 1947, F. was sentenced by a Dutch court to life in prison for several murders. But he escaped with a gang of fellow inmates and fled into Germany.
(spiegel.de)

Simon Wiesenthal caught fewer war criminals than he claimed and fabricated his Holocaust story
Simon Wiesenthal`s name is synonymous with Nazi hunting, but Guy Walters - about to publish his book "Hunting Evil" - claims the Nazi hunter caught fewer war criminals than he claimed and made up much of his Holocaust story. Wiesenthal lied repeatedly about his supposed hunt for Eichmann as well as his other Nazi-hunting feats - not to mention his stories about his war years and false claims about his academic career. The famous story of his amazing escape in 1941 seems to be a complete fiction - and he never was in 13 Nazi camps, only in 6. He miraculously survived with 200 calories a day - and made it through the death marches with infected leg.
(timesonline.co.uk)

German authorities investigating SS suspect in World War II massacre
German authorities in North Rhine-Westphalia have raided the residence of a member of the SS suspected of participating in a massacre in Austria in March 1945. They are now assessing seized documents as part of their probe into his involvement in the massacre in the village of Deutsch Schuetzen. The man, identified only as Adolf S., is suspected of being one of three SS men who killed 60 Hungarian-Jewish slave laborers. Dortmund prosecutor Ulrich Maass has found several witnesses to the massacre who were still alive, including members of the Hitler Youth.
(expatica.com)

Nazi hunters fault Australia, Hungary for failing to investigate Nazi war criminals
Australia, Hungary, Lithuania, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia and Ukraine are failing to investigate and prosecute Nazi war criminals mostly due to a lack of political will, states the annual (April 2007 - March 2008) report by the Simon Wiesenthal Center. The report said Australia admitted at least several hundred Nazi war criminals and collaborators but has failed to take successful legal action against a single one. The report also criticised Norway, Sweden and Syria, saying they refuse in principle to investigate and prosecute suspected Nazi war criminals because of legal or ideological limitations.
(eurojewcong.org)

Student tracks down a Waffen SS man, suspected of Nazi war crimes
The member of the Waffen SS, whose name cannot be disclosed, is accused of taking part in the murder of 60 Jewish slave workers in 1945. The massacre happened in Deutsch Schuetzen in Austria and the victims were buried in a mass grave, which was discovered in 1995. The name of the man first occurred in a trial in 1946, where witnesses claimed he took part in the massacre, but he was not charged. Andreas Foster, 27, a student in Vienna, was researching the case for a project and got documents on the man from German archives. In later research two members of the Hitler Youth, who were convicted for their part in the massacre in 1946, confirmed they knew the man.
(telegraph.co.uk)

Now more historian than Nazi hunter, Kurt Schrimm keeps pursuing justice
The last Nazi war criminals and witnesses to their inhumanities are dying of old age. But the German office charged with preparing prosecutions of Nazi crimes has seldom been busier. "25 years ago we thought our work would be coming to an end now," said Kurt Schrimm, of Germany`s central office for the investigation of "National Socialist Crimes." With witnesses dying out, most of the tips are from documents. In the mid-1990s, Italian officials discovered a room full of Nazi war crime files - handed to the Italians for use in prosecutions but instead was locked away. Now the "Closet of Shame" is a major source of new prosecutions.
(chicagotribune.com)

Journalist Gustavo Sanchez tracked Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyon in 1983
After World War II many leading Nazis fled to South America. One of them was the head of the Gestapo in Lyon, a man responsible for the deportation of Jews to Auschwitz and the torture of members of the French Resistance. Hiding in Bolivia, Klaus Barbie, the Butcher of Lyon, changed his name to Klaus Altmann and made himself useful to drug lords and dictators. American intelligence officials helped Barbie, who was a kind of counter-intelligence official, to become established in Bolivia as part of their battle against communism. Bolivian journalist Gustavo Sanchez tells what happened when he tracked Barbie down in 1983.
(guardianweekly.co.uk)

Jonathan Silvers: Investigating Nazi war criminals for "Elusive Justice" -doc
At first sight Vladas Zajanckauskas looks like an American patriarch in his 90s. But Eli Rosenbaum claims that he was part of Nazi Germany`s extermination squads (the Einsatzgruppen), and was "a thrice-promoted, non-commissioned officer (NCO) at a school of mass murder". Zajanckauskas denies he was part of the squads or that he took part in the wipeout of the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto uprising. Ben Ferencz, the last living U.S. Nuremberg prosecutor, recites the Einsatzgruppen orders: "You will kill every Jewish man, woman and child... You do the same for the gypsies... for communist officials or anyone you suspect may pose a present or future threat to the Third Reich."
(bbc)

Nazi Hunters raise reward for information from $10,000 to $25,000
The Simon Wiesenthal Center has increased its reward for information resulting to the capture of Nazi war criminals from $10,000 to $25,000 under its "Operation Last Chance" campaign. "The cash offer has proven very successful because without it we wouldn`t have got one-hundredth of the attention that we got and it`s the media attention that ultimately yields the information." Zuroff said there were "at least dozens" of Nazi war criminals still alive in South America, but named Austria a "paradise for Nazi war criminals. Austria has the worst record. If you compare the number of people involved, the potential for prosecution and what`s been done."
(spiegel)

10 prominent cases cracked by American Nazi hunters   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Elfriede Rinkel: A female guard and dog-handler at the Ravensbrueck camp in Nazi Germany. -- Otto von Bolschwing: An SS officer who proposed an anti-Jewish pogrom to Adolf Eichmann. Worked for the CIA after WWII. -- Viorel Trifa: As leader of the student wing of the Romanian fascist Iron Guard. In America, he became archbishop of the Romanian Orthodox Episcopate of North America. --- Arthur L.H. Rudolph: Operations director of the Mittelwerk underground V-2 missile factory, at the Dora-Mittelbau. In the US, he worked on Army missile projects, and at NASA he was project director of the Saturn V rocket program.
(statesman)

I Have Never Forgotten You - The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal
Simon Wiesenthal spent over half a century tracking down Nazi war criminals in a quest to deliver justice. Now a film looks back on his journey from concentration camp survivor to world-renowned super-sleuth, examining the controversial man behind the headlines. Cut from thousands of hours of archive footage and interviews, "I Have Never Forgotten You - The Life and Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal" describes the personal suffering that motivated Wiesenthal to dedicate his life to the pursuit of his Nazi tormentors. The film also documents how Wiesenthal worked in pursuit of Adolf Eichmann.
(reuters)

Italy convicts 10 former members of the Nazi SS of massacre
Italy has sentenced 10 members of the 16th SS Division to life imprisonment for their role in the worst World War 2 massacre on Italian soil. The defendants, all in their 80s and believed to live in Germany, were tried in absentia. Between 29 Sept and 5 Oct, 1944, retreating Nazi troops carrying out reprisals for the local support given to resistance fighters killed civilians. The number of those killed in Marzabotto is put at more than 700, and some records say as many as 1,800 were killed by the SS forces as they swept the area in pursuit of partisans.
(bbc)

Intelligence officer who captured Nazi officers, including Hitler`s staff
Ernest Drucker struggles to create order out of memories he would rather forget. But about the U.S. soldier who was part of World War II`s D-day invasion and became a counterintelligence officer who captured Nazi officers, incl. members of Adolf Hitler`s personal staff. He is writing a book, trying to get it all down. With a staff of 10 men, he traveled the country chasing Hitler. "We captured many of Hitler`s personal staff. We thought maybe we could catch him, too. We really chased him, but he escaped to Berlin." His mementos, include pictures confiscated from Hitler`s staff photographer and a cue card for a speech that Hitler wrote on - worth $10,000.
(sptimes)

Indefatigable Nazi Hunter Elliot Welles dies
Elliot Welles spent the years after World War 2 as a hunter of Nazis, starting with the man who murdered his mother. For more than two decades he directed the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League’s task force on Nazi war criminals. Though he preferred to work out of the limelight, he was one of the key forces in identifying Nazis who had settled in the US. He was known for his work on the case of Boleslav Maikovskis, who had been charged with ordering the arrests that led to the execution of 200 Latvian villagers. Among the other cases was that of Josef Schwammberger, a Nazi labor camp commander who hid for 40 years in Argentina.
(nytimes)

100 Nazis uncovered by Nazi-hunting office in US
Painstaking scouring of historical records and an occasional lucky break have helped the US solve some of the coldest cases of the Hitler`s Nazi Regime and find more than 100 Nazi collaborators. The US cannot prosecute the cases, mainly because the events took place on foreign territory. But it can assist in the extradition of Nazis. "We found in the former Soviet Union and other communist countries a veritable treasure trove of evidence," said Eli Rosenbaum, director of the US Nazi-hunting Office.
(tvnz)

Nazi hunters id gendarmerie officer of Novi Sad massacre in 1942
The past caught up with Sandor Kepiro when Wiesenthal Center identified him as a person twice found guilty in atrocities committed by Hungarian forces during World War II. In wartime he was found guilty along with 14 other Hungarian Army and gendarmerie officers of taking part in the 1942 Novi Sad massacre, which took place over 3 days during which thousands were rounded up and shot by machine gun. Their bodies were then dumped into the frozen Danube waters, which had to be broken up by cannon fire. Although found guilty he was liberated by Hungary`s fascist regime in 1944 and fled to Argentina.
(iht)

WW2 accused hounded to death by Nazi hunters and media?   (Article no longer available from the original source)
A Melbourne man accused of war crimes during World War II was an innocent man hounded to death by Nazi hunters and the media, his son said. Lajos Polgar admitted he was a youth leader in the Arrow Cross party in Hungary, and he also worked as a secretary to a senior leader of the government, which ruled under German occupation from October 1944 to January 1945. The party was allied to the Nazis. Leading Nazi hunter Dr Efraim Zuroff had been investigating Mr Polgar`s past - he was disappointed that Mr Polgar died before he was thoroughly investigated. "It`s very frustrating, to put it mildly."
(warcrimes.info)

Footsteps and motives of Nazi Hunters
Two experiences after the war moved Wiesenthal to become a Nazi hunter, Efraim Zuroff said. After liberation, the Americans left in place a Polish prisoner that the Germans had given authority within the camp. The Polish camp boss, however, treated the Jews as harshly as ever. Seeing Wiesenthal, he said more with disappointment than surprise: "Simon, you’re still alive?" Soon he was contacted to retrieve some books and return them to their rightful place. An inscription in one of the books read: "If anyone finds this book, please give it to ... They are coming now to kill us. Do not forget our murderers."
(strausnews)

The world’s most famous living Nazi hunter - Serge Klarsfeld   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Serge Klarsfeld is probably the world’s most famous living Nazi hunter, credited with having brought to justice war criminals ranging from Maurice Papon to Klaus Barbie; convinced the president of France, Jacques Chirac, to acknowledge his country’s complicity in the deaths of some 80,000 Jews. Klarsfeld and his equally motivated wife, Beate, a German convert to Judaism, are best known for their quest in tracking down "desk murderers" – French and German officials who signed orders to arrest and deport Jews in France during the German occupation.
(cjnews)

Torture files uncovered - of the fascist Hungarian Arrow Cross   (Article no longer available from the original source)
Court papers detailing torture, rape and murder at the headquarters of a Nazi-aligned regime allegedly commanded by a Melbourne pensioner have been uncovered in Holocaust archives in Jerusalem. The testimonies of Holocaust survivors tortured in the basement of the Budapest headquarters of the fascist Hungarian Arrow Cross party back up the new evidence revealed this week. Included in the evidence sent to Budapest by the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Centre are several additional testimonies of survivors who gave evidence in the post-war trials of Arrow Cross officials.
(thecouriermail)

Yard reopens inquiry into former Nazi soldiers still alive in Britain
Scotland Yard has relaunched its search for war criminals almost seven years after its specialist Nazi-hunting unit was disbanded. The team is focusing on former members of a division of the Waffen SS which was recruited by the Nazis in the Ukraine and brought to Britain en masse to provide farm labour after the war. Home Office officials believe several hundred former members of the unit may still be living in the UK. The Guardian has identified and located more than a dozen survivors of the Galizien division. Most still live in small clusters in the East Midlands, Yorkshire and East Anglia, a short distance from the PoW camps where they arrived almost six decades ago.
(guardian)

Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal dies at 96
Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal has died aged 96. He was credited with helping to bring over 1,100 Nazi war criminals to justice in the decades after the genocide of the Jews in the Second World War. They included Adolf Eichmann, Hermine Ryan and Franz Stangl (commandant of the Treblinka and Sobibor Nazi death camps). Wiesenthal, who grew up in Ukraine, was a prisoner in the Mauthausen death camp when it was liberated by US troops in May 1945, but dozens of his family members (including his mother, stepfather and stepbrother) perished in the Holocaust.
(BBC)


See also:
Most wanted Nazis
Nazi Memorabilia
Rings & relics of nazi leaders
Aribert Heim
How nazis escaped
Nazi Guards
WW2 tour
Nazi Helmets
John Demjanjuk.