herald

Tuesday 17 October 2017

'Dozens of war-crime Nazis may still be alive'

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has identified dozens of former members of Nazi mobile death squads who might still be alive, and is pushing the German government for an investigation.

The centre's top Nazi hunter, Efraim Zuroff, said that in September he sent the German justice and interior ministries a list of 76 men and four women who served in the so-called Einsatzgruppen.

Mr Zuroff narrowed down the list of possible suspects by choosing the youngest from a list of 1,100 known to his organisation from an estimated 3,000 members of the death squads.

All 80 would be very old if still alive, with dates of birth between 1920 and 1924, he said.

"Time is running out," Mr Zuroff said. "Something has to be done."

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Germany's Justice Ministry said it had passed the details of the letter to the special federal prosecutors' office that investigates Nazi-era crimes.

The head of that office, Kurt Schrimm, said he has not yet received the new information.

The Einsatzgruppen followed Nazi troops as they battled their way eastwards in the early years of the war, rounding up and shooting Jews in the opening salvo of the Holocaust before the death camp system was up and running.

According to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, they had killed more than one million Soviet Jews and tens of thousands of others by spring 1943.

hnews@heald.ie

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