Poster campaign launched to find remaining Nazi war criminals

A poster campaign has been launched to bring to justice the last remaining Nazi war criminals before they die.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is using the posters to offer a reward of 25,000 euros (£21,500) as part of its Operation Last Chance II project.

The posters depict a black and white photo of the railway tracks leading into Auschwitz and say in German: ‘Late, but not too late. Millions of innocents were murdered by Nazi war criminals.

‘Some of the perpetrators are free and alive. Help us take them to court.’

Auschwitz, in occupied Poland, was the biggest Nazi death camp where more than 1.1million people, most of them Jews, were murdered.

Posters launched to hunt Nazi war criminals
Efraim Zuroff said old age should not prevent prosecution of Nazis (Picture: AP)

The centre’s chief Nazi-hunter Efraim Zuroff and director of its Israel branch said to the campaign was launched after the conviction of John Demjanjuk for serving as an SS guard at the Sobibor death camp.

‘Ivan Demjanjuk was the first Holocaust perpetrator to be convicted in Germany in decades solely on the basis of his service in a death camp,’ said Dr Zuroff.

Demjanjuk’s conviction, he said, paved the way for the prosecution of others who served at death camps as well as the Einsatzgruppen, or mobile killing units, which hunted Jews in areas occupied by the Germans.

Dr Zuroff estimated there are still about 60 people alive in Germany who are fit to stand trial for the crimes they allegedly committed.

He explained the poster campaign in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne is an appeal to people who can help them identify or find them while they can still be brought to justice,.

Posters launched to hunt Nazi war criminals
Dr Zuroff holds up a document with pictures of Nazi war criminal Aribert Heim, who is on the centre’s wanted list (Picture: Reuters)

Dr Zuroff added: ‘And in response to those who question the value of bringing elderly Nzai war criminals to justice, it is important to remember that the passage of time in no way diminishes the guilt of the killers.

‘Old age should not afford immunity to murderers. Every one of the Nazis’ victims deserves that an effort be made to hold their killers accountable.

‘This on-going effort is a reminder of the importance of Holocaust crimes and a warning to contemporary anti-Semites and racists.

‘These trials are helpful in the on-going struggle against Holocaust denial and distortion.’

In May, 93-year-old Hans Lipschis, an alleged former guard at the Auschwitz extermination camp, was arrested in southern Germany.

Prosecutors concluded there was ‘compelling evidence’ that he had been complicit in murder.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is named after an architectural engineer and Austrian Jew who lost family members in the Holocaust, and later pledged to hunt down Nazis and bring them to justice

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