News Column

Nazi-hunters Start 'Last Chance' Campaign

July 23, 2013

Nazi-hunters launched a poster campaign Tuesday encouraging Germans to turn in elderly war criminals in their midst.

"Operation Last Chance" is headed by the Israel-based Simon Wiesenthal Center. The posters provide a toll-free telephone number and offer a reward of up to 25,000 euros (33,000 dollars) for information on Nazi war criminals who have not yet been tried.

The posters, presented in Berlin by Simon Wiesenthal director Efraim Zuroff, show a haunting black-and-white photo of a death camp with the words "Late. But not too late!" written in German.

The posters will stay on billboards for two weeks in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne.

Anyone who was adult during the Second World War would be at least 87 if they are still alive, and most of that generation is dead.

Zuroff estimated between 60 and 120 non-sentenced war criminals might still be living in Germany.

He said a stricter view by the German courts towards Nazi accused since the 2011 conviction of the late John Demjanjuk would make it easier to convict them.

It was now sufficient to prove that an accused had simply been among the personnel at death camps or in a mobile killing team to find them guilty of murder.

During a long series of war crimes trials in the first decades after the War, German courts would not convict without evidence of at least one specific killing.

The campaign has also been launched in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Poland, Romania, Austria, Croatia and Hungary.

Source: Copyright 2013 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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