Wiesenthal Center Expands Hunt for Nazi War Criminals

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center is expanding its poster and reward campaign in Germany in its push to track down Nazi war criminals before it is too late, following a strong response to its initial launch.

The center's top Nazi-hunter, Efraim Zuroff, said Monday that Operation Last Chance II, launched in July, resulted in tips on 111 possible suspects from 19 countries.

"The response was way beyond anything we expected," he said in a telephone interview.

Germany had the largest number of potential suspects with 81, followed by the United States with eight and Canada with three, he said.

So far, four of the tips have developed into concrete cases being investigated by prosecutors in Germany, though no charges have yet been filed.

They include a Berlin man suspected of being a guard at the Dachau concentration camp outside Munich, and a woman suspected of being a guard at the Auschwitz death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland as well as in other camps, Zuroff said.

He would not provide further details on the suspects, citing the ongoing investigations.

The center is offering up to 25,000 euros ($34,000) for tips that lead to the arrest and conviction of war crimes suspects.

The campaign started with posters reading "late, but not too late" in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne. Now a further 2,500 posters are being displayed in Leipzig, Munich, Magdeburg, Rostock, Stuttgart, Dresden, Nuremberg and Frankfurt.

Efraim Zuroff, director of the Jerusalem Office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, November 25, 2013Credit: AFP

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