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Some nations unsupportive of Nazi hunters

Nov. 20, 2009 at 1:44 PM   |   Comments

LOS ANGELES, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- An official of a Nazi-hunter organization in Los Angeles said it is irrelevant that remaining Nazis are old and feeble; they should be brought to justice.

Efraim Zuroff, a historian and chief investigator of Nazi war criminals at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said there are still three to five years left to pursue and bring to trial those alleged to have committed atrocities during World War II before they've died off, the Los Angeles Daily News reported Thursday.

Some may say the Nazi fugitives, at their advanced age, are not worth prosecuting, but they have lived their full lives, while their victims did not, said Rabbi Marvin Hier, the center's founder and dean.

"As long as a Nazi war criminal is still alive, they should know that there's someone looking for them. When you hunt a Nazi war criminal, all Nazi war criminals in the world feel vulnerable," Hier said.

Zuroff said it's not that difficult to find the suspected war criminals or evidence against them.

"What is incredibly hard is to get countries that are reluctant to bring Nazi war criminals to justice, to do the right thing and to bring them to trial," Zuroff said.

The countries that have been least cooperative are Australia, Austria, Estonia, Hungary, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, Syria, Ukraine and Canada, the Daily News said.

The United States has helped bring 37 of the 82 war criminal convictions internationally, while stripping 75 Nazis of their citizenship and deporting 56, the newspaper said.

© 2009 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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