Mark Gould said former Nazi officer Bernard Frank, 97, was responsible for issuing orders on July 28, 1941 that prompted the Nazi special police to attack the village of Korets in Ukraine, The New York Times reported Wednesday.
Gould told the Times he can provide documentary proof that Frank played a central role in the administration of the earliest days of the Holocaust while serving as a desk officer.
Frank, who published a book about his Nazi career, is not in hiding and is not regarded as a war criminal by German authorities.
During World War II he served in a senior position on the administrative staff of Heinrich Himmler, the second most powerful man in Nazi Germany.
Leading Nazi hunters question Gould's claim saying it has long been known that Frank, a linguist, signed the 1941 document credited with laying the groundwork for Hitler's "final solution," the New York Daily News reported.
However, they said his signature only confirmed that the document's language conformed with Nazi ideology.
"He's attributed with far more responsibility and criminal guilt than he actually deserves," said Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.
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