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Nazi hunt races against time

Dec. 15, 2011 at 11:40 AM
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BERLIN, Dec. 15 (UPI) -- Nazi hunters are racing against time to bring remaining war criminals to justice in Germany, The Simon Wiesenthal Center said.

Efraim Zuroff, the organization's chief Nazi hunter, said Operation Last Chance II is offering up to $32,000 for the arrest and successful prosecution of Nazi war criminals -- $6,500 for an indictment, $6,500 for a conviction and $130 for each day the person spends in jail, up to 150 days, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency reported Thursday.

A hot line has also been established in Germany -- +49 1572 494-7407 -- Zuroff said Wednesday at a news conference hosted by the German government in Berlin.

Zuroff said he's running out of time to capture the killers, as most would be in their 80s and 90s by now.

"The passage of time in no way relieves the guilt of the killers," said Zuroff. "Turning 90 doesn't make a murderer into a righteous gentile."

The center said the precedent set by the conviction of Nazi death camp guard Ivan "John" Demjanjuk this past May will allow prosecutors to go after similar cases where evidence of specific crimes may be lacking, The Jerusalem Post reported.

"The Demjanjuk conviction at long last enables the prosecution of individuals who were active participants in the mass murder of Jews on practically a daily basis for extended periods of time, but for legal reasons could not be prosecuted for their crimes," Zuroff said.

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