Nazi hunter pushes for new probe of Einsatzgruppen

Says time is running out to bring to justice members of death squad

By David Rising
Associated Press

BERLIN (AP) - The Simon Wiesenthal Center has identified dozens of former members of Nazi mobile death squads who might still be alive, and is pushing the German government for an investigation, The Associated Press has learned.

The Wiesenthal Center's top Nazi hunter, Efraim Zuroff, told the AP on Wednesday that in September he sent the German justice and interior ministries a list of 76 men and four women who served in the so-called Einsatzgruppen.

The Einsatzgruppen, made up of primarily SS and police personnel, followed Nazi Germany's troops as they battled their way eastward in the early years of the war, rounding up and shooting Jews in the opening salvo of the Holocaust before the death camp system was up and running.

According to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, they had killed more than a million Soviet Jews and tens of thousands of others by spring 1943.

Zuroff narrowed down the list of possible suspects by choosing the youngest from a list of some 1,100 with dates of birth known to his organization, from the estimated 3,000 members of the death squads.

All 80 would be very old if still alive, born between 1920 and 1924, Zuroff said.

"Time is running out," he said in a telephone interview from Jerusalem. "Something has to be done."

Because of Germany's strict privacy laws, the Wiesenthal Center has been unable to confirm where the suspects live, but Zuroff said that task, and determining if they're still alive, should be relatively easy for police or prosecutors.

Published: Thu, Oct 02, 2014

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