Baltic States Get 'F' From Nazi-Hunting Group

Fail To Enforce Laws — Scandinavians and Hungary Also Lag

Mixed Bag: A new report praises the U.S. and Germany, which won a conviction of death camp guard John Demjanjuk, for their Nazi-hunting efforts. But it had harsh words for other states.
getty images
Mixed Bag: A new report praises the U.S. and Germany, which won a conviction of death camp guard John Demjanjuk, for their Nazi-hunting efforts. But it had harsh words for other states.

By JTA

Published April 28, 2014.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Germany has earned praise for its Nazi-hunting efforts in an annual report from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Sweden, Norway and several other European countries continue to fail miserably, however, according to Efraim Zuroff, the organization’s chief Nazi hunter.

According to the center’s 13th annual Status Report on the Worldwide Investigation and Prosecution of Nazi War Criminals, released Sunday in advance of Holocaust Remembrance Day, Germany and the United States both get “A” grades for “taking a proactive stance on” prosecuting the last living perpetrators of the the Holocaust.

Norway and Sweden got “Fs” because, though both countries lifted statutes of limitations against prosecution for war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity in recent years, the new rules don’t apply retroactively.

Several other countries – Austria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania – got Fs because they failed to apply their existing strong laws, Zuroff said.

“In a certain sense it is worse,” he told JTA, “because they are able to do it, they have the legal framework but choose not to.”

Germany stepped up its efforts as a result of the 2011 conviction in Munich of John Demjanjuk as an accessory to tens of thousands of murders in the Sobibor death camp. The conviction, which was on appeal when Demjanjuk died in March 2012, opened the door for murder prosecution for anyone proven to have been a death camp guard.

Since then, several alleged guards have been arrested, and trials are being prepared in some cases, while in others the individuals have either died or been deemed unfit to stand trial.

“The new German initiative is the most dramatic development in the hunt for Nazi war criminals in several decades,” Zuroff told JTA. It is “a very welcome step in the efforts to achieve maximum justice while it is still possible to do so.”

The center’s findings cover the period from April 1, 2013 until March 31, 2014 and awarded grades ranging from A (highest) to F to evaluate more than three dozen countries that were either the site of Nazi crimes or admitted Holocaust perpetrators after World War II.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • "We will do what we must to protect our people. We have that right. We are not less deserving of life and quiet than anyone else. No more apologies."
  • "Woody Allen should have quit while he was ahead." Ezra Glinter's review of "Magic in the Moonlight": http://jd.fo/f4Q1Q
  • Jon Stewart responds to his critics: “Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this. But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”
  • "My bat mitzvah party took place in our living room. There were only a few Jewish kids there, and only one from my Sunday school class. She sat in the corner, wearing the right clothes, asking her mom when they could go." The latest in our Promised Lands series — what state should we visit next?
  • Former Israeli National Security Advisor Yaakov Amidror: “A cease-fire will mean that anytime Hamas wants to fight it can. Occupation of Gaza will bring longer-term quiet, but the price will be very high.” What do you think?
  • Should couples sign a pre-pregnancy contract, outlining how caring for the infant will be equally divided between the two parties involved? Just think of it as a ketubah for expectant parents:
  • Many #Israelis can't make it to bomb shelters in time. One of them is Amos Oz.
  • According to Israeli professor Mordechai Kedar, “the only thing that can deter terrorists, like those who kidnapped the children and killed them, is the knowledge that their sister or their mother will be raped."
  • Why does ultra-Orthodox group Agudath Israel of America receive its largest donation from the majority owners of Walmart? Find out here: http://jd.fo/q4XfI
  • Woody Allen on the situation in #Gaza: It's “a terrible, tragic thing. Innocent lives are lost left and right, and it’s a horrible situation that eventually has to right itself.”
  • "Mark your calendars: It was on Sunday, July 20, that the momentum turned against Israel." J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis on Israel's ground operation in Gaza:
  • What do you think?
  • "To everyone who is reading this article and saying, “Yes, but… Hamas,” I would ask you to just stop with the “buts.” Take a single moment and allow yourself to feel this tremendous loss. Lay down your arms and grieve for the children of Gaza."
  • Professor Dan Markel, 41 years old, was found shot and killed in his Tallahassee home on Friday. Jay Michaelson can't explain the death, just grieve for it.
  • Employees complained that the food they received to end the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan was not enough (no non-kosher food is allowed in the plant). The next day, they were dismissed.
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.