Menu JTA Search

Wiesenthal Warns Against Statute of Limitations on Nazi War Crimes

Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal warned concentration camp survivors and their children here yesterday that thousands of mass murderers would “walk free” if the West German government allows the statute of limitations on Nazi war crimes to take effect on Dec 31, 1979, as presently scheduled.

Wiesenthal, who heads the Nazi war crimes documentation center in Vienna, spoke at the Far-band House. Most of his audience of more than 500 were young adults whose parents were concentration camp survivors. They comprise a group called “Generation After.” Wiesenthal is on a speaking tour of the U.S. and other countries as part of his campaign to persuade the West German parliament to extend the effective date of the statute of limitations or eliminate it altogether.

He said that if West Germany should “cease the search and prosecution of Nazi war criminals, thousands of those mass murderers of men, women and children will re-surface and walk free and even boast of their crimes in public, in West Germany and abroad. It will be an evil precedent for those and other mass murderers that after hiding successfully for a time they might eventually escape justice.”

Wiesenthal declared that “it is an insult, not only to the II million who died in Nazi concentration camps and gas chambers but to all civilized mankind.” He noted that the Organization of Survivors of Nazi Camps and Resistance Fighters has adopted a resolution introduced by its executive secretary, John Ramz, which says in part: “Therefore, the West German Parliament must extend the search and prosecution time indefinitely, as long as these criminals live. No statute of limitations — not ever.”

NEXT STORY