LOS ANGELES (Aug. 20)
A project designed to help identify potential witnesses for the trials of Nazi war criminals in the United States has been launched by the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies at Yeshiva University of Los Angeles, it was announced by Efraim Zuroff, Center director and coordinator of the project.
Undertaken in response to requests for help in finding witnesses by Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal and the Special Litigation Unit of the Justice Department, the project is designed to compile a comprehensive registry of the Holocaust survivors living in this country, with up-to-date information on their whereabouts and complete details on their war-time experiences. A special effort will be made to attain information on recent arrivals from the Soviet Union, a hereto inaccessible source of information, Zuroff noted.
He said that “it has become obvious that there is an urgent need to identify potential witnesses as soon as possible in order to ensure that these criminals could be brought to trial.” Zuroff added, “Most of the potential witnesses were killed during the Holocaust and in the course of the past 34 years many others have passed away, leaving very few people able to testify, a fact which seriously jeopardizes the efforts to bring these criminals to trial.” The information gathered will be computerized and made available to judicial authorities around the world.