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Wiesenthal Center to Turn over to Australia Names of Some 200 Nazi War Criminals Living in That Coun

Rabbi Marvin Hier, dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, announced Wednesday that the Center has given the Australian government a list of 40 names of Nazi war criminals suspected to be living in Australia. Hier said the Center will turn over an additional 150 names of suspected Nazi war criminals to the Australian government within a few weeks.

Hier, who made the announcement at a press conference, said the Center’s recent discovery of a new source of information on Nazis who fled Europe after World War II and settled in various countries around the world marked “the beginning of a new age in the search for Nazi war criminals.”

Although Hier would not be specific about how or where the Center gained access to the data, he did say that based on the new information, the Center will be able to turn over lists of 3,000 to 5,000 names of Nazi war criminals who are living in various countries to the governments within the next six months.

AUSTRALIA TO INVESTIGATE THE LIST

The Australian government has informed the Wiesenthal Center that it will investigate the lists, Hier said. He noted that Australia has never extradited nor prosecuted a Nazi war criminal.

The initial list of 40 names, according to Hier, identifies primarily Latvian and Lithuanian collaborators who had not changed their identities after leaving Eastern Europe. He said the war criminals from this region retained their names because the Berlin Documentation Center, an extensive archive on Nazi war criminals and collaborators, lacks records on Latvian and Lithuanian collaborators.

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