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Top 'Nazi-hunter' speaks in Los Angeles

July 29, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
With every passing year the search for Nazi war criminals and the effort to bring them to justice grows more urgent. One of the world's leading "Nazi-hunters" was at the Simon Wiesenthal Center Monday to talk about a new campaign to find those still alive.

Renee Firestone at the Simon Wiesenthal Center Monday remembered her sister who died at the Auschwitz concentration camp in World War II. She said she found and spoke with the German doctor who performed experiments on her.

"Doctor Munsch had no regrets when he talked to me," said Firestone. "He said to me, 'Well, we couldn't send your sister back to camp to tell everybody what they were doing, so we had to shoot her.' So they shot my 16-year-old sister."

Dr. Efraim Zuroff says it is now or never in the search for the last remaining Nazi war criminals. Zuroff is the chief "Nazi-hunter" at the Simon Wiesenthal Center. He was there Monday to talk about a project called "Operation Last Chance." He says there are about 60 or so Nazi criminals they want to find and prosecute.

"It's relatively easy to find them," said Zuroff. "We can even find the evidence against them. The biggest problem is to create political will to bring these people to justice where that political will does not exist."

Officials at the Wiesenthal Center say time is running out. They feel they have only two or three years to find these last remaining criminals.

Zuroff says that's because these men are in their 80s and 90s and some governments are hesitant to prosecute. This new campaign has put up posters in Germany offering a reward for information that leads to these suspects.

"I've never encountered a single case of a Nazi war criminal who ever expressed any regret or any remorse," said Zuroff. "On the contrary, quite a few of these people are only still too proud of what they did at that time."

Renee Firestone says for her searching for these last Nazi criminals will send a powerful message.

"To pursue these people, the world should know that criminals like this will be eventually hunted and captured," said Firestone.

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