Under the motto "spat. But not too late! Operation last chance II" appeals since tuesday to the population: "some of the perpetrators are free and alive! Help us to bring them to justice."A total of 2000 posters will be hung up for two weeks in berlin, hamburg and koln.
A reward of up to 25,000 euros is offered for any relevant information. This also met with criticism. German-israeli historian michael wolffsohn rejected the "advertised bounty" as "impious and shameless. The poster campaign tends to evoke pity for the elderly war criminals, wolffsohn told deutschlandradio kultur.
The initiator of the campaign, efraim zuroff, justified it with the now easier prosecution of nazi criminals in germany. With the conviction of former concentration camp guard john demjanjuk in munich in 2011, the legal situation has changed, he said at the launch of the poster campaign in berlin. Now enough proof that people had served in extermination camps and mobile murder squads.
Previously, it was always necessary to prove a specific crime against a specific person.
Zuroff estimated the number of living nazi criminals in germany at between 60 and 120. The wanted men were allowed to be around 90 years old or older. Their old age should not protect them from being held responsible for their crimes. They had murdered innocent people. "They have no sympathy for the victims," zuroff said. As a non-governmental organization, the wiesenthal center could not accuse anyone and take them to court. It only wants to help governments find the perpetrators who have gone underground.
Wolffsohn called it absurd to try to put a price tag on nazi crimes. "I find it downright impious and shameless: 25,000 euros for serious criminals," he criticized. It is much more important that an intensive reappraisal of nazi crimes continues.