Month: May 2013

Symon Wiesenthal

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Its getting late but the vital work undertaken by the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in uncovering those who were involved in the Holocaust still bears fruit even today.  Once again they have been central in uncovering a 93-year-old alleged to have worked as a guard at the Auschwitz death camp.  The Nazi Hunting organisation have identified the man as Hans Lipschis who they identified as number four on their list of most wanted Nazi’s.

“The arrest of Lipschis is a welcome first step in what we hope will be a large number of successful legal measures taken by the German judicial authorities against death camp personnel and those who served in the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units),” said Efraim Zuroff, head of the Israel office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Lipschis, was interviewed by German newspaper Die Welt last month, saying he had been a cook in the camp but had left the camp to fight on the Eastern Front, although he could not remember which unit he was in, which sounds a bit too convenient albeit he is 93-years-old.  His arrest by German Police in Stuttgart  was made possible by the 2011 conviction in Munich of Sobibor death camp guard Ivan Demjanjuk, the first Nazi war criminal convicted in Germany, without evidence of a specific crime or a specific victim.

It appears that the Germans (those of whom I’ve known have felt great shame about the country’s Nazi past) are making some real in-roads into making good and this sort of action should be applauded, loudly.

Stuttgart prosecutors have said the man (Lipschs) arrested on Monday had worked at the extermination camp during the war, from 1941 until its liberation in 1945. Authorities had searched his flat, taken him into custody and were preparing charges against him.  This plainly brings into doubt Lipschis version of fighting on the Eastern Front.

News of the arrest came on the same day that the only surviving member of a Neo-Nazi cell went on trial for the racially motivated murder of people of Turkish heritage.

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Simon Wiesenthal stands as a hero for his unstinting work in bringing Nazi’s to justice.  Born the last day of 1908, died 20 Sept. 2005 age 96.  He is best known for his work for the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and Jewish Documentation Centre.  After both the U.S & Soviets lost interest in chasing Nazi’s the offices were closed and the over 3000 depositions were sent to Yad Vasham.

His motivations are obvious and to my mind stark; when the German invaders entered his home town Galicia,  Ukraine half the population was Jewish, 150,000, when they left just 5 remained.  If anybody ever needed any explanation of why its important to hunt Nazi’s that’s it right there.  I don’t, will not, can not, differentiate between the Nazi’s of the 1930’s & 1940’s and the more recent incantations we see spreading across an ever inward looking Europe.

Nazi’s should and must be brought to justice.