Wiesenthal Center Urges Finnish President To Initiate Inquiry Regarding Participation Of Finnish Waffen-SS In Murder Of Jews In Ukraine In 1941

January 10, 2018

Jerusalem-The Simon Wiesenthal Center today revealed that its chief Nazi-hunter, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, has appealed to Finnish President Sauli Niinistö to launch an official inquiry into the participation of Finnish volunteer Waffen-SS men in Holocaust crimes, in the wake of new research on their service in Ukraine in 1941.

In a letter sent late last week to the Finnish President
, Zuroff noted the recent research by Dr. Andre Swanström, the Chairman of the Finnish Society of Church History, which clearly indicates that Finnish Waffen-SS actively participated in the mass murder of Jews in Ukraine.

According to Zuroff:

"I am certain that you would agree that such revelations require a forthright response by the Finnish authorities and appropriate measures to investigate this matter.

"You might recall that in a similar situation in November 2003, President Halonen immediately initiated the establishment of a commission of inquiry to examine the deportation from Finland of approximately 3,000 foreigners to Nazi Germany, among them Soviet political officers and Jewish prisoners of war, who were thereby sentenced to almost certain death.

"I hope that you fully understand the gravity of the research by Dr. Swanström and recognize the importance of a serious investigation of his findings. While the initiation of such an inquiry will no doubt be a painful step for Finnish society, it is only by honestly and courageously facing past mistakes that such unfortunate crimes can be prevented in the future."

Read letter here

For additional information please contact the Israel Office of the Wiesenthal Center: Tel: 972-2-563-1274 or Tel: 972-50-721-4156, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal and @EZuroff for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).