February 1, 2006
Wiesenthal Center Presses Austrian Ministers To Expedite Three “Operation: Last Chance” Cases
Vienna – The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, met here over the course of the last twenty-four hours with the Austrian ministers of justice and the interior to press the government to expedite the cases of three Nazi war criminals linked to Austria – Mauthausen doctor Dr. Aribert Heim, Požega (Croatia) police chief Milivoj Ašner (currently living in Klagenfurt), and Majdanek guard Erna Wallisch (currently living in Vienna), all of which are part of the Center’s “Operation: Last Chance” project which offers financial rewards for information which facilitates the prosecution and punishment of Holocaust perpetrators.
In his meeting with Justice Minister Karin Gastinger, Zuroff pressed for a speedy resolution of the legal obstacles, which have hereto prevented the prosecution of Ašner who has already been indicted in his native Croatia, which has also requested his extradition to stand trial in Pozega. He also protested the recent decision by the Austrians not to prosecute Wallisch who admitted her participation in leading Jews to be gassed at Majdanek and guarding them prior to their murder.
In his meeting with Interior Minister Liese Prokop, Zuroff urged the Austrian government to match the reward of 130,000 euros currently offered by the German government for information leading to the capture of Dr. Aribert Heim who murdered several hundred inmates with lethal injections to the heart during his service at the Mauthausen concentration camp.
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