Simon Wiesenthal Center: Death of Auschwitz Guard Breyer Should Not Halt or Discourage Ongoing Efforts to Prosecute Holocaust Perpetrators

July 24, 2014

Jerusalem–The Simon Wiesenthal Center today expressed its regret and frustration in the wake of the death in Philadelphia yesterday of Auschwitz guard Johann Breyer while facing extradition to Germany to stand trial for his service in the notorious death camp.

In a statement issued here today by its chief Nazi hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center, which was actively involved in the search for co-plaintiffs in the case, noted the continued importance of bringing death camp guards to justice despite the many years which have passed since the Holocaust.

According to Zuroff:

"The death of a guard who served in the notorious Birkenau death camp shortly before his extradition to stand trial is obviously a source of frustration, but should not halt or discourage the ongoing efforts to prosecute Holocaust perpetrators. The passage of time in no way diminishes the guilt of the murderers and those who assisted them, nor should old age help such persons elude justice. They are the last people on earth who deserve any sympathy, since they had none for their innocent victims, some of whom were even older than they are today."

The Simon Wiesenthal Center fully intends to continue its efforts to help facilitate the attainment of justice for all the victims of the Holocaust.

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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).