Wiesenthal Center Welcomes Decision Of Finnish President To Fund Research On Recently-Discovered Holocaust Crimes By Finnish SS Volunteers And Prosecute Those Still Alive Who Are Guilty Of War Crimes

January 25, 2018

Jerusalem-The Simon Wiesenthal Center today welcomed a decision by Finnish President Sauli Niinistö to fund an independent research survey of the operations of the Finnish SS volunteers in the wake of new research which indicated that they had participated in the mass murder of Jews in Ukraine in 1941. The original request for such an inquiry was sent on January 4, 2018 to President Niinistö by the Center's chief Nazi-hunter and Israel office and Eastern European Affairs director, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, who praised the prompt decision by the Finnish President.

According to Zuroff:
"Thank you very much for your letter and the positive decision by President Niinisttö to 'fund a further independent survey of the operations of the Finnish Volunteers Battalion of the Waffen-SS and particularly examine its operations in Ukraine.' In addition, we particularly welcome your mention of the need for a legal response as well 'should any criminal activities be uncovered…'
"Finland can be proud of the willingness of its leaders to honestly investigate sensitive issues regarding the difficult years of World War II. The determination to do so is a reflection of integrity and requires a degree of courage, neither of which are particularly common these days in many other societies."
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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).