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August 22, 2001

 

WIESENTHAL CENTERS CHIEF NAZI-HUNTER MEETS WITH ESTONIAN PM; WELCOMES ESTABLISHMENT OF SPECIAL UNIT FOR PROSECUTION OF WORLD WAR II CRIMINALS AND SUBMITS NEW EVIDENCE AGAINST HARRY MANNIL

The Simon Wiesenthal Centers chief Nazi-hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff met today in Tallinn, with Estonian Prime Minister Mart Laar and submitted new documents in the case of suspected Estonian Nazi war criminal Harry Mannil (presently residing in Venezuela). Zuroff also offered the Estonian leader the assistance of the Center to the new special investigations unit established to examine the cases of Estonian Nazi collaborators, in the wake of recent findings by an international commission of experts established by the Estonian government, which confirmed the participation of Estonian units in genocide and crimes against humanity in Estonia, Poland, Belarus and Lithuania.

The new findings of the international commission reinforce the vital importance of the establishment of the special investigations unit for Nazi crimes in Estonia, and we offered the Prime Minister our fullest assistance in dealing with these cases, and with the Mannil case in particular, said Zuroff. He added that past experience had shown that specialized units for the prosecution of Nazi war criminals had far greater success in handling such cases and therefore the Wiesenthal Center fully supported the decision of the Estonian government in this regard.

In the course of their meeting, Zuroff told PM Laar that:

The leaders of Estonia, including yourself, have in the past expressed their determination that Estonians who committed genocide and/or crimes against humanity during World War II will be held accountable for their crimes. Now is the time to fulfill that promise and to take the practical steps necessary to bring those guilty to trialTheir innocent victims Estonians and those of other nationalities certainly deserve no less.

For more information call Dr. Zuroff: 00-372-669-0273 or cell phone: 00-972-51-214-156.