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August 15,2005

WIESENTHAL CENTER URGES AUSTRIAN HEALTH MINISTER TO CANCEL MEDICAL DEGREE OF ESCAPED NAZI WAR CRIMINAL DR. ARIBERT HEIM

The Simon Wiesenthal Center today called upon Austrian Minister of Health Maria Rauch-Kallat to cancel the medical degree of escaped Nazi war criminal Dr. Aribert Heim who is wanted for the murder of hundreds of inmates of the Mauthausen concentration camp whom he killed by lethal injection. Heim is the number 2 criminal on the Wiesenthal Center’s "Most Wanted" list of Nazi war criminals and is the primary target of the Center’s "Operation: Last Chance" project which was launched in Germany on January 26,2005 at a press conference held in the Bundestag.

Aribert Heim served as a doctor at Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, and Mauthausen concentration camps and is wanted for his role in the murder of numerous camp inmates. After World War II, he worked as a doctor in Baden-Baden, Germany and escaped in 1962, after an indictment was filed against him and he was about to be arrested. At the current time, both Germany and Austria have warrants outstanding for his arrest and there is a prize of 140,000 euros for information which will lead to his capture.

Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, noted that there is strong evidence that Heim is still alive and called for a maximum effort to bring him to justice. "While it is true that canceling his medical degree is primarily a symbolic step, it hopefully will help focus public attention on his case and increase the chances of his apprehension while he can still be brought to justice."

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