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Jerusalem-The Simon Wiesenthal Center announced today that its chief Nazi-hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff has submitted official complaints to state prosecutors in Osnabrück and Kassel against Kurt Gosdeck and Herbert Wahler, both of whom served in the notorious Einsatzgruppe C murder squad which killed tens of thousands of Jews and others in the Ukraine in 1941-1942. The names of both men appeared on a list compiled by Zuroff of men and women born in 1920 and later who had served in the Einsatzgruppen, which had been submitted by the Wiesenthal Center to the German ministers of justice (Heiko Maas) and the interior (Thomas de Maziere) on September 1, 2014, as part of the Center's efforts to assist in locating members of these units. (In the wake of a change in German prosecution policy ten years ago, it became possible to convict of "accessory to murder" anyone who served either in a Nazi death camp or the mobile killing units based on service alone.) German television ARD's Kontraste program recently interviewed both Gosdeck and Wahler in their homes and found them in good health mentally and physically, but the German authorities had still not pressed charges against them, which prompted the submission of the Center's complaint in order to expedite legal action against them.
According to Zuroff:
“We were shocked and deeply disappointed to learn that no legal action had yet been initiated against Gosdeck and Wahler, and hope that this complaint will speed up the process. It is unthinkable that such individuals who served in a killing squad which murdered so many innocent people and whose names were submitted by the Center to the German judicial authorities more than three years ago will elude justice despite the fact that they are healthy enough to face trial."
During the process involved in this submission, the Center had the benefit of the excellent advice and cooperation of Kirsten Goetze of the Vienna "Institut fűr Zeitgeschichte," which was invaluable in creating the complaint.
For additional information please contact the Israel Office of the Wiesenthal Center:
Tel: 972-2-563-1274 or Tel: 972-50-721-4156, join the Center on Facebook, www.facebook.com/simonwiesenthalcenter, or follow @simonwiesenthal & @EZuroff for news updates sent direct to your Twitter feed.
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).