Operation Last Chance: One Man's Quest to Bring Nazi Criminals to Justice

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St. Martin's Press, Nov 10, 2009 - History - 256 pages
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Sixty years after the end of World War II, not all those who were faithful to the Third Reich are dead—some members of the Nazi party and their collaborators are still alive, and increasingly difficult to track down. Time is rapidly running out, but Efraim Zuroff won't give up. Launching Operation Last Chance in 2002, he spearheaded a vast public campaign to locate and bring to justice the worst suspected Nazi criminals before ill health or death spare them from potential punishment. Despite the passage of many years, the reluctance of many governments to cooperate, and even death threats and a price on his head, Zuroff's project yielded the names of over 520 hereto unknown suspects in 24 different countries and led to dozens of murder investigations, as well as several indictments and extradition requests currently pending.

Combining the thrill of a detective story with the inherent poignancy of the history of World War II and its aftermath, Operation Last Chance delivers the important and moving story of one man's heroic efforts to honor the victims of the Holocaust.


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I, I I, I, I, I I ........What an Ego, as reflected by the title. I especially liked all the hand wringing over the fact that Steve Rambam was interviewed by 60 minutes and he wasn't. When he said that the taped confession obtained by Rambam had no practical value he reveals that he doesn't know what he's talking about. Eyewitness identifications are very shaky after so many years which often creates doubt in the minds of judges presiding over these cases. A confession locks in a conviction.
Perhaps if the Simon Wiesenthal Center was half as inventive and hard working as Rambam, and able to get a little more publicity, they would have had more results in the past fifteen years. Wiesenthal used to get into daily pitched battles with politicians in Austria back in the 60's and 70's. The Center in its current form is a sad ghost of its former self when Wiesenthal was alive.
By way of example, I recently noticed that someone was selling the personal possession of concentration camp inmates-- confiscated mail addressed to inmates of the camp that had been delivered and opened with Nazi postmarks and Hitler stamps -- on Ebay from inside Germany. A guard maybe? I had read a news article where Cooper was quoted as saying this was illegal in Germany. I called up the Center, was transferred to someone in research who told me that selling such items is perfectly legal (which it isn't). When I asked if they wanted the user name of the person in Germany selling these items they said no. So much for due diligence. Who has time to track down a lead when you have to get the next fundraising mailing out.


Two First Encounters with the Holocaust
Three I Did Not Forget You
Five The Search for Dr Mengele
Seven Nazis in Great Britain
Nine A New Office and the Fall of Communism
A Mass Murderer
Thirteen Croatias Past and the Search for Dinko Sakic
Fifteen A Difficult Beginning
Seventeen Charles Zentai
The Suspected Nazi Who Lives Opposite
Twenty Conclusion

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About the author (2009)

Dr. Efraim Zuroff is a historian who specializes in Holocaust history and established and directs the Israel Office of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and coordinates the Center's worldwide research on Nazi war criminals. Operation Last Chance (www.operationlastchance.org) which he launched together with Aryeh Rubin and the Targum Shlishi Foundation (www.targumshlishi.org) has been active in fourteen countries on three continents. He lives with his family in Efrat, Israel.

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