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Nazi hunters find 80 living 'war criminals'

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Nazi hunters find 80 living 'war criminals'
Jerusalem's Simon Wiesenthal Centre director Efraim Zuroff at the launch of a campaign to find remaining war criminals last year. Photo: DPA
08:24 CEST+02:00
The Israeli branch of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre on Wednesday urged Germany to prosecute alleged members of Nazi death squads during World War II, giving it a list of 80 suspects.

The Jewish rights group said the 76 men and four women whose names it provided to Germany's justice and interior ministries belonged to "mobile killing squads".

All of the suspects were born between 1920 and 1924, it said, making them "alive and healthy enough to face prosecution".

Efraim Zuroff, who heads the Los Angeles-based group's Jerusalem office, told AFP they believed two percent of "Nazi criminals" were still alive and that half of them could still be tried.

The 80 people listed by the Centre allegedly belonged to the Einsatzgruppen, special mobile death squads deployed mainly in occupied Poland and the former Soviet Union before the camps opened.

"The list was submitted in the hope of encouraging the German judicial authorities to expedite the efforts to bring these killers to justice and to offer the Centre's assistance in this important project," Zuroff added.

Since the Nuremberg Trials in 1945-1946, about 106,000 German or Nazi soldiers have been accused of war crimes.

Some 13,000 have been found guilty and around half sentenced, according to the authority charged with investigating Nazi crimes.

Since 2011, German prosecutors have been searching for death camp guards and death squad members, who can "now be brought to trial without proof that they had committed a specific crime against a specific victim," the Centre said.

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre is named after the Holocaust survivor who was perhaps the best-known Nazi hunter until his death in 2005.

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