Local News

'Nazi Hunter' comes to Raleigh

Posted May 26, 2010 11:29 p.m. EDT

— Dr. Efraim Zuroff, who spent the last three decades bringing Nazi war criminals to justice, spoke Wednesday night at the Chabad Center of Raleigh about the importance of his work.

“The most difficult job is to get the countries that don't want to do this to put these people on trial and I say, ‘I’m one-third detective, one-third historian and one-third political lobbyist,’” Zuroff said.

Zuroff chronicles his Nazi-hunting career in the book, "Operation: Last Chance: One Man's Quest to Bring Nazi Criminals to Justice." He said hunting aging Nazi war criminals is never easy.

“The passage of time in no way diminishes their guilt. Had they been caught 40 years ago, no one would raise an eyebrow. The fact they were able to escape until now doesn't make them innocent,” he explained.

For members of the Chabad Center, Zuroff's work honors their history and the memory of their ancestors.

“By hearing him speak and hearing him fight makes them stronger as a people, and makes them stronger in their beliefs and also in their commitment in ensuring never again,” said Rabbi Sholom Estrin with Chabad Center of Raleigh.

Zuroff said he understands how important justice is to those who suffered in the Holocaust.

“I say to myself, how can I quit? I look at what they went through, look at what they suffered and the people who did it to them likely to get off scot-free which is absolutely outrageous,” Zuroff said.

Zuroff is director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Israel. His office puts out a most wanted Nazi war criminals list. He says his office knows where many of the suspected Nazi war criminals are, and in some cases, investigations have already started against them.

Zuroff also grades the best and worst countries that cooperate with investigations. He said the United States and Germany earn an "A,” while Austria and Ukraine get an "F."