One Nazi war criminal was convicted between April 1, 2017 and March 31, 2018, the Simon Wiesenthal Center said Sunday in a report published on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
Helmut Oberlander, who served in Einsatzgruppen death squad in the Nazi-occupied Soviet Union and was on the Wiesenthal Center’s most wanted Nazi war criminals list, was denaturalized by the Canadian Federal Court.
In addition, according to the Wiesenthal Center’s annual status report “Worldwide Investigation and Prosecution of Nazi War Criminals,” three new indictments were filed in Germany, as was one extradition request in Poland.
According to the Wiesenthal Center, the number of convictions during the period covered by its annual reports – January 2011 to March 2018 – was 105, with the largest number of successful cases recorded in Italy (46) and the United States (39).
During the same period, 105 indictments were filed against Nazi war criminals, with the most cases submitted by the United States (35), Italy (33) and Germany (22).
The Wiesenthal Center explained in a statement that the extension of life expectancy in the Western world has increased chances of prosecuting Nazi war criminals.
In addition, there has been a dramatic change in German prosecution policies for Nazi war criminals. In the past, prosecutors had to prove that a suspect had committed a specific crime against a specific victim and had been motivated by racial hatred. The new policy states that any person who served in a death camp or in one of Nazi Germany’s mobile killing squads can be convicted of accessory to murder based on service alone. The punishment is five to 15 years in prison.