Nazi display at German Historical Museum 390.
(photo credit: REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch)
WASHINGTON – A leading American prosecutor who works to bring Nazi war
criminals to court on Thursday criticized nations for not doing all they could
to aid in such cases.
“Without doubt it is still possible to secure a
measure of justice in the Nazi cases,” declared Eli Rosenbaum, the US Justice
Department’s director of human rights enforcement, strategy and policy, at a
ceremony commemorating the Holocaust. “In many countries, however, the political
will to do so is not being mustered.”
Rosenbaum was speaking before
members of Congress, local dignitaries, Jewish leaders and officials in an event
to mark Holocaust Remembrance Day organized by the US Holocaust Memorial Museum
“It is enormously important that efforts to achieve
justice be continued,” he maintained.
“Doing so is a moral debt that is
owed to the victims.”
He noted that the passage of time “has in no way
lessened the gravity of the crimes, and the perpetrators ought not be rewarded
for their success in evading detection.”
But he suggested the most
important reason to continue to pursue these cases was that doing sends “an
unmistakable message” to would-be perpetrators: “If you dare to commit atrocity
crimes, you will be pursued however far you run, however long it takes to
His words underscored the theme of this year’s event,
“Never again: Heeding the warning signs.”
Israeli Ambassador Michael Oren
also addressed the audience, recalling how he accompanied US President Barack
Obama on his recent trip to Israel and laid a wreath on the grave of Theodor
“The president’s wreath reaffirmed the Jewish people’s right to self-determination in our ancient homeland,” Oren said.