US to unveil court rulings against Nazis

Yad Vashem, US Holocaust Museum to get one of largest contemporary sources of Nazi trial material.

demjanjuk 224 (photo credit: AP [file])
demjanjuk 224
(photo credit: AP [file])
The criminal division of the US Justice Department that deals with cases of Nazis who entered the United States after the Holocaust is going to make public three decades of American court decisions against dozens of Nazi war criminals, Yad Vashem announced Monday. The vast amount of legal material, which is slated to be published in the coming months and includes nearly 100 cases against Nazi war criminals living in the US over the last 30 years, is one of the largest contemporary sources of material in English about the trials of Nazis. The US Justice Department's Office of Special Investigation, which handles cases against people accused of being former Nazis, began operations in 1979 and has successfully prosecuted more than 100 participants in Nazi crimes. The publication of the court records comes as the number of elderly Holocaust survivors is on the wane, and as the effort to nab suspected Nazi war criminals who still remain at large enters its final stage. The material, which will be published in only three sets of multi-volume book-form, will be presented to Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, as well as to the US Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington DC, while the final copy will be retained by the US Department of Justice. "This is one of the leading institutions in the world for compiling cases against suspected Nazi war criminals," said Dr. Haim Gertner, Director of the Yad Vashem Archives. He added that some of the more low-profile cases have never officially been published, and that the material would be of interest to scholars and historians, as well as the public at large. The American institution has in years past turned to Yad Vashem as well as the Holocaust Museum in the US for archival assistance in its work. In one prominent case, American researchers visited Israel's Holocaust Memorial in advance of the hearings on John Demjanjuk's deportation from the United States. The court decisions are being printed as a donation of Thomson Reuters West Publishing Company.