The Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Targum Shlishi Foundation have launched the
second stage of their “Operation: Last Chance” campaign which offers financial rewards for information leading to the prosecution
and punishment of Nazi war criminals in the Baltics, by initiating
an innovative ad campaign which utilizes authentic Holocaust-era
photos of Nazi atrocities to urge informants to supply the
Center with incriminating information against local Holocaust
perpetrators. The ads, which have already appeared in Lithuania
and are slated to run in Latvia and Estonia during the coming
two weeks, note the tragic fates of the Baltic Jewish communities
and the role-played by local collaborators in their liquidation.
In Lithuania, for example, the ad noted, “Lithuanian
Jewry did not disappear. They were murdered in Ponar (Vilnius), Fort IX (Kaunas),
Kuziai Forest (Siauliai) and over a hundred other places of mass murder…”In Latvia the ad, whose publication will coincide with the anniversary of the
large-scale annihilation of 30,000 Riga Jews (on November 30 and December 8,
1941), will focus on that atrocity, the worst in Latvia’s history.
“ Our goal is not only to notify the public about “Operation:
Last Chance,” but to inform people about the critical role played by local Nazi collaborators
in each of the Baltic countries (as well as in other countries) in the implementation
of the Final Solution. In that respect, while our immediate focus is on justice
and the prosecution of those responsible, our larger goal is education. Although
these countries have already been admitted to NATO, they have a long way to go
in confronting their World War II past and the active participation of numerous
Lithuanians, Latvians and Estonians in the crimes of the Holocaust, “ said Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Center’s chief Nazi-hunter and the coordinator of the project.
“ Operation: Last Chance is designed to arouse the conscience of
these societies and help them confront their pasts. It’s about justice not revenge. And therein is an important message for today’s terrorists from Al-Quaida, that the guilty will be hunted for decades, if necessary,” said Targum Shlishi founder Aryeh Rubin.
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