The Simon Wiesenthal Center announced today in Vilnius that it had already received
the names of 174 Lithuanians suspected of participation in
the rimes of the Holocaust in the framework of its "Operation: Last Chance” launched in the Baltics exactly nine months ago.
The program, which is being sponsored by the Center and the Targum Shlishi Foundation
of Miami, Florida, offered a financial reward of $10,000 for information, which
would lead to the conviction, and punishment of Holocaust perpetrators in Lithuania,
Latvia, and Estonia featured large ads with graphic historical photos of the
persecution and murder of Jews in these areas.
The Center's chief Nazi-hunter Dr. Efraim
Zuroff, who coordinates the project, also announced at the
press conference that he had just been informed this morning
by Lithuanian Special Prosecutor Rimvydas Valentukevicius that
Lithuania had recently opened an investigation regarding the
murder of Jews in the town of Rokiskis based on material obtained
by the Center in the framework of "O:LC." He also noted that it was extremely likely that additional investigations would
be initiated by Lithuanian prosecutors in the coming weeks
based on new information which had recently been submitted
to the Center and was currently being checked by the Center's
Zuroff also announced a change in the
financial rewards offered in the framework of "O:LC." From now on, the Center would pay $1,000 for information, which would lead to
an official murder investigation against a suspect still alive
and healthy enough to stand trial. It would add an additional
sum of $1,500 if an
indictment were submitted and would complete
the sum of $10,000 if the suspects were convicted and punished. "We hope that this change will lead additional persons to supply us with the information
necessary to bring the murderers of Lithuanian Jewry to justice.
Time is rapidly running out and the efforts to bring the guilty
to justice must be facilitated as quickly as possible,” said Zuroff. Zuroff was joined at the press conference by Dr.Shimon Alperovich,
Chairman of the Lithuanian Jewish Community, who expressed
his fullest support for "O:LC."
For more information call: 972-51-214156