The Simon Wiesenthal Center today officially launched “Operation: Last Chance,” which offers financial rewards in return for information which will lead to the prosecution and punishment of Nazi war criminals, in Hungary at a press conference held in Budapest. Hungary is the eighth country in which the Center had initiated the project which began in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in July 2002 and which was subsequently expanded to Poland, Romania and Austria (September 2003) and Croatia (July 2004). It is scheduled to be launched in Argentina next month and in Germany in September 2004.
Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, who coordinates the project, represented the Center at the press conference which was also attended by Aryeh Rubin, founder and president of the Targum Shlishi Foundation, which is the co-sponser of “Operation: Last Chance,” Ivan Beer, chairman of a local Holocaust remembrance association and Mr. Leibish Polnauer of Israel who is the son of Hungarian Holocaust survivors.
Zuroff stressed the special importance of the project in Hungary, a country in which numerous Jews were murdered by local Nazi collaborators, but which has hereto failed to investigate, let alone prosecute a single Nazi war criminal since the fall of Communism.
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