The Simon Wiesenthal Center today officially launched its “Operation Last Chance” project in Germany at a press conference held at the Bundestag(German parliament) in Berlin.
The press conference was hosted by German MP Prof. Dr. Gert Weisskirchen, spokesperson for foreign affairs for the ruling Social Democratic Party, and featured speeches by the Center’s chief Nazi-hunter Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff and Targum Shlishi Foundation founder and president Aryeh Rubin, as well as by Prof. Weisskirchen and German activist against anti-Semitism Jörg Rensmann.
In his remarks, Dr. Zuroff highlighted the importance of bringing those guilty of the crimes of the Holocaust to justice and stressed that it was still possible to do so today despite the passage of many years since the crimes were committed. ”The fact that a Nazi war criminal eluded justice for 40 or 50 years does not turn that person into a Righteous Gentile”, said Zuroff.
Aryeh Rubin noted the responsibility of Germany to bring the killers to justice. ”This is not about guilt”, he noted, ”but rather about accountability.”
Prof. Weisskirchen and Jörg Rensmann also called upon Germans to own up to their responsibility and to help achieve justice and thereby honor memory and assist in the fight against contemporary anti-Semitism.
The project is assisted in Germany by “Honestly-Concerned”, an NGO active in the struggle against anti-Semitism in the German-speaking world.
The hotline number in Germany is (030) 695 695 54.
The launch is also marked by the appearance of a website dedicated to the project: www.operationlastchance.org