The Simon Wiesenthal Center announced that it would match the reward of 130,000 euros (approximately $156,000) currently being offered by the German government for information which will lead to the arrest of escaped Nazi war criminal Dr. Aribert Heim. Heim, who is wanted for the murder by lethal injection of hundreds of inmates of the Mauthausen (Austria) concentration camp, is the number one target of the Center’s “Operation: Last Chance” which offers financial rewards for information which facilitates the prosecution and punishment of Nazi war criminals. (Heim disappeared in 1962 just as the German government was about to prosecute him for his crimes.)
In meetings last week in Vienna, the Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, urged Austrian Justice Minister Karin Gastinger and Interior Minister Liese Prokop to have the Austrian government announce a similar reward, which would bring the amount offered for Heim’s capture alive to 400,000 euros or approximately $480,000. [130,000 euros from the German government; 130,000 euros from the Wiesenthal Center ; 130,000 from the Austrian government; and 10,000 from “Operation: Last Chance.”]
According to Zuroff, Minister Prokop indicated to him that the government could in theory announce such a reward and that she would present the proposal for consideration. Zuroff emphasized the urgency of the matter and the significance of the prosecution of Heim who “represented the Nazis’ misuse and perversion of medicine.”
Zuroff added that a special task force for the capture of Dr. Heim, which had been established by the German police, was currently conducting an intensive manhunt in Spain and in South America, based on information received from informants to various sources, including the Wiesenthal Center .
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