In the wake of the refusal earlier this week by a Munich court to approve the extradition to Denmark of Danish Nazi war criminal Soeren Kam for the murder of a Danish anti-Nazi newspaper editor, the Simon Wiesenthal Center today urged the Danish Justice Ministry to attempt to achieve Kam’s extradition to stand trial in Copenhagen on the basis of his role in facilitating the deportation of hundreds of Danish Jews to Nazi concentration camps in the fall of 1943.
In a letter sent today to Danish Justice Minister Lene Espersen, the Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, praised Danish efforts to bring Kam to justice and urged the Danish authorities to seek his extradition on the basis of different crimes than those which were the basis for the original Danish extradition request. In his letter to the minister, Zuroff noted that it Soeren Kam who, together with two accomplices, stole the registry of the Danish Jewish community in late summer 1943 in order to facilitate the roundup and deportation to concentration camps of all its members which took place in October of the same year. Thanks to the efforts of the Danish underground, most of the Jewish community escaped to Sweden, but 472, mostly elderly, Jews were arrested and deported to Nazi concentration camps, where dozens were murdered or died due to the inhuman conditions.
According to Zuroff:
“Soeren Kam was one of the persons who stole the registry of the names and addresses of the members of the Jewish community of Denmark shortly before the roundup of the Jews to deport them to Nazi concentration camps was to begin. This criminal act, which under the historical circumstances of World War II clearly constituted accessory to murder, should serve as the basis for a renewed attempt to bring Kam to justice in Copenhagen. It was this theft which directly facilitated the deportation of 472 Jews from Denmark to Nazi concentration camps, where 55 of them were murdered or died of the inhuman conditions.
“I urge you to carefully consider this serious crime, which ultimately led to the murder of dozens of innocent Danish citizens, as a basis for a renewed effort by Denmark to seek the extradition of Soeren Kam, whose success hereto in eluding punishment is a travesty of justice.”