Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today welcomed the announcement late last week by the office of the Finnish Prime Minister of the launch of a comprehensive investigation to determine whether Finnish-SS volunteers had participated in the murder of Jews in Ukraine during the Holocaust, while serving in Waffen-SS units. The decision to investigate came in response to the January 4, 2018 letter by the Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff, to Finnish President Sauli Niinistö in the wake of new research by Dr. Andre Swanström, the Chairman of the Finnish Society of Church History, which indicates that Finnish SS volunteers had actively participated in the mass murder of Jews in Ukraine during the initial months following the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941.
The investigation will be conducted by the Finnish National Archives, headed by Jussi Nuorteva, and is scheduled to be completed by the end of November 2018.
According to Zuroff:
“Finland’s courageous decision to fully investigate the activities of these SS volunteers is an important step in ensuring the accuracy of the historical narrative of the Holocaust. At a time when numerous countries are trying to hide the crimes of local Nazi collaborators, the Finnish inquiry is an outstanding example of national courage and integrity in dealing with sensitive historical issues.”
For additional information please contact the Israel Office of the Wiesenthal Center: