Jerusalem – The Simon Wiesenthal Center today expressed a sense of sad gratification upon the revelation that it was highly probable that Finnish S.S. volunteers had actively participated in the mass murder of Jews during the Holocaust. It was at the request of the Center’s chief Nazi-hunter, Holocaust historian, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, that the Finnish authorities initiated the investigation whose findings were revealed this past Friday.
In a statement issued here today, Dr. Zuroff noted the uniqueness of the Finnish investigation and its importance, and thanked President Sauli Niinistö and Dr. Jussi Nuorteva, who directed the investigation, and the historians who worked on the report, for their determination to expose the historical truth, even if it was painful and uncomfortable for Finland.
According to Zuroff:
“Finland’s willingness to investigate and expose a dark chapter in its history, which had previously never been revealed, is an example of unique and exemplary civic courage.
“Throughout Eastern Europe we are witnessing systematic attempts to rewrite the narrative of World War II and distort the history of the Holocaust to hide the crimes of local Nazi collaborators in a shameful manner. In the Nordic countries, the role played by local SS volunteers has never fully been examined. Finland’s course of action regarding the role of local Waffen-SS volunteers is an example of the opposite, one which we hope will be emulated elsewhere.
“We recognize with gratitude and admiration the decision of President Sauli Niinistö and the dedicated efforts of Dr. Jussi Nuorteva and his team and urge other Nordic countries, as well as those in Eastern Europe, to follow their example.”
For additional information please contact the Israel Office of the Wiesenthal Center: