Each year since 2001, Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Center produces an Annual Status Report on the Worldwide Investigation and Prosecution of Nazi war criminals which, since at least 2005, includes a list of “most wanted” criminals that are yet to be convicted.
1. Gerhard Sommer – Germany (Italy)
In July 1933, when he was 12 years old, Sommer became a member of the Hitlerjugend (Hitler Youth), where he obtained the rank of Jungzugführer in the Deutsche Jungvolk. On 1 September 1939, at age 18, he joined the Nazi Party NSDAP and in October enlisted in the Waffen-SS.
Sommer fought in the 1st SS Division Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler in the Balkans and Ukraine. He was wounded twice and was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd class. In 1943 Sommer applied for the rank of SS-Reserveführer. After training in Proschnitz, he was appointed an SS-Untersturmführer on January 30th, 1944. He served as a Zugführer and later a Kompanieführer in the 7th Kompanie des II. Bataillons/SS-Panzergrenadier-Regiment 35. On August 19th, 1944 he received the Iron Cross 1st class. Near the end of the war, Sommer served in the 4th SS Volunteer Panzergrenadier Brigade Netherlands.
On June 22nd, 2005, Sommer and nine other former SS members were convicted by an Italian military court in La Spezia for the “continued murder with special cruelty” of 560 villagers at Sant’Anna di Stazzema. All ten were sentenced to life imprisonment and ordered to pay compensation payments.
Sommer and four of his comrades appealed, but the sentences were confirmed in 2006 by a military court in Rome.
In 2002 investigations against Sommer were initiated in Germany, but no criminal charges have yet been brought. Gabriela Heinecke, a lawyer from Hamburg in charge of the “Nebenklage” of the Italian survivors of the massacre, continues to be denied access to the records by the German public prosecution department.
As of May 2006, Sommer was living in a nursing home in Hamburg-Volksdorf, Germany.
2. Alfred Stark – Germany (Greece)
Murder of Italian prisoners of war in Kefalonia
3. Johann Robert Riss – Germany (Italy)
Murder of civilians near Padule di Fucecchio
4. X – Denmark (Belarus)
Murder of Jews in Bobruisk
5. Y – Germany (Auschwitz)
Accessory to murder of Hungarian Jews
6. Z – Norway (Poland and Ukraine)
Murder of Jews in various locations
7. Algimantas Dailide – Germany (Lithuania)
Algimantas Mykolas Dailidė (born 12 March 1921) is a former Lithuanian Security Police (Saugumas) official. He was born in Kaunas. After the war Dailidė sought refuge in the United States, saying he had been a “forester.”
While in the United States Dailidė was a real estate agent until he retired to Gulfport, Florida. His citizenship was revoked in 1997, and he left the United States on his own in 2004.
A Lithuanian court convicted him of having arrested some Jews who tried to flee from the Vilna Ghetto and for arresting two Polish nationals who subsequently became political prisoners; however, he was not sentenced to prison “because he is very old and does not pose a danger to society.”
8. Helmut Oberlander – Canada (Ukraine)
Served in Einstazkommando 10a (part of Einsatzgruppe D, which murdered an estimated 23,000 mostly Jewish civilians)
As an ethnic German born and living in Ukraine during World War II, he was conscripted into the German forces at the age of 17 to serve as an interpreter for the EK10A (Einsatzkommando) when they entered Ukraine in 1941. His duties included listening to and translating Russian radio transmissions, acting as an interpreter during interactions between the military and the local population, and the guarding of military supplies.
The Federal Court of Canada, in Oberlander v. Canada (Attorney General), 2009 FCA 330 (CanLII) determined that Oberlander was part of the Ek 10a during World War II. The court found that the Ek 10a operated behind the German army’s front line in the Eastern occupied territories. It was part of a force responsible for killing more than two million people, most of whom were civilians and largely Jewish.
The Federal Court of Canada characterized the group as a death squad. According to the Federal Court, from 1941 to 1943, Oberlander served with the Ek 10a as an interpreter and an auxiliary. In addition to interpreting, he was tasked with finding and protecting food and polishing boots. He lived, ate, traveled and worked full time with the Ek 10a. From 1943 to 1944, he served as an infantryman in the German army.
In Oberlander v. Canada, the Federal Court also found that in 1954, Oberlander and his wife moved to Canada. They had two daughters. Oberlander became a Canadian citizen in 1960. The Federal Court of Canada conclusively decided that Oberlander did not disclose his wartime experience to Canadian officers when he applied to come to Canada when he entered Canada, or when he applied for Canadian citizenship. On this basis, the Federal Court stripped Oberlander of his Canadian Citizenship.