The Plain Dealer


Wiesenthal Center relentlessly hunting aging war criminals

  European Nazi chasers, fighting the passage of time, are making one last push to bring old men to justice. The Simon Wiesenthal Center has created Operation: Last Chance to track down the men and women who tortured Jews during World War II. They are investigating hundreds of suspected Nazis around the world and badgering foreign prosecutors to take the cases. more...
July 2002  

The Failure to Prosecute Nazi War Criminals in Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia 1991-2002

  Although numerous Baltic Nazi war criminals were brought to trial by the Soviet authorities following the reoccupation of the Baltics in 1944, many Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian Holocaust perpetrators remained unprosecuted when these countries regained their independence in 1991. Some were still living in the Baltics, while many others had escaped towards the end of World War II to Germany or Sweden from whence most subsequently emigrated overseas to the United States, Canada, Australia, and Great Britain or other destinations. In some of these countries of refuge – primarily in the United States – successful efforts were already underway to identify and take legal action against these Holocaust perpetrators, a policy which ultimately led to the return of some of these war criminals to their native land. Thus when Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia once again became independent, there were quite a few cases of Baltic Nazi war criminals which could and should have been dealt with the local authorities. What has been achieved in this regard during the past more than eleven years of Baltic independence? more...

July 2, 2002  

1. Aleksandras Lileikis – commander of the Saugumas (Lithuanian Security Police) in the Vilnius district
  escaped to the United States after World War II
  denaturalized by US in May 24, 1996
  arrives in Lithuania on June 18, 1996
  indicted in Vilnius on February 6, 1998
  one courtroom appearance (10 minutes) on November 5, 1998
  trial suspended on medical grounds – September 1999
  one trial session held using video link on June 23, 2000
  Lileikis dies on September 26, 2000 – without being convicted
2. Kazys Gimzauskas – deputy commander of the Saugumas in the Vilnius district
  escaped to the Untied States after World War II
  USA files denaturalization suit – 1991
  arrives in Lithuania – 1993
  denaturalized by USA in 1996
  indicted in Vilnius on November 20, 1997
  ruled medically unfit to stand trial on February 28, 1999
  convicted of participation in genocide on January 14, 2001 without ever attending a single court session; punishment suspended for medical reasons
3. Antanas Gecevicius (Anton Gecas) – officer in the 12th Lithuanian Auxiliary Police Battalion
  escaped to Scotland after World War II
  extradition request submitted by Lithuania to Scotland on March 26, 2001
  Scotland approves extradition on July 27, 2001
  Gecivicius dies on September 12, 2001 before he can be extradited to Lithuania to stand trial