May 31, 2006

  Wiesenthal Center Protests Failure of Romanian Judicial Authorities to Complete Investigation of Four “Operation: Last Chance” Suspects  

The Simon Wiesenthal Center today protested the failure of the Romanian judicial authorities to complete their investigation of four suspected Romanian Nazi war criminals whose names were discovered in the framework of the Center's “Operation: Last Chance” project, which offers financial rewards for information which facilitates the prosecution and punishment of Holocaust perpetrators.

The project, which was officially launched by the Center's chief Nazi-hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff in Bucharest in September 2003, has hereto yielded the names of eighteen suspects, four of which were submitted sixteen months ago to Romanian Prosecutor-General Dr. Ilie Botos. The four individuals in question are suspected of participation in the murder of Jews in Bucharest , Iasi , Dorohoi, Odessa and other places during World War II.

In letters sent today to Romanian special prosecutor Angela Nicolae and recently to Prosecutor-General Dr. Botos, Zuroff expressed “grave concern” regarding the failure of the Romanian prosecution to complete the investigations and warned that “every day which passes without legal action being taken brings these suspected Nazi war criminals closer to eluding justice.” According to Zuroff:

“It would be a mockery of the memory of the victims of the Holocaust in Romania if those responsible for their deaths were not held accountable due to the failure of the Romanian judicial system to bring them to trial.”

For more information call 00-972-50-7214156 ________________________________________________________________________

August 9, 2005  
  Romanian Prosecutor-General to Wiesenthal Center: Decision on Prosecution of “Operation: Last Chance” Suspects Within Three Months

Bucharest – The Simon Wiesenthal Center's chief Nazi-hunter Israel director Dr. Efraim Zuroff, met here today with Romanian Prosecutor-General Dr. Ilie Botos and urged him to expedite the investigations of four Romanians suspected of participating in the persecution and/or murder of Jews during the Holocaust who were discovered by the Center in the framework of its “Operation: Last Chance” project launched in Romania in September 2003. The cases in question were submitted by Dr. Zuroff to Dr. Botos in February 8, 2005 and include former members of the Iron Guard, as well as Romanian Army personnel who committed crimes against Jews in Romania and/or in areas outside her borders.
Dr. Botos indicated to Zuroff that the investigations would be completed within the next two months at which time his office would decided which, if any of the suspects, would be prosecuted. He made clear, however, that the preliminary research already conducted had produced evidence to support the allegations against at least several of the suspects.
In response, Zuroff stressed the urgency of completing the investigations as quickly as possible and prosecuting Romanian Holocaust perpetrators as a mean of helping Romania face the complicity of its government and numerous Romanians in Holocaust crimes. “Such trials,” said Zuroff, “will have unique significance as they will be the first of their kind in democratic Romania and as such, will hopefully provide a highly-important and badly-needed history lesson for all of Romanian society.” ________________________________________________________________________

March 2, 2005  
  Wiesenthal Center Submits Names of Four Suspected Nazi War Criminals Discovered in “Operation: Last Chance” to Romanian Attorney-General

The Simon Wiesenthal Center announced today that it had submitted the names of four suspected Romanian Nazi war criminals which were discovered in the framework of its “Operation: Last Chance” project to Attorney-General Dr. Ilie Botos with a request that the Romanian authorities carry out investigations of these cases with a view to possible prosecution. more...


December 6, 2004  
  Wiesenthal Center’s “Operation: Last Chance” Public Ad Campaign
Wins Silver Medal in Romania

The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s public ad campaign for its “Operation: Last Chance” project, which offers financial rewards for information which will lead to the conviction and punishment of Nazi war criminals, has been awarded a silver medal as one of the most outstanding publicity campaigns in Romania during the past year. more...


November 9, 2004  
  Tempo wins an excellency prize in PR

The Public Relatios Excellency Gala held yesterday in Bucharest awarded with the Silver Award distinction the project „Last Chance” realized by Tempo Advertising. The project was implemented in Romania and so it received the first international recognition coming from a jury including PR specialists and journalists from Romania, Germany, Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, Great Britain, who apreciated the team's capacity and the quality of the project in each of his steps : research, strategy, implementation and evaluation. more...


August 12, 2004  
  Tempo Advertising implements „Last Chance” campaign

The campaign, which is carried at European level, was initiated by Simon Wiesenthal Center and aims to identify and send to justice the Nazi war criminals and their collaborators, which will be found guilty of murders against Jewish people in the Second World War. more...


  List of Poster Locations for “Operation: Last Chance” Campaign in Romania  
City Number of Locations Starting Date
Bacau 10 July 21, 2004
Baia Mare 10 July 21, 2004
Bucharest 120 July 18, 2004
Cluj 20 July 22, 2004
Craiova 20 July 22, 2004
Galati 20 July 21, 2004
Iasi 20 July 21, 2004
Oradea 20 July 21, 2004
Satu Mare 10 July 21, 2004
Total 250  



April 21, 2004

  Wiesenthal Center Annual Report on Prosecution of Nazi War Criminals Singles Out Romania for Criticism

The Simon Wiesenthal Center 's Annual Status Report on the worldwide investigation and prosecution of Nazi war criminals has singled out Romania for special criticism for its failure to take practical measures to investigate Nazi war criminals and its refusal to cancel the pardons issued to convicted Romanian Holocaust perpetrators Gheorghe Petrescu and Radu Dinelescu.

In a statement issued today in Jerusalem by the Center's chief Nazi-hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff, who is the author of the report, the Center clarified that it was extremely distressed by the total lack of initiative exhibited by the Romanian judicial authorities in bringing local Nazi war criminals to justice and was particularly disappointed by the refusal of the same authorities to accede to the Wiesenthal Center's appeal-submitted in early January 2004 to Attorney-General Dr.Ilie Botos-to cancel the pardons granted several years previously to convicted Nazi war criminals Colonel Gheorghe Petrescu and Colonel Radu Dinulescu.

According to Zuroff:
“Ever since democracy was restored in Romania , there has not been a single initiative to investigate, let alone prosecute, any of the numerous unprosecuted Romanians who actively participated in the crimes of the Holocaust. On the contrary, war criminals like Petrescu and Dinulescu who had been justifiably convicted for the critical role they played in the mass murder of Jews in Bessarabia and Bukovina during the summer and fall of 1941, were inexplicably granted pardons, which the government has refused to cancel. This lack of initiative to bring those guilty of Holocaust crimes to justice is of particular concern, as the Wiesenthal Center prepares to submit the names of the suspected Romanian criminals which it has obtained in the framework of “Operation: Last Chance,” to the pertinent Romanian authorities with a call for their immediate investigation and, if possible, legal action.”

For additional information please call:972-2-563-1273 or 972-51-214-156.


March 24, 2004  
  Comunicat de presă "Ultima şansă" 23 martie 2004
Ultima şansă de a judeca criminalii din perioada Holocaustului

Incepând cu data de 23 martie, Centrul Simon Wiesenthal din Israel lansează în România campania "Ultima şansă", dezvoltată deja la nivel european, care are ca scop identificarea criminalilor de război nazişti şi a colaboratorilor lor din perioada celui de-al doilea război mondial. In cadrul acestei campanii, orice informaţie care conduce la depistarea, aducerea în instanţă, condamnarea şi pedepsirea celor vinovaţi de crime va fi răsplătită cu 10000$. more...



January 15, 2004

  Wiesenthal Center Initiates “Operation: Last Chance” Hotline Line in Romania

The Simon Wiesenthal Center announced today that it was inaugurating a special hotline in Romania for information regarding the current whereabouts of Nazi war criminals in the framework of its “Operation: Last Chance” project which offers financial rewards of $ 10,000 for data which will facilitate the prosecution and conviction of Holocaust perpetrators.

The phone number, which will begin operating tomorrow, January 16, 2004 is as follows:

Toll-free line: 0800-800-125
Regular line: (021) 322-2884
Address for letters: Vasili Adamache 11
Sector 3

It will be in operation from 9 AM to 5 PM during the workweek.

Dr. Efraim Zuroff will be arriving in Bucharest next week to open an exhibition on the Holocaust prepared by the Simon Wiesenthal Center which will be opened on Friday, January 23 at 12 noon in the presence of President Ion Iliescu at the National History Museum in Bucharest.


September 21, 2003  
  Wiesenthal Center Urges Austrian, Romanian and Polish Officials to Expedite Prosecution of Nazi War Crimes Cases
as “Operation: Last Chance” Enters Second Phase

The Simon Wiesenthal Center’s chief Nazi-hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff has conducted a series of meetings with Austrian Justice Minister Dietrich Bohmdorfer and leading prosecutors in Romania and Poland in order to expedite the investigation and prosecution of Nazi war criminals in those countries. more...


September 9, 2003  
  Wiesenthal Center 's Chief Nazi-Hunter to Visit Romania This Week to Launch “Operation: Last Chance”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center's chief Nazi-hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff will visit Romania this week to launch the Center's “Operation: Last Chance” project which offers financial rewards for information which will lead to the conviction and punishment of Nazi war criminals. “Operation: Last Chance” was initiated last year in the Baltics and has already led to the opening of three murder investigations in Lithuania.

Dr. Zuroff will be conducting a press conference on Friday, September 12 at a time and place to be announced.

He can be reached starting Thursday afternoon, September 11 at the Lido Hotel in Bucharest. Tel: 314-4930 or at 972-51-214-156.