Nazi Hunters Give Sweden 12 Names From Data Bank
Two Nazi hunters, saying that accusations by Holocaust survivors can now be checked against emigration lists, Tuesday presented the Swedish government with the names of 12 alleged war criminals who they say have been living in Sweden for four decades.
The list is the first product of a 10-million-name data bank tracing post-World War II emigration from Europe, said Rabbis Abraham Cooper and Marvin Hier of the Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Studies.
The rabbis, who refused to release the names of the 12 people or to explain how they obtained access to the data, asked the Swedish Embassy to forward the list to Stockholm for investigation and prosecution.
Lists for Canada, Britain
In addition, they said the data bank has enabled them to compile lists of 40 other suspected war criminals believed to be living in Australia, 26 in Canada, 17 in Britain and smaller numbers in other countries.
The rabbis would not specify whether the Wiesenthal Center actually has possession of the data bank or simply has access to it, nor would they say whether the emigration lists are official government documents or privately compiled.
Stig Hadenius, spokesman for the Swedish Embassy, said the information will be forwarded to Stockholm for review. He said he believes that prosecution of suspects for World War II war crimes would be a first for Sweden.
‘Mass Murder and Torture’
In a letter addressed to Sweden’s prime minister, Ingvar Carlsson, the rabbis said that the 12 have been accused of “mass murder and torture” of Jews in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia during the Nazi occupation. The suspects were residents who are believed to have cooperated with the Nazi extermination of almost 95,000 Jews in those Baltic states.
The rabbis said the names were contained in written accounts of atrocities provided by Holocaust survivors after the war. With the new availability of the data bank, Nazi hunters were able to trace the collaborators’ destinations when they emigrated from Europe, they said, adding that they have reason to believe that all 12 are still alive.
Asked what the Wiesenthal Center expects Swedish officials to do, Cooper said, “They can deport them for trial or allow them to remain and pollute the air of Sweden.”