The last Nazi Hunter

On a sunny morning in May, in the week of Yom HaShoah, the day on which Israel observes the remembrance of the Holocaust, Efraim Zuroff, the man known as ‘the last Nazi hunter’, was sitting in his office in Jerusalem, lamenting the fact that he was ‘all of a sudden one of the most in-demand people in Israel’.

There were press interviews and lectures to be given, articles to be written on Holocaust distortion, the status of the search for this Nazi war criminal or that one to be updated, and the rise of anti-Semitism in Eastern Europe and the Baltic States. ‘Which I have to tell you is terrible.’ He shook his head. ‘Terrible…’

In the 35 years that he has been the director of Nazi war-crimes research for the Simon Wiesenthal Center (the organisation’s headquarters are in Los Angeles), Zuroff has been responsible for tracking down and bringing to trial many of the last remaining Nazis, and, increasingly, keeping alive the memory of the Shoah and its six million victims.

‘People sometimes call me Mr Holocaust,’ he said, his eyes scanning the growing list of emails popping into his inbox. ‘My brother-in-law phones me on Yom HaShoah and says, “Happy holiday!”’ He laughed. ‘You need a sense of humour in this job.’

Nazi hunter headquarters

Zuroff’s office, where he works with a single assistant, is on the ground floor of an apartment block in a quiet residential area of Jerusalem. Box files of documents – ‘Holocaust distortion’, ‘Holocaust issues’, records of births, crimes, investigations and deaths – line the walls, and spill into a neighbouring storeroom, which Zuroff keeps under lock and key.


No comments yet... Be the first to leave a reply!

Dodaj komentarz

%d bloggers like this: