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New Push Targets Nazi War Criminals in South America

Posted Dec 6, 2007 12:04 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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The Simon Wiesenthal Center has announced one last push to find Nazi war criminals hiding in South America.

Driven by concerns that remaining war criminals will die before being brought to justice, the center has launched Operation Last Chance, the Washington Post reports.

One of those being sought is Aribert Heim, a doctor wanted for killing hundreds of prisoners at a concentration camp in Austria while performing surgery without anesthesia. He is believed to be in Chile or Argentina.

The center’s efforts could be stymied by the slow deportation process and the failure of governments such as Argentina to turn over relevant records. Juan Peron, still an icon in the country, aided many Nazi war criminals after the war.

An Argentine government panel in 1999 said at least 180 Nazis accused of criminal wrongdoing had moved to Argentina. The number is thought to be low.

The center met with government officials last week from several South American countries to ask for their cooperation.

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