Nazi hunter arrives in Denmark to report 90yo for war crimes against Jews in WWII
“Since the Danish Justice Ministry isn’t going to do anything, I have decided to come to Copenhagen and personally file a police report that is based upon documentation and research. We hope it will result in a trial,” Efraim Zuroff, a famous Nazi hunter and the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center office in Jerusalem told Danish Berlingske newspaper.
The Dane was allegedly a member of Free Corps Denmark (Frikorps Danmark), a volunteer corps created by the Danish Nazi Party (DNSAP) to fight the Soviet Union during World War II. At least 6,000 Danish Nazis joined the organization.
“Danish historians’ work has clearly demonstrated that Danes were involved in war crimes during World War II. When it was finally revealed, it should have immediately led to further investigation. But that unfortunately didn’t happen,” Zuroff said as quoted by the Local.
Though Zuroff revealed neither details of his suit, nor the name of the Danish Nazi, Berlingske suggested that the suspect is Helmuth Leif Rasmussen, who earlier spoke about his participation in the Free Corps Denmark. However, Rasmussen denied he was a guard in Belarussian prison for Jews to the newspaper.
“We were just recruits. We were there to be trained as soldiers and we didn’t have anything to do with the rest,” he told Berlingske, adding that he is “so old now” to be bothered lying.
“I’ll die a natural death soon; I’m 90 after all. I wish I would have never been a member of the corps, but you can’t turn back the hands of time,” he told Berlingske on Saturday.
However, when in 1945 Rasmussen was questioned by police, he said he saw Jews being executed in the camp, the paper added.
Zuroff said that one of the reasons for his intentions to press charges was information from the research book dubbed En skole i vold (A school of violence) released October 2014. The book said that Danish Nazis actively took part in the murders of at least 1,400 of the 1,500 Jews in a Bobruisk concentration camp in Belarus during World War II.
“I found that highly peculiar and therefore I decided to personally file a report with the Danish police,” he said.
Dennis Larsen, one of the authors of the book, told broadcaster DR following the release of the book that the research witnessed testimonies showing “the Danish Nazis were deeply involved in genocide and a number of war crimes during their time on the Eastern Front.”
“The Danes were in the camp for eight months, and during that period there was daily culling of the Jews. Executions. The Danes were a part of this and the last Dane didn’t leave the camp until shortly before it closed,” Larsen said.
Established in 1977, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a global human rights organization, says it researches “the Holocaust and hate in a historic and contemporary context.”