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Thread: Germany Receives Highest Grade for Hunt for Former Nazis

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    Germany Receives Highest Grade for Hunt for Former Nazis

    Tel Aviv - The Jewish centre that deals with hunting down wanted World War II criminals has, for the first time, given Germany the highest possible mark for its attempts to prosecute former Nazis.

    In its annual report on the international community's actions to bring ex-Nazis to justice, the Jerusalem and Los Angeles-based Simon Wiesenthal Center gave Germany an "A."

    "There's been a monumental and highly significant change in German prosecution policy," the centre's head, Efraim Zuroff, told the German Press Agency dpa.

    "Now they are willing in Germany to prosecute non-Germans, which was not the case in the past," he said, mentioning as an additional change that Berlin has also been willing to put on trial lower- ranking officials who were not officers.

    "We expect more trials, plain and simple," Zuroff said.

    The centre, named after the late Austrian-Jewish Holocaust survivor and Nazi hunter, published the report to coincide with Israel's annual day of mourning for Holocaust victims, which began Sunday at sundown with a ceremony at Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Centre.

    The event was attended by state leaders and foreign diplomats, along with Holocaust survivors and their relatives.

    Six survivors lit six beacons honouring the 6 million Jews killed by the Nazis and their collaborators.

    Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who spoke at the ceremony, both called on the world to condemn Iran's nuclear programme and not repeat the "indifference" that cost millions of lives during the Holocaust.

    "I call upon all the enlightened nations to stand up and condemn the Iranian destructive intentions and to act with real determination to stop its nuclear armament", Netanyahu said.

    "Weapons of mass destruction in the hands of those capable of mass destruction, with voices encouraging that destruction, that is the most perilous combination to world peace," Peres said.

    Commemorations continued Monday with another ceremony at Yad Vashem, while television and radio channels broadcast special programmes focusing on the Nazi attempt to murder the Jews of Europe.

    In the Knesset, the names of Holocaust victims - or as many names as are known - were being read aloud, as part of the "Every Person Has a Name" project, designed to go beyond the statistics and highlight the personal identities of the victims.

    Sirens also wailed across the country for two minutes at 10 am (0700 GMT). The country came to a complete halt as people stood in solemn silence to remember the victims of the Nazi genocide.

    People stood next to their desks and traffic came to a total standstill, with drivers standing next to their cars while pedestrians stopped walking - many of them standing to attention or with their heads bowed.

    The United Nations has designated January 27, the day the Auschwitz death camp was liberated in 1945, as international Holocaust Remembrance Day. But Israel has traditionally marked it on the 27th day of the Jewish month of Nissan - one week before Independence Day to symbolize the birth of the Jewish state from the ashes of the Holocaust.

    According to counts conducted before and after the war, two thirds of Europe's 9 million Jews perished at the hands of the Nazis and their collaborators.

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    I think marks should be to awarded by Gulag survivors to countries who hunt down Gulag guards.

    We never hear about these though for some reason, perhaps due to the fact they were mainly run by Jews!!

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