Nazi Hunter Holds History Accountable

Nazi hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff will speak at Sam Houston State University Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. in the Lowman Student Center Theater.*

With a Ph.D. in Holocaust Studies, Zuroff has a career dedicated to tracking down Nazi war criminals and bringing them to justice. Zuroff explained how he came into his current line of work.

“In my case it was probably a matter of luck, of being the right person, in the right place, at the right time,” Zuroff said. “But having said that, I also needed the proper qualifications for the job, a strong background in Holocaust history, knowledge of languages, and a total commitment to the mission of tracking down and bringing those guilty to justice.”

In his presentation, Zuroff will talk about his job as a Nazi hunter, the history of the Holocaust and about the dangers of living in a totalitarian society.

He explained that he wants to bring awareness to totalitarian movements, the importance of fighting them and why bringing Holocaust war criminals to justice is worth dedicating his life to.

“[I will discuss] that it is still possible to bring Nazi war criminals to justice— at least in Germany— and the complicated difficulties involved in doing so, especially the necessity of political will to prosecute Holocaust perpetrators,” Zuroff said.

The event is sponsored by the Dan Rather Endowment, and is expected to last two hours. The goal is to spread awareness and educate students.

Zuroff accepted the invitation from Mass Communications Chair Dr. John Bodon, with whom he worked on a case together in the past.

Alongside with being an author and avid Nazi hunter, Zuroff also works as the director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem. According to its website, The Wiesenthal Center “confronts anti-Semitism, hate and terrorism, promotes human rights and dignity, stands with Israel, defends the safety of Jews worldwide, and teaches the lessons of the Holocaust for future generations.”

Zuroff’s job, however, has not always been a clear path. He explained how he handled one situation in particular when moral conflicts came into the picture.

“There were a lot of difficult decisions along the way,” Zuroff said. “One was whether to meet the children of a Hungarian Nazi war criminal living in Perth, Australia, whom I had tracked down and was facing extradition to Hungary as a result of my efforts. They wanted to meet me to try and convince me of their father’s innocence. I met them, but they failed to convince me.”

The event is free and open to the public.

*The event has been postponed due to unforeseen medical reasons. The Houstonian will update with any further information regarding the event.

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