'The Last Nazi Hunter' to speak at Wanaque event


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Chabad Jewish Center of Upper Passaic County is presenting a lecture by Dr. Efraim Zuroff, the Simon Wiesenthal Center's chief Nazi hunter, on Wednesday, May 7, at 7:30 p.m. at the Wanaque Golden Age Club, 10 Villa Place, Wanaque.

Zuroff, director of the Wiesenthal Center in Jeruselem, is an American-born Israeli historian who has played an important role in the efforts to bring Nazi war criminals to justice during the past 29 years. Zuroff will discuss his role in "Operation: Last Chance," which he launched in 2002. He spearheaded a vast public campaign to locate and bring to justice as many as possible of the worst suspected Nazi criminals, before ill health or death spared them from standing trial.

Zuroff describes himself as "one third detective, one third historian and one third political lobbyist." In 1978, he was invited to be the first director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles, where he played a leading role in establishing the Center's library and archives and was historical advisor for the Academy Award-winning documentary "Genocide." He began his career as a Nazi hunter in 1980 when he was hired by the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Special Investigations to be their sole researcher in Israel. During his six years in that capacity, his efforts assisted in the preparation of cases against numerous Nazi war criminals living in the United States.

In 1986 his research uncovered the postwar escape of hundreds of Nazi war criminals to Australia, Canada, Great Britain and other countries, and he rejoined the Wiesenthal Center to coordinate its international efforts to bring Holocaust perpetrators to justice. So far, Operation Last Chance has yielded the names of 530 hereto-unknown suspects, 100 of which have been submitted to local prosecutors.

After the lecture, Zuroff will be signing copies of his new book, "Operation Last Chance: One Man's Quest to Bring Nazi Criminals to Justice" and copies of the book will be available for purchase.

For more information or to make a reservation, visit www.JewishHighlands.org, call 201-696-7609 or email info@JewishHighlands.org.

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