Reps. Israel and Berman Introduce Legislation to Crack Down on Countries Harboring Nazi War Criminals

Statement

By:  Steve Israel Howard Berman
Date: Sept. 12, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

Today, Congressmen Steve Israel (D-NY) and Howard Berman (D-CA) introduced legislation to ensure that there are no safe harbors for Nazi war criminals. The War Crimes Accountability Act of 2012 would prohibit defense sales to countries that refuse to deport, prosecute, or enforce an arrest warrant against a Nazi war criminal. In addition to Nazi criminals, the statute would also apply to war criminals accused by an international tribunal of planning or abetting crimes against humanity.

Rep. Israel said, "We must let the world know that we will do everything in our power to pursue justice against the monstrous acts perpetrated by Nazi criminals and modern-day war criminals. The bill Rep. Berman and I introduced today puts pressure on countries that harbor these criminals and ensures that they will pay a price for housing these murderers."

Rep. Berman said, "So long as there are Nazi war criminals at large, we will never rest in our efforts to bring them to justice. There must be consequences for countries that continue to harbor those who have committed such heinous acts. I hope that this bill will make countries think twice before giving refuge to war criminals."

According to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a global Jewish human rights organization that's worked extensively to bring Nazi war criminals to justice, the major obstacle to finding and prosecuting these war criminals is the lack of political will in many countries. This bill will put pressure on these countries to cooperate and stop harboring these criminals.