A poster campaign urging the public to help track down the last surviving Nazi war criminals has been launched in Germany.

The Operation Last Chance II project is offering cash rewards for information which leads to prosecutions.

The posters, of which 2,000 have been put up in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne, say: “Late, but not too late.

nazi hunter poster campaign

2,000 Operation Last Chance posters have been put up in Berlin, Hamburg and Cologne

“Millions of innocents were murdered by Nazi war criminals. Some of the perpetrators are free and alive! Help us take them to court.”

It supplies a telephone hotline number where tips can be submitted.

The campaign is being coordinated by US-based Jewish human rights organisation the Simon Wisenthal Centre and led by Dr Efraim Zuroff.

A reward of 5,000 euros (£4,300) will be paid for information upon the charging of a suspect, a further 5,000 euros upon conviction and a further 100 euros (£85) per day spent in prison – up to 150 days – for a total of 25,000 euros (£21,493).

Dr Zuroff believes there are up to 60 people still living in Germany who could stand for trial for crimes allegedly committed.

nazi hunter post campaign

The posters supply a hotline telephone number for tips and cash is offered for information which leads to convictions

The campaign was launched in the wake of the conviction of John Demjanjuk in 2011 for his service as an armed SS guard at a death camp.

Demjanjuk was convicted of 28,060 counts of being an accessory to murder at the Nazis' Sobibor death camp. He denied the charges, claiming he was a prisoner of war himself.

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He was sentenced to five years in prison but was released to a nursing home in the southern Bavarian town of Bad Feilnbach pending an appeal. He died in March last year.

On the Wiesenthal website, Dr Zuroff adds: “In response to those who question the value of bringing elderly Nazi war criminals to justice, it is important to remember that:

1. The passage of time in no way diminishes the guilt of the killers.
2. Old age should not afford immunity to murderers.
3. Every one of the Nazis' victims deserves that an effort be made to hold their killers accountable.
4. This ongoing effort is a reminder of the importance of Holocaust crimes and a warning to contemporary anti-Semites and racists."
5. These trials are helpful in the ongoing struggle against Holocaust denial and distortion."

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  • May 2001

    Anton Malloth, an 89-year-old former guard at the Theresienstadt fortress in occupied Czechoslovakia, is sentenced to life in prison for beating and kicking a Jewish inmate to death in 1944. (Photo: AP)

  • July 2002

    Friedrich Engel, a 93-year-old former SS major, is convicted on 59 counts of murder for a 1944 massacre of Italian prisoners and given a suspended seven-year sentence. A federal court later quashes the conviction, doubting the evidence was sufficient. Engel dies in 2006. (Photo: AP)

  • February 2004

    A court halts the trial of Herbertus Bikker, an 88-year-old former SS member, on charges of killing a Dutch prisoner during World War II. He is ruled medically unfit to stand trial. He dies in 2008. (Photo: AP)

  • December 2005

    An 88-year-old former Nazi commander, Ladislav Niznansky, is acquitted of murder in three massacres in Slovakia. Court cites insufficient evidence. He dies in 2011. (Photo: AP)

  • August 2009

    Josef Scheungraber, a 90-year-old former officer in the German army, is convicted of murder for ordering the massacre of 10 civilians in a 1944 reprisal killing in Italy; sentenced to life imprisonment. His appeal is rejected. (Photo: AP)

  • November 2009

    Prosecutors file charges against former SS Sgt. Adolf Storms on 58 counts of murder in connection with a massacre of Jewish forced laborers in Austria in 1945. Storms dies in July 2010 at age 90, before he can be brought to trial. (Photo: AP File)

  • March 2010

    Heinrich Boere, 88, is convicted of murdering three civilians in the Netherlands when he was a member of a Waffen SS death squad in 1944; sentenced to life imprisonment. His appeal is rejected. (Photo: Getty)

  • July 2010

    Samuel Kunz, 88, is charged with participating in the murder of 430,000 Jews while serving as a low-ranking guard at the Belzec death camp (seen in photo). Kunz dies in November 2010, before he can be brought to trial. (Photo: Getty)

  • May 12, 2011

    John Demjanjuk, 91 was convicted for having been a guard at the Sobibor concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland from March 27 to mid-September 1943, and received one count of being an accessory to murder for each person who died during that time frame. Demanjuk dies in March 2012. (Photo: AP)