Efraim Zuroff, chairman of the Simon Wiesenthal Foundation, arrived in Copenhagen Monday in order to file an official complaint against a 90-year-old Nazi war criminal who participated in the murder of thousands of Jews in Belarus during the Holocaust. The identity of the man and his role in the war were well-known in Denmark, but officials have shied away from taking action. Some 6,000 Danes volunteered to help the Nazis during the war.
“The Danish Justice Ministry was not going to act, so I decided to go to Denmark and file a complaint myself,” said Zuroff. “We hope this will prompt authorities to try the man in question.”
“Danish historians have established beyond the shadow of a doubt that many Danes were involved in the murder of Jews during World War II. The Danish volunteers killed at least 1,400 Jews in death camps in Belarus. The establishment of these facts was supposed to become a major scandal and get the government to act, but it didn't.”
Zuroff refused to reveal the name of the criminal against whom he was planning to file a complaint, but Danish media said that the man's name was Helmut Lief Rasmussen, who has admitted in interviews that he volunteered for the SS during the war. He claimed that although they were trained for action, th Danish soldiers did not participate in the war.
With that, a Danish newspaper said, Rasmussen admitted under questioning in 1954 and admitted that he had personally witnessed Jews being executed in a Belarus prison where he was a prison guard.