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Then and now. Bernhard in SS uniform
Last living senior Nazi officer
Photo: Danica Bernhard
Knesset to vote on Nazi's extradition
Following request from American Jews, MK Bielski demands that former assistant to Himmler who signed Reich order allowing first mass execution of European Jews be handed over to Israel

Eighteen years after Israel held its last legal proceeding against a Nazi war criminal, the Knesset this week may demand the extradition of Bernhard Frank, the assistant of SS Commander Heinrich Himmler.

 

Frank is considered the highest ranking Nazi officer still alive.

 

Himmler's assistant managed to conceal his involvement in the extermination of Jews during World War II for many years. Frank personally signed the Reich order allowing the first mass execution of European Jews.

 

Frank's identity was recently revealed in Germany, due to the work of Jewish researcher Mark Gould.

 

Gould posed as a neo-Nazi sympathizer and managed to collect evidence and recordings against Frank.

 

In the past few weeks, the United States launched legal proceedings against Frank as part of a civil action filed by relatives of his victims.

 

Meanwhile, the claimants' representatives appealed to former Chairman of the Jewish Agency MK Zeev Bielski (Kadima), urging him to submit a proposal to the Knesset to demand the extradition of the Nazi criminal to Israel.

 

The request was transferred to MK BielskI after the claimants were informed that German authorities are not planning to take legal action against Frank.

 

MK Bielski agreed to the request and scheduled a hearing at the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora, which will be held Tuesday and will conclude with a vote on the extradition of Frank.

 

The former Jewish Agency chairman is expected to read a letter written by Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, who represents the plaintiffs in the United States.

 

As one of the main architects of the Holocaust, Bernhard Frank should stand trial for his acts and pay for his crimes against the Jewish people, she wrote.

 

Chairman of the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora, MK Danny Danon (Likud) said on Sunday, "The window of opportunity to bring Nazi criminals to justice is shutting close. If a senior Nazi such as Frank is still among the living, the State of Israel must bring his to justice in every way possible and at the earliest opportunity."

 

 

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