Famed US 'Nazi hunter' investigates Russian war crimes in Ukraine

The famous American "Nazi hunter" is now investigating war crimes in Ukraine. Read more about this publication Share America.

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Eli Rosenbaum, who works for the US Department of Justice, has been investigating and prosecuting Nazi war criminals for decades. Today, he coordinates agency efforts and works with other federal agencies to bring to justice those responsible for war crimes and other atrocities in Ukraine.

“Our responsibility as countries that respect the rule of law is, of course, to ensure that those who committed heinous crimes during the Russian invasion of Ukraine do not escape justice,” Rosenbaum said.

For example, after the withdrawal of Russian troops from the city of Bucha, near Kyiv, city authorities in April found hundreds of bodies and discovered mass graves. This atrocity outraged the world, and many countries expelled Russian diplomats working on their territory in protest.

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In a statement in The Hague on July 14, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said: “Every atrocity causes a lot of suffering that most of us find hard to comprehend. We must hold the perpetrators to account in order to ensure justice and support for the victims.”

Experience with hundreds of war crimes cases

Rosenbaum has been called a "Nazi hunter" for years of identifying and deporting Nazi war criminals from the United States. He worked on 100 cases that led to the deprivation of citizenship or deportation of those accused of Nazism, including the successful prosecution in 2020 of a former Nazi concentration camp guard in Tennessee, 75 years after the crime was committed.

"There is no hiding place for war criminals," US Attorney General Merrick Garland said when announcing Rosenbaum's appointment in June as war crimes adviser to the Justice Department.

During his career, Rosenbaum also dealt with war crimes related to the atrocities committed in Bosnia, Guatemala and Rwanda.

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“It may take time, and in some cases even years, for conditions to be brought to justice for those who commit such crimes in Ukraine, but I would say that recent history shows that the civilized world, more than ever before, is striving to put an end to impunity for these crimes,” Rosenbaum said.

He assured that his team would share evidence of possible war crimes with investigators from other countries.

Ukraine will take over the prosecution in most of the alleged cases, but Rosenbaum said individuals could be tried in other countries. The United States, among other things, supports the efforts of the International Criminal Court to investigate and preserve evidence of alleged atrocities in Ukraine.

“As we speak, evidence is being collected,” Rosenbaum said on July 14 in The Hague. “We can’t afford to waste time, but we must ensure quality.”

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