The Greek government has assured the Jewish community in Greece that legal proceedings against the Nazi war criminal Alois Brunner, who is believed to live in Syria and who organized to deportation of 50,000 Jews from Thessaloniki to the Nazi death camps in World War II, would soon be possible. Justice Minister Aris Kastanidis made the promise to members of the Jewish community, the head of the Greek Jewish umbrella group KIS, David Saltiel from Thessaloniki, said.
An amendment to the current law by which Greece in 1959 gave up its right to prosecute Nazis is to be voted soon. “This is more of a moral victory, since most of the people in question have died,” said Saltiel, adding that once the amendment is adopted the Jewish community would seek to extradite camp commander Alois Brunner from Syria, where he was known to be living in the 1990s. Brunner was responsible for sending almost 50,000 Jews from Thessaloniki to their deaths – 95 percent of the city’s Jewish population. However, there has been no recent evidence indicating he is still alive.
Brunner would be 98 years old today. He was a close collaborator of Adolf Eichmann and responsible for deporting more than 100,000 Jews from France, Greece, Slovakia and Austria to the death camps.