A three part 2009 BBC series hosted by David Morrissey which follows the work of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre as they undertake Operation Last Chance, an ambitious attempt to track down the last surviving suspected Nazi war criminals in order for them to stand trial for their crimes.
The Simon Wiesenthal Centre is an American non-profit organization which focuses on Jewish human rights and fights antisemitism, prior to this operation they released a ‘Most Wanted’ list of Nazi’s that they believed were still alive – 30 years after the conclusion of the Nuremberg Trials. Efraim Zuroff is a Jerusalem based director of the organisation and is tasked with tracking these elderly individuals down whilst there is still time.
The first episode focuses on the search for the Austrian doctor Aribert Heim who in 1941 as a young doctor was assigned to the Mauthausen Concentration Camp for six weeks, a period during which he murdered hundreds of prisoners by carrying out needless and inhumane medical experiments. His sadistic experiments included amputating limbs without anesthetic and injecting poison directly into the hearts of victims just to see how quickly they would die. Heim evaded capture and has never stood trial, Efraim Zuroff is investigating fresh evidence that he may still be alive.
The second episode follows the journey of two young filmmakers who succeed in tracking down some of the most wanted living Nazi war criminals in an attempt to discover how their actions during wartime have shaped their lives in the years that have followed, and to try and determine whether they have any regret or remorse for their activities.
The third and final episode focuses not on hunting down war criminals but on 200,000 Polish children who were stolen from their parents as babies and raised in Germany to quicken the development of the Aryan Master Race plan which was developed by SS chief Heinrich Himmler who was frustrated that his men were not baring enough children either in wedlock or illegitimately. This episode tracks down some of those kidnapped children to explore what became of them.
Efraim Zuroff authored a book about his efforts to track down the last surviving Nazi’s, Operation Last Chance: One Man’s Quest to Bring Nazi Criminals to Justice. It is published by St. Martin’s Griffin and available in paperback, hardcover, and kindle formats from Amazon.