February 09, 2006

Famed Nazi hunter Eli Rosenbaum to speak at Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Eli M. Rosenbaum, the nation's best-known hunter of accused Nazi war criminals, will deliver the Klatsky Seminar in Human Rights at the Case Western Reserve University School of Law.

Rosenbaum, director of the Office of Special Investigations' (OSI) Criminal Division at the U.S. Department of Justice, will speak on Wednesday, February 22 from 4:30-5:30 p.m. in room A59 of the law school, 11075 East Blvd. His topic will be "Pursuing Human Rights Violators in America: The Office of Special Investigations at 25." The lecture is free and open to the public and one hour of CLE credit is available at no charge.

Rosenbaum's talk will be broadcast live on the Internet and be available afterwards for viewing on demand. Details are available at http://law.case.edu/lectures.

"Case School of Law is honored to host a distinguished lecturer who has done so much to bring war criminals to justice," said Gerald Korngold, dean and McCurdy Professor of Law. "The law school, too, is deeply involved in matters of international accountability, as evidenced by the work of our War Crimes Research Program assisting in the international prosecutions of major war criminals such as Slobodan Milosevic, Charles Taylor, and Saddam Hussein."

"Eli Rosenbaum is known across the globe for his fervor and passionate commitment to bringing war criminals to justice," adds Professor Michael Scharf, a 2005 Nobel Peace Prize nominee who directs the law school's Frederick K. Cox International Law Center. "With Eli on the case, war criminals hiding in the United States don't stand a chance." Students working with Scharf have provided over 120 legal research memoranda to five international criminal tribunals, which are available at the Case Western Reserve War Crimes Research Portal: http://law.case.edu/war-crimes-research-portal. Case also hosts an award-winning Website about the Saddam Hussein Trial: http://law.case.edu/saddamtrial.

In his 20 years at OSI, Rosenbaum and his colleagues have tracked down and taken action to deport or extradite 56 Nazi and Japanese war criminals who had illegally entered the United States and lived undercover. Twelve cases are currently being litigated, and dozens more are under investigation. Recently, Congress expanded OSI's mandate to include participants in the genocidal acts in the former Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, Cambodia, and Iraq.

ABC News has called OSI "the most successful Nazi-hunting unit in the world." Rosenbaum and OSI were awarded the Anti-Defamation League's first International Human Rights Award in 1997.

One of the most controversial of OSI's cases was the 1986 extradition of John Demjanjuk, the retired Seven Hills, Ohio auto worker who was said to be the brutal Nazi concentration camp guard known as "Ivan the Terrible." After the Israeli Supreme Court threw out the conviction in 1993 based on newly available evidence from KGB files indicating that it was a case of mistaken identity, Demjanjuk returned to Cleveland, whereupon OSI reinitiated action to have him deported. In December 2005, a federal immigration judge ruled that the 85 year-old Demjanjuk must be deported to his native Ukraine. Last week, Demjanjuk's lawyers filed an appeal.

The Klatsky Seminar in Human Rights was established in 2000 to provide a forum to highlight issues affecting human rights. It was made possible by a gift from Bruce J. Klatsky, chairman of Phillips-Van Heusen Corp., and a 1970 graduate of Adelbert College (now part of Case Western Reserve University). He served as a member of the University's Board of Trustees from 1995-2002. He is also a board member of Human Rights Watch, a nonprofit, nongovernmental organization dedicated to the protection of human rights worldwide.

For more information call (216) 368-3304, visit the law school's website at http://law.case.edu/, or email alice.simon@case.edu.

For more information: Jeff Bendix 216-368-6070.

Posted by: Heidi Cool, February 9, 2006 11:57 AM | News Topics: Events, Lectures/Speakers, Public Policy/Politics

Case Western Reserve University is committed to the free exchange of ideas, reasoned debate and intellectual dialogue. Speakers and scholars with a diversity of opinions and perspectives are invited to the campus to provide the community with important points of view, some of which may be deemed controversial. The views and opinions of those invited to speak on the campus do not necessarily reflect the views of the university administration or any other segment of the university community.