Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York For a man who’s devoted nearly 30 years of his life hounding the despicable men and women who’ve committed crimes against humanity, Eli Rosenbaum doesn’t look so menacing.Given the choice, he’d rather watch the Yankees or see a comedy than sit through another Hollywood movie about the horrors of the Holocaust. He’s been living with that gruesome reality almost 24/7 ever since the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Special Investigations hired him out of Harvard Law School in 1980.Today the 57-year-old Long Island native is the director of the human rights and special prosecutions section, making him the Justice Department’s longest-running investigator of human rights violators living in the United States.“So my entire career is really a summer internship gone awry!” he says with a grin.There’s a kindness in his brown eyes that belies the evil he’s had to face. He helped deport Boleslavs Maikovskis, a Nazi war criminal living in Mineola, and Karl Linnas, a former concentration camp commander living in Greenlawn. Because nature has finally enacted a “biological solution” to that Nazi generation, his section is now pursuing war criminals from the likes of Bosnia, Guatemala and Rwanda, who think they’ve found a safe haven here. His message to them: “You’ll have to be looking over your shoulder for the rest of your life.”Growing up “on the south side of Old Country Road in Westbury,” attending high school in East Meadow, and studying Hebrew three days a week, it’s surprising how little Rosenbaum knew about the genocide of World War II until one Sunday afternoon on his family’s black and white TV he saw a dramatization of the Nuremberg Trials by Peter Weiss, a German playwright. Rosenbaum couldn’t have been more than 12.“The Holocaust wasn’t spoken about in my household—it was too painful for my parents,” he recalls. They had both fled Germany before the war.But Rosenbaum’s father did return, wearing a U.S. Army uniform. One winter some 25 years after the war, Eli and his dad were driving through a blizzard when his father casually mentioned that he had been one of the first Americans to report on Dachau after its liberation in April 1945.“I said, ‘Well, what did you see?’ I’m looking out at the road, and I didn’t hear anything. Finally I look at my father, and I see that his eyes have welled with tears. His mouth is open like he wants to speak but he can’t do it. He’s crying…To the day he died, he never told me.”He found out for himself. Today, a father, Rosenbaum credits his wife of 25 years, Cynthia, who also has a law degree, for keeping him balanced. “She keeps me sane despite the awful stuff that I have to deal with—the subject matter of my work.”Recently Rosenbaum was in Manhattan sharing the dais at the Four Seasons with Sara Bloomfield, executive director of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., which was celebrating its 20th anniversary—and has been an invaluable resource for Rosenbaum’s investigations.The Nazis, it turns out, expecting they would win the war and rule for 1,000 years, kept meticulous records.“We’ve done the best job of any law enforcement agency in the world in hunting these people down,” he says. “I like to think that this effort is carried out for the victims who perished and the victims who survived.”
Willett hopes Sunday’s win at Augusta, where he took advantage of a back-nine meltdown by defending champion Jordan Speith to land his first major title, will signal the start of more success.“It’s about the quiet self-belief that I’ve gone about my business,” said Willett, who has leapt from a ranking in the 100s to world No 9 in a year and a half.“I’ve done all the preparation and I’ve worked hard over the last 15 years to try and get in that situation.“You work hard, you never quite believe it’s going to happen – all the practice and all the hours that you put in, you dedicate yourself to what you’re doing, they just pay off.”Reflecting on what has changed in the past 18 months, Willett said he had been able to put a few years of injury behind him and was finally playing the level of golf he was capable of.“A lot of it was injury – I think I got my card in 2008, I’ve been on the tour for a long time now,” he said. “I had a couple of good years when I first started, then I had a couple of torrid years with injuries.“It took a long time to get back from that. You need the six months break and then you need to rebuild everything, do all the rehab work for your body and then obviously do the rehab work for your golf swing and try to improve it.“That’s what set me back and then over the last three years I’d say it’s been a nice progression slowly up there, more so the last 12 to 18 months, it’s been a real upward shift.”It doesn’t look like ending there. Willett’s victory at Augusta has made him a certainty for the Ryder Cup in September, while his place on the Great Britain team for the Olympics is almost assured.All players within the top 15 of the Olympic rankings on July 11 will be eligible, although no more than four players can come from any one country.“That’ll really finish this year – just awesome – going from little man [his son] to the green jacket, to then obviously playing for Europe in the Ryder Cup, it really will be a dream,” he said.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Danny Willett is enjoying being home with his wife and baby while reflecting on a meteoric 18 months that have taken him to the top of the game.The first Englishman to win the Masters in 20 years is back in Sheffield soaking up the adulation with his wife Nicole and their baby son Zachariah, who was born just two weeks ago.