Thirty Former Auschwitz Guards Face Possible Prosecution in Germany
Thirty former Nazi Auschwitz death camp guards could face prosecution in Germany at the suggestion of justice officials in the country, the BBC reported Tuesday.
The 30 guards were identified by the Baden-Wuerttemberg state justice ministry—which is heading the investigation–from a group of 49.
Their potential prosecution was made possible by a judge in the case against former Sobibor camp guard John Demjanjuk. Two years ago, he ruled that even though there was no clear evidence that Demjanjuk had committed murder directly, his mere activities as a worker at the death camp facilitated mass murder.
Demjanjuk died last year while in the process of appealing a five-year jail sentence for complicity in the murder of more than 28,000 Jews at the camp, located in Nazi-occupied Poland.
Previously German courts only considered cases where Nazi suspects were accused of personally committing atrocities.
The justice agency in Ludwigsburg, Baden-Wuerttemberg, which heads German investigations into Nazi war crimes, says it plans to re-examine the actions of all former Nazi staff who served in extermination camps and special killing squads.
More than 7,000 SS personnel served at the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp complex in 1940-45, but only a few hundred were ever prosecuted.