German probe finds 20 former death camp guards


BERLIN | Around 20 former guards at the Majdanek death camp could face charges in Germany, following a widespread probe of the Nazi SS men and women who served there during World War II, war crimes investigators said Tuesday.

In this Nov. 9, 2005 file picture watch towers and a barbed wire fence of the former Nazi death camp Majdanek outside the city of Lublin in eastern Poland are photographed. (AP Photo / Czarek Sokolowski)
In this Nov. 9, 2005 file picture watch towers and a barbed wire fence of the former Nazi death camp Majdanek outside the city of Lublin in eastern Poland are photographed. (AP Photo / Czarek Sokolowski)

Federal prosecutor Kurt Schrimm, who heads Germany’s special Nazi war crimes office, said he expects to turn the cases over to state investigators within two weeks for them to pursue accessory to murder charges. Schrimm’s office has no power to file charges itself.

Lead investigator Thomas Will told The Associated Press that about 30 suspects were identified and located, but around ten had already died. The remaining 20 men and women all live in Germany, he said, but refused to elaborate further.

Some 220 others are still being investigated for possible charges but have not been located.

The Majdanek probe is the second major review of death camp guards undertaken after Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk in 2011 became the first person to be convicted in Germany solely for serving as a camp guard, with no evidence of involvement in a specific killing.

Though Demjanjuk always denied serving at the death camp and died before his appeal could be heard, Schrimm’s office in September recommended that state prosecutors pursue charges against 30 former Auschwitz guards based on his case.

The office then started investigating about 1,000 former guards at Majdanek — another death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, where some 360,000 Jews and others were killed.

While Majdanek was also used as a labor camp — meaning guards theoretically could have worked there at certain times and not been involved in the Nazi genocide — prosecutors focused on guards allegedly present during the killings.

The Auschwitz investigation also continues and Schrimm said he expects more suspects will be announced “in the coming months.”

Efraim Zuroff, the head Nazi-hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, urged state prosecutors to prioritize the new cases, given the advanced age of the suspects.

“We are very hopeful that the work will be expedited so as many people as possible can be brought to justice,” he said.

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8 years ago

Any information on this subject…. remands comment…..
Relevant by its historical precedence, an excerpt from a 1981 US federal court finding in determining the merits of a case of denaturalized citizenship…………, the defendant was found to have committed atrocities, by ” The mere presence of a watchful eye of the conqueror or his deputies, coupled with the often demonstrated presence of both the means and the inclination to persistently inflict various indignities physical injuries or even death without notice or reason, is the personification of mental abuse, to anyone, let alone innocent civilian men, woman and children reduced to various degrees of substandard mental and physical well being.”

8 years ago
Reply to  Turbo_lancer

POLICE Shooting at a stolen motor vehicle?
Come to the AMC from July 21st -28th, and see for yourself the lies and scandals from the former chief oates and his brass monkeys. Hear a lot of testimony from both sides and the hurt this could do to Oates, Richardson, and more. Also, please know that I am taking to court next is PERRY for public slander. If you have read his articles it appears we are a topic of choice with his vicous incompetent editing that will land him in court, this will be after July.