German prosecutors are investigating eight Germans on suspicion they worked at the Nazi Stutthof concentration camp during the Holocaust, and are weighing whether to charge them with multiple counts of accessory to murder.
Special Prosecutor Jens Rommel, the head of the German special prosecutor’s office that investigates Nazi war crimes, told the DPA news agency on Tuesday that four males are suspected of serving as guards at the camp, and four women are believed to have worked as secretaries or telephone operators.
The Nazi hunters are also looking at more possible suspects from the Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, Majdanek and Neuengamme camps.
Rommel’s office, which does not follow through with cases in court, handed the cases to prosecutors across Germany for them to consider whether to file charges.
Stutthof was a Nazi concentration camp built in a secluded, wet, and wooded area near the small town of Sztutowo in the northern Poland. Stutthof was the first camp outside German borders, in operation from the German invasion in September 1939, and the last camp liberated by the Allies in May 1945.
More than 85,000 victims died in the camp, out of some 110,000 inmates deported there.
German prosecutors in recent years have renewed their efforts to pursue Nazi criminals using new legal reasoning that, even without evidence of a specific crime, suspected Nazis can be charged as accomplices to the crimes committed at the camps.
In June 2016, former Auschwitz SS guard Reinhold Hanning became the latest Nazi war criminal to be convicted by a court.
Justice After 7 Decades
Ronald Lauder, president of the World Jewish Congress (WJC), welcomed the announcement on the new war-crimes probes. “Germany’s commitment to identifying more former Nazi camp guards is encouraging.” He said Rommel and his staff deserve “praise and support” for their efforts.
“Given the vast system of concentration and extermination camps put in place by the Nazis, and the number of personnel needed to run and guard these sites, it comes as no surprise that a few of these perpetrators are still alive, even today,” he said. “It is critical that all those who took part in the genocide of Jews and crimes against humanity are put on trial, irrespective of their age.”
“As Jews, we rightly expect that no stone be left unturned when it comes to dealing with Nazi crimes, and that anyone suspected of involvement in mass murder, who is still alive, be prosecuted,” he said.
“For decades, Germany did very little to bring Nazi war criminals to justice, but as long as it is still possible it must be done,” said Lauder.
By: Aryeh Savir, world Israel News