Germany: Authorities pursue 9 suspected Nazi criminals

Former concentration camp guards are facing justice more than 70 years after the Holocaust.  

By: AP and World Israel News Staff

The main federal agency that investigates Nazi war crimes in Germany has turned over nine new cases to state authorities for possible prosecution.

Berlin’s Die Tageszeitung (taz) newspaper reported Monday that the cases involve guards from the Auschwitz death camp, and the Mauthausen, Buchenwald and Ravensbrueck concentration camps. Mauthausen was in Austria and Auschwitz in Nazi-occupied Poland.

Head prosecutor Jens Rommel, who confirmed the taz story to the dpa news agency, says most of the suspects are in their early to mid-90s.

Rommel’s office doesn’t have the authority to press charges, so state prosecutors will now have to decide whether there’s enough evidence to file charges.

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.