“The world justice system has failed and I’m doing what a historian should do: expose the responsible individuals as war criminals,” Lasik explained.
Historians in Poland have put online what they say is the most complete list of Nazi SS commanders and guards at the Auschwitz concentration camp in hopes some of them can still be brought to justice.
The state-run Institute of National Remembrance said Monday that the “SS KL Auschwitz Garrison” list is based on data from archives in Poland, Germany, Austria, the United States and, to a limited extent, Russia, where archives remain mostly inaccessible.
The work of historian Aleksander Lasik, the institute and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial, it has more than 8,500 entries. It is based on a list that Lasik built during more than 30 years of archival research.
“The world justice system has failed and I’m doing what a historian should do: expose the responsible individuals as war criminals,” Lasik said.
Up to 200 former guards at the German death camp could still be living, he said.
Historians estimate that only 12 percent of Auschwitz guards were tried by courts in Poland and elsewhere.
Lasik’s full database includes more than 25,000 names of guards from various German-run camps. The list is not complete and his search continues, Lasik told The Associated Press.
‘Very Important and the Right Thing to Do’
The online list of Auschwitz guards and commanders is written in Polish, English and German. Most entries include the date and place of birth, nationality, education, military service and party affiliation. Some have a photo attached.
Judicial documents are included when the person stood trial in Poland. For example, the entry for Rudolf Hoess, the camp’s commander from 1940-43, has a photocopy of the death sentence he was handed by a court in Krakow, Poland, in 1947.
The dates of service at Auschwitz are being verified pending publication.
Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff said the publication of the names is “very important and the right thing to do” and can have “practical implications” if Nazi crime investigators in Germany were unaware of some of the names.
It is estimated that from 1940-45 Nazi Germans killed some 1.1 million people in the death camp that they operated in occupied Poland.
Some 1 million of the victims were European Jews, up to 75,000 were Poles, some 21,000 were Roma and approximately 15,000 were Soviet prisoners of war.