In the latest German probe into Nazi concentration camp guards, investigators have identified 20 suspected former guards at Majdanek who are still alive and living in Germany. The Associated Press reports that the results of the investigation by Germany’s special Nazi war crimes office into more 1,000 former guards at the concentration camp would be handed over to state investigators.
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.
It’s not up to state investigators to decide whether or not to press charges. Yet federal prosecutor Kurt Schrimm, who heads the Nazi war crimes office, told Reuters that even if charges are filed, it’s unlikely that the cases will proceed much further.
“With a few exceptions, most of them won’t lead to investigations by prosecutors,” he said. Although many of the suspects are still alive, their cases might not get to trial “because the proof is too thin.”
A similar German probe last year into 50 former guards at Auschwitz, 40 of whom were still alive, yielded three arrests. One of them, 94-year-old Hans Lipschis, was charged with 10,510 counts of accessory to murder but ultimately deemed unfit for trial by a German court due to dementia.