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Germany Investigating 50 Auschwitz Guards

40 of the suspected former guards alive in Germany, many will face charges

by
Stephanie Butnick
August 27, 2013
The railway tracks leading to the main gates at Auschwitz II - Birkenau seen December 10, 2004. (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)
The railway tracks leading to the main gates at Auschwitz II - Birkenau seen December 10, 2004. (Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

A German investigation into 50 suspected former Auschwitz guards is underway, thanks to a new legal theory that allows anyone who worked at a death camp to be charged as an accessory to murder, the New York Post reports. The probe, initiated by a German prosecution team that deals specifically with Nazi crimes, will likely lead to charges.

Berlin’s taz newspaper reports more than 40 suspects were found to be still alive in Germany. Prosecutor Kurt Schrimm told The Associated Press on Monday his office planned on recommending charges against most.



State prosecutors then have to review the cases and decide if there is enough evidence to press charges.

This extensive probe is welcome news in light of troubling reports earlier this summer of the 10 suspected former Nazis who managed to evade deportation from the United States (their home countries didn’t want them back) and continue to collect Social Security, as well as the 94-year-old Ukrainian former SS unit commander discovered to be living quite comfortably in Minnesota since 1949.

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.

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