Poland puts database of Auschwitz guards online (9,000 names)
The names of Nazi SS commanders and guards at the Auschwitz death camp in German-occupied Poland have been put online by the country`s Institute of National Remembrance (INR). It has been hailed as the most comprehensive list to date. About 9,000 names - nearly all German - are on the Auschwitz garrison list, some with photographs attached. It includes information about SS commanders and guards who worked at Auschwitz-Birkenau, their names, place and date of birth, nationality, military service and where possible, a photograph.
Oskar Groening Auschwitz conviction marks `dramatic change`
A German federal court has upheld the conviction of Auschwitz death camp guard Oskar Groening, who admitted witnessing murders but not taking part. The verdict overturns a 1969 ruling that being a staff member at Auschwitz was not enough to secure a conviction. Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff said it was the biggest change in years. Groening, 95, who was known as "the bookkeeper of Auschwitz", had appealed against a 4-year jail term handed down for being accessory to murder. "This is a very dramatic and significant change in German prosecution policy," Mr Zuroff told.
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Auschwitz medic Hubert Zafke goes on trial at fourth attempt
Hubert Zafke appeared in court in Neubrandenburg in Germany accused of assisting in the killing of 3,681 people at the Auschwitz death camp. The indictment covers one month, from 15 August to 14 September 1944. Shortly before the pre-trial hearing began, Hubert Zafke was given a medical check to determine under what conditions the trial could take place. On three previous occasions the trial has been postponed. His defence has argued he suffers from poor health, high blood pressure and suicidal thoughts. According to the indictment, the SS medic served for several weeks in the summer of 1944 in the medical unit at Auschwitz. Hubert Zafke denies the charges, arguing he treated only wounded soldiers and members of the SS.
Former Auschwitz guard Reinhold Hanning convicted
A 94-year-old former guard at the Auschwitz death camp has been sentenced to five years in jail. Reinhold Hanning was found guilty of being an accessory to the murder of at least 170,000 people. He was an SS guard at Auschwitz from 1942 to 1944. He has said he knew what was going on at the camp but did not act to stop it.
Seventy years on: What could trials against Nazi guards from World War II hope to achieve?
More than 70 years after World War II ended, why are people, now in their nineties, still being tried for war crimes in Germany? Much of it can be traced back to one pivotal moment of jurisprudence. In 2011, a German court ruled that John Demjanjuk, a former guard at Sobibor – a concentration camp in Poland – was guilty of being an accessory to the murders of 28,000 people even though he had himself not killed anyone. Earlier Nazi war crime trials in the immediate decades after the war ended had seen a slew of convictions and sentences, but had been broadly restricted to upper and mid-level officials, implying that the others who served had merely been following orders.
I am truly sorry: Former SS Auschwitz guard breaks his silence 70 years after end of war
A 94-year-old SS guard on trial for complicity in 170,000 murders at Auschwitz broke his silence on Friday for the first time since the war, telling victims: `I am truly sorry.` More than 70 years after the end of the second world war, Reinhold Hanning admitted to a German court that he knew prisoners were being shot, gassed and cremated at the death camp in occupied Poland. "I could see how the bodies were being transported here and there and then away. I could smell the burning. I knew that people were burning bodies."
Auschwitz guard Ernst Tremmel dies a week before trial
A 93-year-old guard at Auschwitz has died a week before he was due to stand trial in Germany. Ernst Tremmel was accused of 1,075 counts of accessory to murder for his time working at the death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. Tremmel worked at the camp from November 1942 to June 1943. The trial was to have started in Hanau, where Auschwitz survivors were expected to give testimony. Tremmel served with an SS Totenkopf unit processing the arrival of prisoners at the camp and was allegedly directly involved in three transports, from Berlin, the French city of Drancy, and Westerbork in the Netherlands.
94-year-old SS guard at the Auschwitz death camp has gone on trial in Germany
A 94-year-old former Nazi SS guard at the Auschwitz death camp has gone on trial in Germany over the murder of at least 170,000 people. Prosecutors say Reinhold Hanning met Jewish prisoners as they arrived at the camp in occupied Poland and may have escorted some to the gas chambers. Mr Hanning has admitted being a guard but denies involvement in mass murder. He is being tried in the city of Detmold, in what is likely to be one of the last cases of its kind. Mr Hanning is one of four elderly former Nazi guards - three men and a woman - who are due to go on trial in the coming months.
German woman charged with 260,000 counts of accessory to murder, being a Nazi SS radio operator serving in Auschwitz
A 91-year-old woman has been charged with 260,000 counts of accessory to murder on allegations she was a member of the Nazi SS who served in Auschwitz. Schleswig-Holstein prosecutors` spokesman Heinz Doellel said the woman is alleged to have served as a radio operator for the camp commandant Rudolph Hoess, who was hanged after the war for his crimes against humanity, from April to July 1944. Prosecutors argue that the accused, whose name wasn`t disclosed due to German privacy laws, can be charged as an accessory because she helped the death camp function.
Auschwitz guard Oskar Groening admits role at camp
The SS guard being tried for accessory to murder has admitted that he helped Auschwitz function by sorting cash and valuables seized from Jews. But Oskar Groening, known as the bookkeeper of Auschwitz, denied helping to facilitate the murders of 300,000 people at the death camp. The court heard of his "indoctrinated obedience" which he said prevented him from "registering the atrocities". He faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. The charges against the former guard relate to a period between May and July 1944, when 425,000 Jews from Hungary were taken to the Auschwitz-Birkenau complex in Nazi-occupied Poland.
Ex-SS medic, 94, charged over Auschwitz deaths
A 94-year-old man has been charged with 3,681 counts of accessory to murder in Germany on allegations he served at Auschwitz. Prosecutors said the defendant was a former SS sergeant, who acted as a medical officer at the Nazi death camp in 1944. It is alleged that in his role as medical officer he helped the camp function and could therefore be linked to deaths that occurred during his period of service from 15 August to 14 September 1944. If found guilty he could face a jail term ranging 3-15 years. Defence lawyer Peter-Michael Disetel told there was no evidence of a "concrete criminal act".
Auschwitz bookkeeper Oskar Groening will go on trial in Germany in April
Oskar Groening, 93, who was known as the "bookkeeper of Auschwitz", was allegedly responsible for counting banknotes confiscated from prisoners. The trial will take place in the north German city of Lueneburg. Fifty-five survivors and victims` relatives are plaintiffs in the case, and many are likely to attend the trial. Groening, who began work at Auschwitz aged 21, does not deny witnessing the mass killing at Auschwitz. "I saw the gas chambers. I saw the crematoria. I saw the open fires. I was on the ramp when the selections [for the gas chambers] took place. I would like you to believe these atrocities happened - because I was there."
Suspected Auschwitz guard Johann Breyer dies in US
An elderly man in the US accused of Nazi war crimes has died while awaiting extradition to Germany. Johann Breyer, 89, passed away in a Philadelphia. His death followed an order by a US judge granting a request for Mr Breyer to be sent to Germany to stand trial. German prosecutors were hoping to put him on trial on charges of aiding in the murder of more than 200,000 Jews at Auschwitz during World War Two.
Germany arrests three suspected Auschwitz guards
Three men aged 88, 92 and 94 have been detained by German authorities on suspicion of being guards at the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. The homes of a number of men were raided in three German states, months after prosecutors investigating Nazi-era war crimes announced they were recommending charges against 30 people. The three men taken into custody have been sent to a prison hospital.
Nazi trial for Siert Bruins dropped over evidence gaps
A German court dropped the case against a 92-year-old member of the Nazi SS accused of killing a Dutch resistance fighter in 1944, ruling that there are too many gaps in the evidence to deliver a verdict. The Hagen state court said there was enough evidence to convict Dutch-born Siert Bruins, now a German citizen, of manslaughter, court spokesman Jan Schulte said. However, that charge falls under Germany`s statute of limitations. The witnesses needed to possibly prove the charge of murder—for which there is no statute of limitations— are now all dead so the court decided it had no option but to drop the case.
94-year-old Auschwitz guard Hans Lipschis deemed too old to stand trial
Hans Lipschis, 94, accused of being a guard at the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz, has been freed and is unlikely to stand trial because he is too old, a German state court announced. Lithuanian-born Lipschis, who moved to the United States after World War II and was later sent back to Germany, told a reporter he had only been a cook at the Holocaust`s principal killing site.
Germany charges 93-year-old alleged Auschwitz guard Hans Lipschis
German prosecutors said they had charged a 93-year-old alleged former guard at the Nazi death camp Auschwitz with complicity to murder. The accused, who was not identified by prosecutors but has been named by media as Hans Lipschis, was deported to Germany from the United States in the 1980s for failing to reveal his SS past. He was arrested in Germany in May. The public prosecutor`s office in Stuttgart said the charge related to his duties in the camp between 1941 and 1943. Through his function there, he is alleged `to have supported the operation of the camp and thereby the extermination activities`, it said in a statement. Lipschis has reportedly said he only worked as a cook at Auschwitz.
Hunt for Auschwitz Female Guards
Six elderly women are being investigated over their role as prison guards at the Nazi death camp, Auschwitz. Germany`s Central office for the investigation of National Socialist crimes have to demonstrate that the women, now at least 87 years old, worked also at the Birkenau death site. The head of the Central office said that there are no information on executions conducted by female guards, but some of them treated prisoners very brutally and have been convicted of war crimes.
Germany debates belated justice for Nazi guard at Auschwitz
The arrest in Germany of a 93-year-old alleged former Auschwitz guard on charges of complicity in mass murder reopened a debate on whether a measure of justice can be too late in coming. Holocaust survivors and historians hailed the twilight bid to bring the last war criminals to book, but some have raised quiet doubts about the purpose of hauling the elderly and frail before a court. State police took the white-haired Hans Lipschis, number four on the Simon Wiesenthal Center`s list of most-wanted Nazis, into custody after a medical examination showed he was fit to withstand detention. Prosecutors now say that he is `strongly suspected` of having served as a guard in the Nazi death camp from autumn 1941 until its closure in 1945. Lipschis told he had been at Auschwitz but `worked as a cook, the whole time`.
German investigators on trail of dozens of former Nazi guards
German investigators have said that they are on the trail of dozens of former guards at Auschwitz. They said the suspects could face charges as accessories in the murders of detainees at the camp. The suspects are all around 90 years old and live in various parts of Germany, according to the head of the Central Office of the State Justice Administrations for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes.
Auschwitz guard Johann Breyer could face charges as fresh documents cast doubt on past
The case of Johann Breyer - accused by Germany of serving as an SS guard at Auschwitz - has centred on whether he was at the part of the death camp used as a killing machine. He insists he was never there, but WWII-era documents obtained by The AP could provide the legal basis for charging him as an accessory to the murder of hundreds of thousands of Jews. Breyer stated that he was always at Auschwitz I, a smaller camp used largely for slave labour, and never entered Auschwitz II (Auschwitz-Birkenau). One SS document notes that Breyer was an SS guard at Auschwitz II. Another indicates he served with a unit of the SS Totenkopf (death`s head) that was assigned to guard Birkenau.
Anton Geiser , Nazi camp guard fighting deportation from the U.S., dies at 88
A Nazi concentration camp guard who had been fighting attempts to deport him from the U.S. has passed away at the age of 88 in Pennsylvania. Anton Geiser was born in what is now Croatia. He had been living in Pennsylvania for more than 50 years but didn`t tell his family about the Nazi service until 2004, when the Justice Department began legal proceedings. Geiser has said he was forced to join the SS at the age of 17 in 1942 and that he never killed anyone. He has acknowledged that he worked at the Sachsenhausen and Buchenwald, where tens of thousands are believed to have died.
Johann Breyer admits he was a guard at Auschwitz, but maintains that he worked outside the camp
Germany has launched a war crimes investigation against an 87-year-old Philadelphia man it accuses of serving as an SS guard at the Auschwitz death camp, following years of failed U.S. Justice Department efforts to have the man stripped of his U.S. citizenship and deported. Johann "Hans" Breyer, a retired toolmaker, admits he was a guard at Auschwitz, but claims he was stationed outside the facility and had nothing to do with the slaughter of 1.5 million Jews and others behind the gates. However, the AP has obtained documents that raise doubts about Breyer`s testimony about the timing of his departure from Auschwitz.
Nazi hunters push for war crimes charges against 87-year-old man accused of working as Auschwitz guard
An 87-year-old man is set to be charged on allegations that he served as an SS guard at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. The German special prosecutors office has recommended that the man be charged over involvement in the killing of 344,000 Jews in Auschwitz from April 1944 until January 1945. Head prosecutor Kurt Schrimm did not reveal the identity of the man but confirmed that he is a non-German living outside Germany. Schrimm, who is head of the special prosecutors` office that pursues Nazi-era crimes, said that the man can be charged over accessory to murder using precedent set by the trial of former Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk in 2011.
Poland reopens probe into Nazi death camp guards after a similar move by Germany
Poland is reopening its probe into WW2 war crimes at Auschwitz and other Nazi-era death camps. The goal: to track down and prosecute any living Nazis who worked at the camps, before time runs out. Poland first opened up investigations into Nazi-era war crimes in the 1960s and `70s, but closed them in the 1980s before any convictions were made as the result of the "country`s isolation behind the Iron Curtain." The nation`s most recent Nazi-era crime prosecution was in 2001, when a guard was sentenced to 8 years in prison for working at Chelmno.
Demjanjuk case sparks hundreds of new investigations about Nazi guards
Thousands of dormant investigations into former Nazi death camp guards have been reopened because of the conviction of John Demjanjuk. Even the narrowest probe into guards at the four death camps used only for killings - Belzec, Sobibor, Chelmno and Treblinka - could lead to scores more prosecutions. Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff explained: "We`re talking about an estimated 4,000 people, to round it off. Even if only 2% of those people are alive, we`re talking 80 people."
Exposed: The Nazi guard who lives in a bungalow in Hampshire
A 90-year-old man has been exposed as a guard at a Nazi slave-labour camp during World War Two. Alexander Huryn, who lives in a bungalow in Hampshire, kept his past secret when he settled in Britain 60 years ago. As a former member of the German armed forces, Huryn still receives a German Army pension. His WWII-past might have remained hidden had it not been for the opening up of Soviet-era archives in recent years. Documents show that Huryn served at Trawniki, and appear to prove he joined an SS battalion that committed atrocities against Polish civilians in 1944 and 1945.
Germany opens investigation against Nazi guard Alex Nagorny, who was a witness in John Demjanjuk case
A German prosecutor has opened an investigation against a witness in John Demjanjuk`s trial about his involvement in mass killings at the Treblinka concentration camp. Alex Nagorny, a 94-year-old Ukrainian who fought the Nazis as a Red Army soldier, have previously admitted training at Trawniki SS camp and serving as a guard in the Nazi camps after he was captured as a POW. The investigation is based on an statement made by an SS guard called Ivan Knysh, who told Soviet authorities in 1948 that he remembered Nagorny from Treblinka. One of the reasons why Nagorny has not been charged earlier is that there were at least three SS guards named Nagorny.
It will be interesting to see if the decision to open an investigation against a witness forces former SS guards - who are called up as a witnesses in the future proceedings - to shut up completely.
Strange Nazi trials: A Gestapo torturer protected by the CIA, a Soviet POW serving as an SS guard
Klaus Barbie was a Gestapo torturer protected by the CIA, John Demjanjuk and Samuel Kunz were Soviet Red Army soldiers fighting the Third Reich but ending up as a Nazi guards. These are only some of the strange Nazi court cases which have emerged over the decades, and even the bigger trials are stuck with own controversies.
The third most wanted Nazi, Samuel Kunz (low-ranking Nazi guard and ex-Red Army soldier) dies before his trial
Nazi death camp guard and ex-Russian Army soldier Samuel Kunz, who avoided the Nazi Hunters` nets several times because of his low rank, has passed away at 89, just months after being charged with assisting in the killing of 430,000 Jews at the Belzec death camp.
SS guard Michael Seifert - the beast of Bolzano - dies in Italy while serving a life sentence
Michael Seifert - a Nazi guard accused of leaving a captive to starve to death, violating and killing a pregnant woman and forcing an inmate`s eyes out with his thumb - has passed away while serving a life sentence in Italy.
Peter Egner finally admits serving as a transport guard on a train bound for Auschwitz, facing deportation
Peter Egner - who has until now has claimed he was just a regular soldier in the Wehrmacht - has finally admitted serving as a transport guard, watching over a boxcar filled with Gypsies targeted for extermination.
Story of Samuel Kunz - From Red Army soldier to SS guard (Article no longer available from the original source)
Samuel Kunz was born in 1921 in Russia, in a village on the Volga River. In WWII he was a Red Army soldier, taken POW by the Wehrmacht. The Nazis gave him two choices: captivity in the POW camp at Chelm, or collaboration. After a few days in Chelm, where he saw the bodies of dozens of POWs being dragged out of the camp, Kunz volunteered to collaborate. He was sent to the SS training camp at Trawniki, along with 5,000 other POWs. The SS trainees were later tasked with 3 missions: emptying the ghettos, supervising forced laborers or serving in death camps. Kunz became a guard in the Belzec death camp.
One more "last Nazi trial" as Samuel Kunz - a Soviet POW turned into a Nazi death camp guard - faces charges
Samuel Kunz, an 88-year-old Nazi guard, came under the radar of the prosecutors during the John Demjanjuk case - predicted to be the last Nazi war crimes trial in Germany. Kunz has been charged with taking part in the murder of 434,000 Jews at the Belzec. He is also charged with shooting 10 Jewish inmates, based on the testimony of another Nazi guard who has since perished. Kunz - a guard at the Belzec death camp from January 1942 to July 1943 - has previously been questioned several times but has not faced any charges. He was born in 1921 in the Soviet Union, became a POW in 1941 and volunteered for guard duty.
German authorities investigating Samuel K. - A death camp guard who helped to kill 430,000 Jews
The trial of John Demjanjuk may not be Germany`s last major Nazi-era war crimes case. Authorities are investigating Samuel K., accused of being a death camp guard and of helping to kill 430,000 Jews in the Belzec extermination camp. The Central Office for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes has finished its preliminary investigation and it will transfer the case to the prosecutor`s office in Dortmund. Samuel - ex Soviet POW like John Demjanjuk - is accused of having been involved in the murder of at least 430,000 Jews in the Belzec death camp between end-November 1941 and spring 1943.
Nazis killed SS guards (basically Soviet POWs in SS uniform) too - Historian at Demjanjuk trial
Nazi death-camp guards could expect the firing squad or hanging if they fled their posts, a historian told the trial of John Demjanjuk. Dieter Pohl detailed how Nazis "recruited" Soviet POWs to wear the SS uniform (alternative was to die of hunger in POW camps) and carry out killings. If these SS guards tried to flee after seeing the death camps, they could expect to be executed. Yet many did run away: After being caught some were executed, some given military prison terms, and some locked up in concentration camps. Some of these "SS guards" identified with the Nazis while others passed warnings to inmates.
Spain demands extradition of 3 Nazi guards: Johann Leprich, Anton Tittjung and Josias Kumpf
A Spanish judge declared indictments against 3 Nazi death camp guards for genocide and crimes against humanity. Johann Leprich, Anton Tittjung and Josias Kumpf were charged in absentia for their involvement in the killing of Spanish prisoners during the Second World War. Judge Ismael Moreno of the Spanish National Court issued international arrest warrants, concluding that the men had been members of the Totenkopf SS and had served as armed guards in the concentration camps of Mauthaussen and Sachsenhausen. "This is an amazing turnabout for Spain..." said nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff, adding that Spain had once been a haven for Nazi war-criminals.
Deported by U.S., Nazi guard Josias Kumpf gets luxury treatment in Austria
Over the past 3 decades, U.S. authorities have deported 107 Nazi war criminals. Too bad for Nazi collaborator John Demjanjuk that he landed in Munich rather than Vienna, where a charity group has housed Nazi guard Josias Kumpf in a high-end apartment. And under Austrian law, the fact that Kumpf may be a mass murderer is exluded from consideration because of statute of limitations. The Serbian-born Kumpf is reported to have stood in the ranks of the SS as a Trawniki-man. When interviewed by American interrogators, he told that he: "kept watch to make sure that those who weren`t completely dead or were still twitching didn`t climb out of the pit."
Austria frees SS man who took part in the killing of 8,000 - A day after being deported from US
A former SS man who took part in the extermination of 8,000 Jews in one day at the Trawniki camp in 1943 has been freed by Austria - a day after he was deported from the US. The US justice department said that Josias Kumpf had admitted that he stood guard over a pit where prisoners were being gunned down and "finished off" the wounded. Austrian justice ministry spokeswoman Katharina Swoboda said Kumpf would not be prosecuted because the statute of limitations relating to his crimes had expired in 1965. "We have always pointed out to the U.S. that he cannot be charged here with the crimes of which he is accused."
Bitches of Buchenwald: Which female death camp guard is the evil inspiration of the film Reader
Who is the evil inspiration behind Kate Winslet`s role in the film Reader: Ilse Koch or Irma Grese? Ilse Koch, the Bitch of Buchenwald as inmates called her, sits on a chair on trial in 1947 facing her accusers. Her long red hair is tied back in a matronly style. Once it was flaunted in the faces of victims in a Nazi camp. Beautiful Irma Grese, blue-eyed blonde, always looked good in her tailored SS uniform and high boots. She had a revolver in a holster and carried a rubber truncheon or a whip. She had an attack dog at her heels and she got herself the reputation of being the cruellest women in Auschwitz.
Spain`s National Court to try 4 alleged Nazi guards living in the United States
Spain`s National Court will try 4 men accused of being Nazi guards at concentration camps where thousands of Spaniards died. The lawsuit names John Demjanjuk, Anton Tittjung, Josias Kumpf and Johann Leprich - all living in the U.S. - as suspects. It demands that the 4 men be deported to Spain to stand trial for the deaths of Spanish citizens at camps at Flossenberg and Sachsenhausen in Nazi Germany, and Mauthausen in Austria where they allegedly worked as camp guards. 7,000 Spaniards were held at the Mauthausen camp and 4,300 of them perished.
American Nazi hunters seek to revoke citizenship of Peter Egner
Peter Egner talked freely about his service as a conscript in the German army. "He was a WWII veteran, like I was a veteran," said his neighbour Russell Wilson. But federal Nazi hunters say Egler has lived a lie, and moved to overturn his US citizenship, saying he was a member of a Nazi death squad responsible for the murders of 17,000 persons as the German Wehrmacht marched east. A complaint says that Egner was not a conscript, but served as a guard and interpreter with the Nazi-run Security Police and Security Service (SPSS) in Belgrade, Serbia (then Yugoslavia) from 1941-1943, when he was wounded.
4 alleged Nazi camp guards living in U.S. to be charged in Spain?
A human rights group has asked a Spanish court to charge 4 alleged Nazi concentration camp guards and seek their extradition from the U.S. over the deaths of Spanish citizens. The Brussels-based rights organization, Equipo Nizkor, identifies the suspects as John Demjanjuk, Anton Tittjung, Josias Kumpf and Johann Leprich. All 4 face deportation from the U.S. but no country will take them in. The group said it is acting under Spain`s principle of universal jurisdiction, which states that war crimes and other heinous offenses can be pursued in Spain even if they have been committed abroad.
Court hears appeal of former Death`s Head Battalion Nazi guard Anton Geiser (Article no longer available from the original source)
When Anton Geiser applied for an U.S. visa in 1956, he wrote that he was in the "German Army." What he didn`t indicate was: He was in the Nazi`s elite Death`s Head Battalion with orders to "shoot to kill" people in the Sachsenhausen and Buchenwald camps. Gravely ill Geiser appealed to remain in the "country I love." On Sept. 14, 1942 - at the age of 16 - he was drafted in the Waffen SS and sent to the Eastern Front. In Jan. 1943, he was sent to Sachsenhausen, where he saw guards shoot a prisoner who had stepped out of line. Geiser was one of about 10,000 Nazis who moved to the U.S. after WW2.
Case closed as female nazi camp guard Erna Wallisch dies
Female death camp guard Erna Wallisch has cheated justice after dying peacefully in a hospital. She lived in obscurity after WW2 until she was listed by Nazi hunters as one of the top Third Reich war criminals stil alive. Wallisch, a guard at the Majdanek death camp from Oct 1942 to Jan 1944, was tracked down to a suburb of Vienna by historian Guy Walters for book Hunting Evil. Under pressure from the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and the Polish Institute for National Remembrance (IPN) Austrian authorities agreed to open the case again. Eyewitness Ewa Koszlowska: "She was so hated that people used to warn each other when she was near."
Tiny Austrian village Silbertal faces its Nazi past - Mass murderer Josef Vallaster
The mayor of Silbertal, where Ernest Hemingway skied down majestic slopes, has began a project that most Austrians would rather forget: facing the nation`s Nazi past. Mayor Willi Saly wants to find out what drove Josef Vallaster to become one of the most brutal camp guards of WWII. He took part in the deaths of 250,000 at the Sobibor and Belzec, and of 20,000 mentally disabled persons in Nartheim. "At first, we couldn`t believe that a man from our village could be such a dreadful monster." Saly`s mission is unique in a country that has been unwilling to face its Nazi past. Unlike most areas occupied by Third Reich, many Austrians welcomed Germany`s annexation in 1938.
Canada to hand over convicted Nazi guard Michael Seifert to Italy
Former SS prison guard Michael Seifert was being handed over from Canada to Rome. He will be moved to a military prison near Naples to begin serve his sentence, said military prosecutor Bartolomeo Costantini. Seifert was convicted to life in prison in absentia in 2000 by a military tribunal in Verona on 9 counts of murder, committed while he was an SS guard at a prison transit camp in Bolzano. Seifert, who has lived in Canada since 1951, had unsuccessfully fought efforts by the Canadian authorities to strip him of his citizenship because he hid his past when he moved into the country.
Nazi officer Paul Maria Hafner: Auschwitz was a 10 star hotel
Nazi officer Paul Maria Hafner, who served in nazi camps and on the Eastern Front as an SS man, gives the Hitler salute in Spain where he has hidden for 60 years. Now he is the subject of a documentary "Hafner`s Paradise," by Gunter Schwaiger, which accounts his life in exile and how he draws pensions from 3 countries. Hafner calls Auschwitz "a ten star hotel" where "Jews were sent for their own protection. All that stuff about murder is Allied propaganda... I regard Hitler as the greatest man who ever lived, the most important person in the history." He dreams of seeing a "Fourth Reich" and he told to a Dachau survivor: "You survived quite well."
Frau Erna Wallisch is ranked 7 on the wanted Nazi war criminal list
She looks like a harmless grandmother. But this little old lady has a dark past. Frau Erna Wallisch ranks number 7 on the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s list of Nazi war criminals still on the loose. Tracked down by historian Guy Walters for book "Hunting Evil", she lives in an apartment in Vienna. Wallisch joined the Nazi party as a teenager and became a camp guard at the Ravensbruck women’s camp - where SOE agent Violette Szabo was among the thousands killed. Oct 1942 - Jan 1944 she was based at Majdanek death camp. Former prisoner Jadwiga Landowska recalled how the then-pregnant Wallisch beat people to death.
Suspected Nazi war criminal Paul Henss found in Atlanta
Nazi hunters have tracked a suspected WWII concentration camp guard Paul Henss to Lawrenceville. Members of the Justice Department`s elite Nazi tracking force said he served as a guard and attack dog handler at the Dachau and Buchenwald Camps in Nazi Germany. Henss joined the Hitler Youth organization in 1934 as a 12 or 13yo boy and joined the Nazi Party in Sept 1940. In early 1941, he volunteered to serve in the Waffen SS and became an SS dog handler in 1942 after serving in the elite Waffen SS combat unit Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler. Henss taught other concentration camp guards how to use attack dogs to guard prisoners and prevent their escape.
Nazi SS guard Martin Hartmann leaves U.S.
Martin Hartmann has been a soldier, typesetter, father and friend. The Department of Justice said he was also a war criminal. Hartmann voluntarily left the country Aug. 31, after reaching an agreement to turn over his papers. The decision followed a 2-year investigation into his past as an armed Nazi SS Guard at the Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. His departure left people in the community in east Mesa stunned. But one man knew his secret: Nathan Gasch had been in Hartmann`s home years ago and saw a photo of a man in an SS uniform. The man was Hartmann, and Gasch recognized the uniform because he had been a prisoner in the same camp in the 1944.
Female Nazi guard`s untold love story - Ravensbrück dog handler
Elfriede Rinkel was a loving Jewish wife. She was also a concentration camp dog handler when women and their children were savaged to death by alsatians for sport. Now a widow living peacefully, how has she evaded justice for 60 years? --- Rinkel had worked as a camp guard and dog handler at Ravensbrück for the last 9 months of the war, when the worst atrocities were committed. Ravensbrück was guarded by women - and these women often committed the worst atrocities. 3,500 German women, mostly under 30, passed through Ravensbrück as guards. Elfriede Rinkel was just 22 when she took up her post as "Hundeführerin", dog handler, on June 15, 1944.
Innocent man finally cleared of unfounded allegations of a Nazi Past
The Ukrainian Canadian community has welcomed the announcement that Wasyl Odynsky will not be deported, despite a decade of allegations about his wartime activities. In 2001 Federal Court Judge reaffirmed that Odynsky had never been a Nazi and that there was no evidence of any wrongdoing. Despite that Odynsky still faced the prospect of being deported because it was alleged that he must have misled immigration officials, concealing his role as a sentry at the Trawniki labour camp. Odynsky swore that he was never asked about his wartime service, had been press-ganged into a guard unit, and was never involved in a war crime. He has lived an exemplary life in Canada.
Nazi hunt continues for old ex-guards, most are nobodies in poor health
Anton Geiser, who is gravely ill, is facing a deportation because he was a labor camp guard in a Nazi SS Totenkopf battalion. The government says that makes him part of Nazi atrocities. Critics say hunting down elderly Nazis is a waste of time and money. The Nazi regime decision-makers are dead, former guards who had no influence remain. "The govt is prosecuting the most low-level nobodies who ever served in the German military, and they`re making it out to be the last living Nazis." Former Nazi hunter John Loftus sees it differently: "The Nazis in America got away with it. They should have spent their lives in jail or died before a firing squad."
Jimmy Carter protected Waffen-SS Nazi Guard
Jimmy Carter sent a note to the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Special Investigation, interceding on behalf of a Nazi SS Guard. Carter’s note is attached to a letter from the daughter of the Nazi SS Guard, asking for them to help the Nazi SS Guard. Mr. Carter sent the letter with the note attached: "To Director, O.S.I. I hope that, in cases like this, that special consideration can be given to affected families for humanitarian reasons. Jimmy Carter." Bartesch admitted that he had voluntarily joined the Waffen SS and had served in the SS Death`s Head Division at the Mauthausen camp where many thousands were killed.
Josias Kumpf served as an armed Nazi SS guard
A man who served as an armed Nazi SS guard became a U.S. citizen illegally and should be deported. Josias Kumpf admitted that he served as a guard at the Sachsenhausen and Trawniki camps. He was at Trawniki during or shortly after Operation Harvest Festival: a mass execution on Nov. 3, 1943. 7,000-8,000 were gunned down. He denied shooting anyone and said the Nazis threatened to kill him if he did not serve as a guard. His daughter said he suffers from Parkinson: "What are they going to do? Are they going to come here and take him away in handcuffs? He`s not well. He can`t even stay by himself."
Exile or mercy for old Nazi guards? (Article no longer available from the original source)
John Kalymon, Johann Leprich and Iwan Mandycz are old men now, hobbled by the same aches that plague many senior citizens. But in the 1940s they helped the Nazi killing machine exterminating millions of people deemed enemies of Adolf Hitler`s Third Reich. But getting rid of them has created a moral, legal and diplomatic dilemma. Many regard them as harmless old men who were victims, forced to choose between the Nazi juggernaut or death. "In recent years, we`ve had great difficulty persuading European nations to take these people back," said Eli Rosenbaum.
Blind, no homeland, cannot move: Waffen-SS guard case (Article no longer available from the original source)
The decision to revoke the former Waffen SS camp guard John Hansl`s citizenship stands. He is in a wheelchair. He`s blind. He needs help getting out of bed. Time is clearly running out. And where would they send him? His only relatives live in the US. Yugoslavia doesn`t exist. Croatia, which now includes his former homeland, has no record of his birth. He never lied about his past when he traveled to the US. He committed no atrocities. -- The other side will hold firm, saying he "personally assisted in persecution" by keeping prisoners from escaping. He carried a rifle and was instructed to shoot anyone who tried to flee.
Books expose female Nazis likes Irma Grese (Article no longer available from the original source)
Daniel Patrick Brown has written two books: "The Beautiful Beast — The Life and Crimes of SS-Aufseherin Irma Grese" and "The Camp Women — The Female Auxiliaries of the Nazi Concentration Camp System." They have made him an authority on the subject of the nazi female guards. Brown said the female camp guards were called SS Aufseherin, or overseers, and were considered auxiliaries to the SS members who ran the camps. Many of these women were brutal, including Irma Grese, a guard at Ravensbruck and at Bergen-Belsen in 1945, when Anne Frank died there a few weeks before the camp was captured by Allies.
SS Death`s Head battalion member in Pennsylvania
A former Nazi camp guard who has lived in Western Pennsylvania for about 50 years was stripped of his citizenship. Anton Geiser has two weeks to hand over his certificate of naturalization, passport and any other documents indicating he is an American citizen. He lied in 1956 about serving in an SS Death`s Head battalion. "Anton Geiser`s service as an armed SS guard at several Nazi concentration camps helped to ensure that thousands of men and women held prisoner could not escape the brutal conditions of their confinement."
On a Munich Tour, Confronting a Dark Past
Americans are especially interested in Third Reich tours, says Vicky Weller. Germans "deal with their past. They don`t hide it. Buildings have been left." Michael R. Marrus says sometimes it`s the things that aren`t there: for instance, the buildings that were bombed by the Allies to erase Nazi memories. 80% of Munich was destroyed by the air attacks" during World War II. --- The Feldherrnhalle is the spiritual center of the Nazi movement. At this memorial to German heroes of previous wars, Hitler in 1923 attempted a coup against the Bavarian government - the "beer hall putsch" during which 16 Nazis were killed.
Calif. woman admits being a Nazi Guard in Nazi Germany
A woman who admitted she had served as a guard at a concentration camp during World War II was deported to Germany, federal officials said. Prosecutors would not say how they learned about Elfriede Rinkel, but a department said investigators routinely compare guard rosters and other Nazi documents to U.S. immigration records. Rinkel admitted that she worked as a prison guard at the Ravensbrueck camp from June 1944 until the camp was abandoned by the Nazi government in April 1945. She worked with an SS-trained attack dog but was not a member of the Nazi party.
US plans to deport ex-Nazi SS Death`s Head guard
US has asked a judge to deport a former SS member who admitted serving as a guard during a Nazi massacre in German-occupied Poland in World War II. Josias Kumpf has admitted that as an SS Death`s Head guard at Trawniki he "was watching them shoot some people" and that if any were still alive, his instructions were to "shoot them to kill." On November 3, 1943 when 8,000 persons were killed in a single day at the Trawniki labour camp. The 1943 massacres, were cynically code-named Operation Harvest Festival by the Nazis.
Two Canadians accused of being Third Reich Nazi guards
Josef Furman of Edmonton and Jura Skomatchuk of St. Catharines, Ontario, could both have their Canadian citizenship revoked and be deported if they lose their cases. Historian told court Skomatchuk`s name appeared on transfer lists several times, suggesting he was trained as an armed guard at the Nazi Trawniki camp before being transferred to serve at a number of camps. No evidence connects Skomatchuk directly to any war crimes, but he noted the guards were known for "brutality you can`t possibly describe."
Second former Nazi guard from St. Louis area loses his US citizenship
A former Nazi death camp guard living in St. Louis lost his bid to remain a U.S. citizen. It was a key step toward a deportation that faces a big hitch: His native Romania has a law against taking him. Adam Friedrich, 83, served as a guard in Hitler`s Waffen SS during World War II. A second former Nazi guard from the area, Michael Negele, 85, who lives in St. Peters, lost his final deportation appeal last year but is still here because his home country also is Romania.