Auschwitz guards could return to new trials if a new legal theory argument comes to light; if so, old Nazi guards — now elderly people in their 80s and 90s — may have old cases reopened in the coming months. These former guards are being said by some German prosecutors to still be charged for their deadly roles in Nazi concentration camps, the CS Monitor reports this Tuesday, Sept. 3.
These Auschwitz guards could be held guilty for their past crimes and even return to trials under Germany’s new in-the-works legal argument, as it states that any individuals who were in any part responsible of a death camp’s operations should be tried as an accessory to murder.
If the new legal theory holds, it is possible that up to 30 surviving Auschwitz guards could be prosecuted. The German prosecutors’ office, which is focusing on these “special war crimes of the past,” is investigating former Nazi offenses and suggesting serious charges against several dozens of alleged guards.
Such a move could open up the possibility of creating an entirely new initiative of legal trials and have their cases as “Nazi members” reopened, almost a full 70 years following the end of World War II.
According to the federal prosecutor in the Auschwitz guards case, a recent investigation of nearly 50 alleged suspects returned more than enough evidence for German state prosecutors to follow up with accessory to murder charges against a potential 30 people, all between 80 and 98 years old.
Up to seven suspects that currently live outside of Germany but were purported to have worked as guards in Auschwitz or in other Nazi-related roles are also under examination.
All names of potential suspects are being kept private at this point in time. A majority of men are the suspects, concluded the report, but some women are also included in the possible war crimes charge. A matter of whether these individuals are capable of standing trial and may even live long enough to endure a possible conviction after having Nazi-involvement cases reopened is also under consideration.
What’s your take on the Auschwitz guards story?