Nazi Unlikely to be Tried Again

A former SS officer who escaped imprisonment in the Netherlands and now lives in Germany, is unlikely to be re-tried there.

Elad Benari , | updated: 03:08

Auschwitz entrance
Auschwitz entrance
Israel news photo: Wikipedia

A former SS man who has lived in Germany since 1952 is unlikely to be prosecuted again, authorities in Bavaria have said.

Klaas Carel Faber, now 88, was convicted in the Netherlands of murdering 22 Jews. Faber had served in a special SS unit in Nazi-occupied Netherlands which killed Dutch civilians who were deemed “anti-German”. After the war, Faber was sentenced to death in the Netherlands, which later changed to life imprisonment.  

However, Faber escaped from a Dutch jail in 1952 and has lived free in Germany ever since.  Several attempts to extradite him have failed, AFP reported. He is high on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s list of wanted Nazis.

Israeli Justice Minister Yaakov Neeman had recently written to his German counterpart, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, asking to see if Faber’s case can be re-examined. A spokesman for the Bavarian justice ministry has said, however, that there was only a “theoretical” chance of reopening investigations into the case. The justice ministry was quoted as saying that “new facts not known until now” would be required in order to re-open the case.

The Sun, a yellow journalism tabloid which claims to have exposed Faber’s whereabouts in July, reported that Germany officials have refused to hand Faber back to the Netherlands, citing a law brought in by Hitler which gave all foreign collaborators citizenship, and insisting he could not be tried locally because his crimes manslaughter and not murder.

The Sun report added that Bavarian leaders are signaling that they will act if the Netherlands makes a formal request for Faber to be returned to serve out his life sentence.

Currently on trial in Germany is accused SS officer John Demjanjuk, who is being tried on 28,060 counts of accessory to murder. His defense maintains Demjanjuk was a Soviet soldier captured by the Germans and spent most of the war in prison camps himself.

Earlier this month, the German magazine Der Spiegel reported that a former concentration camp guard who testified Demjanuk’s trial may face prosecution himself for war crimes. The man, identified only as Alex N., is accused of having taken part in shooting Jewish prisoners at the Treblinka labor camp, and is believed to have been trained by the SS at the same camp in Poland as Demjanjuk was.