Croatia Opens Investigation Against Alleged Auschwitz Guard
Croatian prosecutors said Thursday they had opened a war crimes investigation against a man suspected of having been a guard in several Nazi concentration camps during World War II, AFP reports.
German authorities have confirmed the identity of the man who is living in Croatia, said a statement from the state attorney’s office.
Local media named the suspect as 90-year-old Jakob Frank Denzinger, who was a guard in several Nazi concentration camps including Auschwitz-Birkenau, where one million Jews were killed between 1940 and 1945.
He has been living in the eastern Croatian town of Osijek for years, the same region where he was born and served in Hitler’s notorious Waffen-SS, according to the daily Vecernji List.
Denzinger lived in the United States until 1989 when judicial proceedings were launched to strip him of his U.S. citizenship due to his Nazi past, the paper said, according to AFP.
He then reportedly fled to Croatia.
Denzinger’s name figures on a list of some 60 people compiled by special German prosecutors in charge of investigating Nazi war crimes, the Croatian Jutarnji List daily reported.
Croatian prosecutors have asked Germany as well as the U.S. and the Nazi-hunting Simon Wiesenthal Center, for documents that could implicate him in war crimes.
The investigation against Denzinger follows several recent cases where Nazi war criminals were freed or passed away before their trial ended.
In December, Hans Lipschis, a 93-year old being tried for Nazi war crimes, was released by German courts which determined that he was “unfit to stand trial.”
An investigation was launched against Lipschis after evidence surfaced alleging that he was involved in the mass genocide of Jews in Auschwitz during the Holocaust.
Last August, 98-year-old Nazi war crimes suspect Laszlo Csatary died while awaiting trial.