Thirty former Nazi guards may face prosecution for facilitating mass murder at the Auschwitz death camp during World War Two, the German prosecutor’s office said Tuesday.
An investigation of 49 former guards yielded enough evidence to press charges of accessory to murder, Xinhua reported quoting chief prosecutor Kurt Schirm as saying.
Thirty of the investigated former guards, the oldest at the age of 97, are currently living across Germany, according to the official.
Schirm said the job of guards at the concentration camps Auschwitz and Birkenau makes them guilty of complicity in murder regardless of what they can be individually accused of.
The Auschwitz death camp was established in 1940. Over 1.1 million people were killed there, including Jews, Poles, Roma, and Soviet prisoners.
About 106,000 Nazi soldiers have been accused of war crimes and about 13,000 have been found guilty since the Nuremberg trials, according to Baden-Wuerttemberg state justice ministry that heads the investigation.
Sixty-eight years after Hitler’s third Reich collapsed, Germany is still reflecting on its dark history of Nazi era. Tuesday’s announcement came as the latest German efforts to seek out and prosecute the last surviving Nazi war criminals and bring them to justice.
The announcement came a day after 92-year-old former SS officer Siert Bruins went on trial for murdering a Dutch resistance fighter about 70 years ago.