As Germany prepares to put a 100-year-old man on trial for Nazi war crimes, public prosecutors in several German states have announced that they are investigating more than a dozen other suspects.
Most of the cases involve concentration camp guards who may be charged as accessories to murder following the precedent-setting conviction of Ivan Demjanjuk in Munich in 2011. Demjanjuk was found guilty as an accessory in the murders of nearly 30,000 Jews in the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.
According to German news reports, trials are already set to begin this Autumn in two cases: A 96-year-old woman will appear before the Itzehoe Regional Court in Schleswig-Holstein, and the 100-year-old man is due to stand trial at the Neuruppin Regional Court in the former East German state of Brandenburg.
Meanwhile, nine investigations are ongoing and there are six more preliminary probes, Thomas Will, head of the Central Office for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes, based in Ludwigsburg, told Der Spiegel magazine. There is no statute of limitations for murder and accessory to murder.
Thomas Walther, an attorney who represented co-plaintiffs in the Demjanjuk trial and reportedly will do the same in this trial, said in a recent interview with the Tagesspiegel newspaper that his clients, Holocaust survivors, are just as old as the accused and have never given up hope for justice.
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