German prosecutors call for trial of former Nazi guards

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German prosecutors call for trial of former Nazi guards

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German justice officials have called for 30 former Nazi guards to be tried for facilitating mass murder at Auschwitz concentration camp during World War Two.

On Monday Siert Bruins, a former SS officer, went on trial for shooting and killing a Dutch resistance fighter in 1945.

The focus of prosecuters is now on bringing to justice the thousands of people who helped to manage the Nazi system.

The head of Ludwigsburg federal prosecutors office, which handles German probes into Nazi war crimes, explains that “the accused are all former guards at Auschwitz-Birkenau” and “they are individually complicit in murder.”

The Simon Wiesenthal Center, an Israeli organisation which works to bring Nazi war criminals to justice, launched a campaign titled “Operation Last Chance II” in July to find surviving war criminals.

Director of the centre, Efraim Zurrof says: “We started the poster campaign in Germany – to try and find as many as possible of the people who served in the death camps and in the special mobile killing units, who now can be brought to justice without any evidence being presented to the court of a specific crime against a specific victim.”

The Ludwigsburg justice agency has said it will re-examine the work of all employees of death camps and special killing squads.

The Nazis killed around 1.5 million people mostly Jews, Roma, Poles and other minority groups at Auschwitz during World War Two.