Auschwitz survivors accuse Germany of negligence in pursuing Nazis

2021-02-17 14:55 update: 2021-02-24, 22:02
Phot. PAP/Andrzej Grygiel
Phot. PAP/Andrzej Grygiel
A committee formed by survivors of Auschwitz, Nazi Germany’s most infamous death camp, has accused German courts of negligence when it comes to pursuing and prosecuting Nazi criminals.

In its statement the National Auschwitz Committee, which was formed in 1952, stated that the German judiciary had failed to deal with former death camp staff for decades.

Christoph Heubner, its vice-president, told the Funke web portal that death camp survivors felt burdened by the fact that former camp personnel had largely avoided punishment in German courts.

"The knowledge that most of these henchmen were able to continue living peacefully and without having to account for their crimes before German courts has been a heavy weight for the camp survivors throughout their lives," Heubner said.

The committee's accusations followed recent charges brought against a former guard at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp and a former secretary at the Stutthof camp, aged respectively 100 and 95. 

According to the committee, charging them so late in their lives reflected "the decades-long failings and negligence of the German justice system"

"The survivors do not want revenge but justice, and justice has no expiry date,” Heubner said. “This is why these proceedings are still important despite the advanced age of the victims and perpetrators." (PAP)