Nazi suspect dies before Germany trial

2010-11-22 18:10
Berlin - Samuel Kunz, one of the world's most-wanted Nazi suspects who was under indictment on allegations he was involved in killing hundreds of thousands of Jews at a concentration camp in occupied Poland, has died, a Bonn court said on Monday.

The 89-year-old Kunz died on November 18, the Bonn state court said in a short statement. Court spokesperson Joachim Klages said Kunz died in his hometown, near Bonn, but did not have details on the cause of death.

Allegation against Kunz surfaced as prosecutors were poring through World War II-era documents in preparation for another case, that against the retired autoworker from Ohio, John Demjanjuk, who is now being tried in Munich.

The discovery prompted the Simon Wiesenthal Centre to list Kunz in April as the world's third most wanted Nazi due to the fact that he was allegedly involved personally in the killings and to the "enormous scope" of his suspected crimes, said the centre's chief Nazi hunter, Efraim Zuroff.

"This is incredibly frustrating and I would urge the German authorities to expedite the remaining cases so that justice can be achieved," Zuroff said in a telephone interview from Jerusalem, after learning of Kunz's death.

Still, he said: "He was under indictment - I think that's very important, I wouldn't minimise that fact - at least a small measure of justice was achieved."

Involved in entire process


Kunz was indicted in July on ten counts of murder and 430 000 counts of accessory to murder on allegations he trained at the SS Trawniki camp in occupied Poland and was sent from there to the Belzec death camp as a guard from January 1942 through July 1943.

In his indictment, prosecutors said he was involved in the entire process of killing Jews at the Belzec death camp: From taking victims from trains to pushing them into gas chambers to throwing corpses into mass graves.

In addition to being charged with participating in the execution of the Holocaust, Kunz was also accused of "personal excesses" in the alleged shooting of 10 Jews.

"In July 1943, the defendant is accused of having shot two persons who had escaped from a train going to the death camp and had been captured by guards," according to the Bonn court.

Between May and June 1943, he reportedly killed eight others who had been wounded but not killed by another guard at Belzec.

"The defendant then took the weapon from the other guard to shoot the wounded victims to death," the court said.

High-profile case


Kunz had long been ignored by the German justice system, with authorities in the past showing little interest in going after relatively low-ranking camp guards. But in the past 10 years, a younger generation of German prosecutors has begun pursuing all people suspected of involvement in the Holocaust, regardless of rank.

The highest-profile case is that of Demjanjuk, the 90-year-old retired autoworker accused of being an accessory to the murder of 28 060 Jews as a guard at the Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland. He denies he was ever a camp guard.

Prosecutors allege that both Kunz and Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk trained at Trawniki.

Though Kunz was due to testify in the Demjanjuk case, he backed down after learning he was under investigation himself.

Among other ongoing cases, prosecutors are still investigating another Ukrainian, Alex Nagorny, who testified in the Demjanjuk trial. They are currently trying to determine whether he is the same person as a Nagorny implicated by witnesses as a guard who participated in the killings at Treblinka.

- AP
Read more on:    germany  |  holocaust
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Travel
 

The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!

Who would have guessed the world’s least visited country would have such spectacular beaches?

 
 

I love summer.24

LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014
10 of the strangest Christmas traditions around the world
2014's best drone videos

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Any chance to explore the distant shores of things yet to be found will fascinate you. The challenge is dealing with the issues...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.