Auschwitz survivors accuse Germany of negligence in pursuing Nazi war criminals
A committee of Auschwitz survivors has accused German courts of negligence in pursuing and prosecuting Nazi criminals.
The International Auschwitz Committee, which was formed in 1952, said 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.
He said: "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."
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.
He added: "This is why these proceedings are still important despite the advanced age of the victims and perpetrators."