‘Auschwitz cook’ arrested on war crimes charges

Main gate to Auschwitz concentration camp (Photo: Tulio Bertorini)

Main gate to Auschwitz concentration camp (Photo: Tulio Bertorini)

A 93-year-old alleged SS member was arrested in Germany last night.

Hans Lipshis, who was taken into custody from his care home near Stuttgart, was accused of taking part in murder and genocide at Auschwitz.

The accused has admitted to working at the camp from 1941-1945 but has denied any knowledge of the killings that took place. He told reporters that he was a “cook for the entire time.”

Mr Lipshis was allegedly a member of the SS-Totenkopf Sturbann, which guarded the camp. He fled to the US in 1956 but was deported to Germany in 1983 after being accused of being a Nazi war criminal. The Lithuanian-born man was added to the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's list of wanted Nazis a few weeks ago.

Director of the Simone Wiesenthal Centre in Jerusalem Efraim Zuroff said: “We welcome the arrest. I hope this will only be the first of many arrests, trials and convictions of death camp guards.”

Karen Pollock, Chief Executive of the Holocaust Educational Trust, commented: “More than anything, the arrest of Hans Lipschis sends out a clear message that old age and the passage of time are no barrier to the prosecution of alleged Nazi war criminals – that is exactly as it must be.”

Last updated: 2:30pm, May 7 2013