Suspected Nazi indicted for Belzec murders

By Jennifer Lipman, July 28, 2010

A man named as the third most-wanted Nazi suspect has been charged with participating in the murder of 430,000 Jews during the Holocaust.

Samuel Kunz, 90, who is believed to have spent 18 months as a guard at the Belzec death camp in Poland, has been indicted in Germany.

He is also suspected of murder over "personal excesses" for allegedly shooting ten Jews in two separate incidents.

Mr Kunz, number three on the Simon Wiesenthal Centre’s list of wanted Nazis, has not faced trial before.

The case has been sent to a state court in the western German city of Bonn, near where Mr Kunz now lives. Officials will decide when and if to hold a trial.

Dr Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre said this was a “very positive development”.

He said the indictment of Mr Kunz “reflects recent changes in the German prosecution policy, which have significantly enlarged the number of suspects who will be brought to justice."

Mr Kunz’s indictment follows the death of a suspected SS officer just two months before the reopening of an investigation into his role in Holocaust-era massacres.

Erich Steidtmann, 95, was alleged to have been in charge of several Nazi police battalions when they murdered Eastern European Jews.

Last updated: 9:51am, September 20 2010