The Simon Wiesenthal Centre has welcomed the prosecution of a 93-year-old man in Germany for being an accessory to murder at the Auschwitz death camp.
Hans Lipschis was arrested in May as part of Germany’s final drive to bring living Nazi war criminals to justice. He has been charged in connection with more than 10,000 deaths at Auschwitz between October 1941 and January 1945.
Despite ranking fourth on the centre’s most wanted list of Nazis, Mr Lipschis argues he only worked as a cook at the camp and was not involved in any war crimes.
He was deported to Germany from the United States in 1982, after he was found to have lied about his Nazi past.
The charging of Mr Lipschis follows the conviction of Sobibor death camp guard Ivan Demjanjuk in Munich in 2011.
Mr Demjanjuk’s trial set a precedent that a person who served at a death camp can be charged as an accessory to murder even without proof of their participation in a crime.
In response to Mr Lipschis’ case, Dr Efraim Zuroff, at the Wiesenthal Centre in Jerusalem, said: “Lipschis’ s arrest is a welcome first step in what we hope will be a large number of successful legal measures taken by the Germany judicial authorities against death camp personnel”.