Jerusalem lawyers have amassed 150 signatures on their petition to the Israeli government asking them to put pressure on Germany to extradite a convicted Nazi executioner living in Bavaria.
Dutch-born Klaas Faber, 88, was convicted of war crimes and sentenced to death in Holland in 1947. The fifth most wanted Nazi war criminal, Faber was a member of a roving SS death squad and SS officer at Westerbork concentration camp – one of the places Anne Frank was held.
In 1952 he escaped from prison in Breda, Holland and fled to Germany, where he had previously been granted citizenship as part of his service to the SS.
He was convicted of the murder of 22 people but is believed to have participated in mass killings in Holland of Jews and Dutch resistance fighters.
Faber is currently living in the Bavarian town of Ingolstadt with his wife Jacoba. The law granting Faber citizenship in Germany is the only one of Hitler’s laws that has never been revoked. Last month, Faber was tracked to his home by a Sun journalist but, when confronted, refused to speak about his past.
The Dutch government has requested many times that Faber should be extradited back to Holland but German state prosecutors decided in 2006 to classify his crimes as manslaughter. A time limit on trying him for the crimes, which applies in Germany, has now expired.
Lawyer David Schonberg, who initiated the petition, said: “The protection that German law accords this convicted war criminal, enabling him to live untroubled in Germany is an affront to law and human values, and by its belittling of the enormity of the holocaust’s crimes, provides a harmful message to modern society.
"We expect our government to take a more active role in the efforts to bring Nazi war criminals to justice and this is exactly the type of case where Israel’s involvement can prove of critical assistance”.
The Wiesenthal Centre’s chief Nazi-hunter Dr. Efraim Zuroff welcomed the initiative. He said: “Germany’s failures to put Faber on trial or return him to Holland are a travesty which must be corrected as quickly as possible, while justice can still be achieved.”