Wehrmacht soldiers guarding Soviet prisoners of war may be brought to trial in Germany

Former German soldiers guarded the camps in which the soldiers of the Red Army were kept in inhuman conditions. As reminds the publication Welt am Sonntag, of the approximately 5.7 million Soviet soldiers who were captured, about 3.3 million died in Nazi camps.

According to TASS, the Center for the Disclosure of the Crimes of National Socialism located in Ludwigsburg is checking the involvement of Wehrmacht soldiers in the murder of Soviet prisoners of war, seven people were among the suspects.

“Our file contains data on about 250 camps with information about the guards who served there”, – the head of the Center Thomas Wiel told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

“We were able to identify about 2,000 people who, judging by their birth dates, could be alive by this day”.

According to Welt am Sonntag, such a late investigation into Wehrmacht soldiers is associated with a change in the legal situation: the sentencing of John (Ivan) Demjanjuk in 2011 set a precedent that allows the competent authorities to initiate proceedings against former concentration camp guards even if they for lack of witnesses it is impossible to prove their direct participation in the crime. Demjanjuk was found guilty in 2011 of aiding the murder in 1943 of 28,060 prisoners of the Sobibor death camp and sentenced to five years in prison. The court then held that, although Demjanjuk could not be charged with any specific criminal acts, he was guilty of serving as a guard in Sobibor in occupied Poland and being “part of the extermination system”.

Until now, the Center carried out inspections and transferred cases to prosecutors, mainly guards, warders and other personnel of the former concentration camps. 10 such cases are currently under investigation in Germany.


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