Germans arrest alleged Auschwitz guard, 93
BERLIN — A 93-year-old who was deported from the United States for lying about his Nazi past was arrested by German authorities Monday on allegations he served as an Auschwitz death camp guard, Stuttgart prosecutors said.
Hans Lipschis was taken into custody after authorities concluded there was “compelling evidence” he was involved in crimes at Auschwitz while there from 1941 to 1945, prosecutor Claudia Krauth said.
Lipschis has acknowledged being assigned to an SS guard unit at Auschwitz but maintains he only served as a cook and was not involved in any war crimes.
Krauth said, however, that a judge upheld her office's request for an arrest warrant after concluding there was enough evidence to hold him before charges on accessory to murder are brought. Bringing formal charges, a process similar to a U.S. grand jury indictment, would take two months, she said.
In the meantime, Krauth said, a doctor has confirmed Lipschis' health remains good enough for him to be kept in detention.
Lipschis was deported from the United States in 1983 for lying about his Nazi past when he immigrated to Chicago in the 1950s after the war.
With no evidence linking him to specific war crimes, however, it was impossible under previous German law to bring charges against him.
But the case is now being pursued on the same legal theory used to prosecute former Ohio autoworker John Demjanjuk, who died last year while appealing his 2011 conviction in Germany for being a guard at the Sobibor death camp.
Under the new line of thinking, even without proof of participation in a specific crime, a person who served at a death camp can be charged with accessory to murder.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Starkey: Penguins not mortgaging future
- Penguins acquire defensemen Lovejoy, Cole in deadline deals
- Pirates special instructor Tekulve taking second chance to heart
- No tag for Worilds; Steelers cut Moore
- Surgeon to examine Pirates’ Cumpton after experiencing elbow discomfort
- On remote Japanese island, cats outnumber humans
- Frazer police receive state funding for more undercover patrols at Mills
- Kittanning Dance-a-Thon to help boy’s family
- Tribune-Review poll: Cable news rises as network news falls
- Day of prayer at McKeesport church shines light on HIV, AIDS
- Pittsburgh’s Downtown tops ranking of small to midsized cities