There are certain crimes in this world that are unaffected by the passage of time. They are tragedies and travesties both, and they remain actionable until the very last person to speak the horror has passed on.
These crimes could include terrorism, human trafficking, pedophilia, and genocide. There is to statute of limitations here. There’s no safe harbor for these criminals, and they will be sought after until there is nothing left of them to be found.
In Germany this week, the world took a stand for what’s right, even 70 years removed from the crime.
German prosecutors have charged a 100-year-old man with 3,518 counts of accessory to murder on allegations he served during the second world war as a Nazi SS guard at a concentration camp on the outskirts of Berlin.
The man is alleged to have worked at the Sachsenhausen camp between 1942 and 1945 as an enlisted member of the Nazi party’s paramilitary wing, said Cyrill Klement, who led the investigation of the centenarian for the Neuruppin prosecutors’ office.
The man’s name was not released, in line with German privacy laws. Despite his advanced age, the suspect is considered fit enough to stand trial, though accommodations may have to be made to limit how many hours a day the court is in session, according to Klement.
And it’s been a busy month for Nazi hunters:
It comes after prosecutors in the northern town of Itzehoe announced accessory to murder charges last week against a 95-year-old woman who worked during the war as the secretary of the SS commandant of the Stutthof concentration camp. That case and the charges against the 100-year-old man both rely on recent legal precedent in Germany establishing that anyone who helped a Nazi camp function can be prosecuted for accessory to the murders committed there.
The Holocaust was the most vicious crime of the 20th century, and those involved will find no reprieve here in the 21st.
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