THE world’s third most wanted Nazi suspect, who allegedly participated in the murder of more than 430,000 Jews at the Belzec death camp, was involved in the entire killing process: from taking victims from trains to pushing them into gas chambers to throwing their corpses into mass graves, according to court documents.
A state court in the western city of Bonn released new details yesterday of last week’s indictment against Samuel Kunz, an 88-year-old former ministry employee who has lived undisturbed in the village of Wachtberg outside Bonn for many years.
The court’s statement describes in gruesome detail some of the crimes the suspected former death camp guard allegedly committed in occupied Poland from January 1942 to July 1943.
The court also announced yesterday that Kunz has been charged in a German youth court because he was a minor at the time — meaning he could be brought to trial as an adolescent and face a more lenient sentence.
Kunz was 20 years old when he allegedly started working as a guard at Belzec in January 1942.
“It will be up to the judge to decide whether he will be sentenced as an adolescent or an adult,” court spokesman Matthias Nordmeyer said.
In its statement, the court described the deadly routine at Belzec, claiming that Kunz supposedly participated as a camp guard in all areas of the Nazis’ organised mass murder of Poland’s Jewry.
After the victims arrived by train at the death camp, they were told that before they could start working they had to be deloused and take a shower, the statement said, describing the terrifying killing process, by now well known.
“Threatening them with pistols, whips and wooden clubs, the victims were told to hurry up... They had to undress... the women had their hair cut off, and then first the men, then women and children were pushed into the gas chambers,” the statement said.
After the victims were killed, “the corpses were searched for gold and valuables and then thrown into prepared graves”.
Kunz had long been ignored by the German justice system, where former officials were not that interested in going after relatively low-ranking camp guards. But in the past 10 years, a younger generation of German prosecutors has emerged that wants to bring all surviving Nazi suspects to justice.
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