Three men aged 88, 92 and 94 have been detained by German authorities on suspicion of being guards at the Nazi death camp at Auschwitz. The homes of a number of men were raided in three German states, months after prosecutors investigating Nazi-era war crimes announced they were recommending charges against 30 people. The 94-year-old is said to be Hans Koenig, who lives near Stuttgart. An ethnic German from Bratislava, he became known as a ‘bruiser’ in Auschwitz due to his alleged love of cruelty for its own sake.
Three women among the suspects are expected to be charged later this year, one of which is identified only as Charlotte S. who served under her maiden name beginning with A at the Ravensbrueck concentration camp for women near Berlin. A fanatical Nazi, she was a dog handler who walked around the camp with an Alsatian that was trained to bite at the privates of inmates. Now 94, she refuses to speak about her past.
The three men detained all live in the south-western state of Baden-Wuerttemberg and are suspected of involvement in murders that took place between 1942-45. They were taken to Hohenasperg prison hospital in Ludwigsburg. The decision to take action against alleged Nazi guards followed the conviction in May 2011 of John Demjanjuk. A court decided that by being a worker at a concentration camp he was guilty of being an accessory to murder. This meant that courts did not have to prove active participation in killing to find a suspect guilty of murder. He had been sentenced to five years in jail for being an accessory to the murder of 28,060 people.