A 93-year-old man named Hans Lipschis is being investigated by German prosecutors for his Nazi past and being an accessory to the murder of thousands of Jews.
Lipschis, who lives in Aalen in southern Germany according to German media, is an SS veteran who worked at Auschwitz in German-occupied Poland, the largest concentration camp during World War II, where around 1.3 million people died.
The former Nazi SS man claims that he was just a cook, but is number four on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s list of most-wanted Nazis still at large 70 years after the Holocaust.
Although Lipschis, who was deported from the U.S. in 1983 for lying about his Nazi connections, has not been charged, he is among 50 former Auszhwitz staff who are still alive and being newly investigated by German authorities.
These investigations are only possible due to a prior conviction in May 2011 of John Demjanjuk, who was found guilty of being an accessory to murder of 28,060 Jews as a guard at the Sobibor death camp in Poland. Demjanjuk died in 2012 after a nearly 30-year legal battle.
“Simply being where the killing took place would be enough for a conviction," said Kurt Schrimm, head of Germany's Central Judicial Office for the Investigation of Nazi Crimes. He adds that convicting ancient Nazi criminals creates a sense that justice is being done for the victims of the Holocaust.
Thomas Will, who works with a German office that prosecutes ex-Nazis, said Wednesday that they are determining whether or not charges will be brought against Lipschis.