09:05 GMT25 November 2020
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    BERLIN (Sputnik) - Nazi crimes have no statute of limitations and the advanced age of culprits cannot prevent their judicial prosecution, Christoph Heubner, executive vice president of the International Auschwitz Committee, said.

    "As you know, the Bundestag decided several decades ago that Nazi crimes have no statute of limitations. That means that there is no limit on when they can be prosecuted", Heubner said.

    According to Heubner, the fact the Federal Republic of Germany kept refusing for "many decades" after World War II to prosecute Nazi criminals and that "only a part of the criminals were brought before German justice" has become "one of the greatest scandals in the post-war period, which can no longer be undone".

    He further stated that survivors believe there is no age limit for those prosecuted for these crimes. Their age also does not prevent them from acting as witnesses, Heubner added.

    Over 200 death camp and ghetto prisoners, as well as delegations from more than 30 countries, will gather in the Polish city of Oswiecim later in the week to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Auschwitz-Birkenau extermination camp's liberation.

    The facility was the largest death camp and saw around 1.4 million people — including 1.1 million Jews — exterminated before it was liberated by the Soviet Red Army on 27 January 1945. It has also become a symbol of the Holocaust.

    According to data from the Institute of Contemporary History Munich-Berlin and the Yad Vashem centre in Jerusalem, nearly 38,000 investigations of Nazi crimes have been conducted in the Federal Republic of Germany, with 15,000 more in the former German Democratic Republic.

    About 17,000 people were eventually brought before a court in West Germany on charges related to Nazi crimes, Die Welt reported. According to the newspaper, only 270 of those received long prison terms — from 10 years to a life sentence.

    Over the last few years, Germany has seen several trials of former employees of Nazi death camps. Nazi criminals, now in their 90s, mainly receive minor prison terms.

    Tags:
    prosecution, judicial, Christoph Heubner, Auschwitz, Nazis
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