Six women who were guards at the Auschwitz
death camp are being investigated on suspicion of complicity in mass murder, German
authorities confirmed on Friday.
According to the British Telegraph, The women are among 50 former Auschwitz guards still living in Germany whose cases are being examined by the country's Central Office for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes.
According to the report, Thomas Will, an investigator at the Central Office, confirmed that the women were under investigation for allegedly aiding and abetting murder. The women are now in their 90s, Mr Will said. The female guards were assigned to women's barracks.
Earlier this year, German authorities launched a fresh attempt to bring surviving perpetrators of the Holocaust to justice, which has so far resulted in the arrest of alleged Auschwitz guard Hans Lipschis, 93.
According to the Telegraph, Lipschis, who was arrested in Aalen, southern Germany, claims he was only a cook.
The renewed push follows the conviction in 2011 of John Demjanjuk,
a guard at Sobibor death camp.
After his case, evidence of involvement as an overseer at an extermination camp is deemed sufficient to bring a prosecution for complicity in murder, enabling German authorities to pursue lower-level suspects.
Investigators have used guard rosters from Auschwitz and Majdanek death camps and information relating to other camps to research the cases of surviving Nazi
war crimes suspects. The Central Office in Ludwigsburg, near Stuttgart, has initiated over 7,000 investigations since it was founded in 1958.
It cannot launch prosecutions itself but hands cases over to regional prosecutors when its research is complete.
The Central Office has declined to name any of the suspects it is currently investigating. At least one former female concentration camp guard has been publicly identified. In 2006, Elfriede Lina Rinkel was deported from the US
to Germany after investigators discovered she had worked as a guard at Ravensbrück, a slave labour camp for women.
Last month, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre appealed for the German public's help in finding surviving overseers of the death camps and members of the Einsatzgruppen, the mobile death squads responsible for mass murders of Jews and others.
The Nazi-hunters launched a poster campaign in four German cities featuring an image of the entrance to the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp, an appeal for information and the offer of a 25,000 euro reward.
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