• Germany's news in English
 

Bavaria won't extradite Nazi hitman

Published: 11 May 2011 16:40 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 May 2011 17:21 GMT+02:00

The ruling comes nearly six months after Dutch prosecutors issued a European arrest warrant for Klaas Carel Faber, 89, third on the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's list of wanted Nazis, who is living freely in the Bavarian city of Ingolstadt.

A federal justice ministry spokeswoman said the case had been carefully re-examined, but was now definitively buried with Wednesday's decision.

Faber, a member of a Nazi SS unit, was sentenced to death by a Dutch court in 1947 for murdering 22 Jews in the occupied Netherlands during World War II although this was later commuted to life imprisonment.

He escaped from Breda prison in the western Netherlands in 1952 with six other former SS men and fled to Germany, eventually settling in Ingolstadt in Bavaria where he worked for automaker Audi.

Faber's unit killed Dutch civilians deemed "anti-German" in reprisal for

resistance attacks. He worked from 1943 to 1944 at Westerbork transit camp, where Dutch schoolgirl Anne Frank, whose diary became world-famous, was held before being sent to her death at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

Germany recognises the German citizenship Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler gave to all those serving in the SS, and does not extradite its own citizens.

Three previous attempts to bring Faber to justice failed, but German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, amid pressure from Israel, had pressed Bavaria, which has jurisdiction on the case, "to look for alternative solutions."

This could include putting Faber in prison in Germany, the minister told

the Süddeutsche Zeitung daily in November.

But the justice ministry in the southern state played down the chances of this latest attempt, following others in 1954, 1957 and 2004, being successful.

"In 2004 there was a Dutch attempt for him to serve his sentence in Germany, which was rejected on the basis of a 1957 court decision dismissing the case for lack of evidence," spokesman Stefan Heilmann told AFP news agency.

"In order to re-visit this decision, the Netherlands would have to present new and significant evidence."

The American Gathering of Holocaust Survivors and their Descendants reacted

angrily on Wednesday.

"This is a disgraceful moral offense to the memory of all who were brutalized and murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators in Holland - Jew and non-Jew," vice president Elan Steinberg said in a statement.

"The victims of the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands whose terrible fate was encapsulated in the eloquent testimony of Anne Frank have been betrayed and the demands of justice have been scorned."

AFP/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

17:11 May 11, 2011 by William Thirteen
Bavaria! why I am not surprised...
18:12 May 11, 2011 by heathen
I was expecting the perp's name to be listed in this article as Klaas F, considering D-land's penchant for coddling criminals and their privacy.
18:23 May 11, 2011 by Englishted
So the Dutch were lenient by only giving life in prison ,the payback from the Germans is a slap in the face of all Europe.

If the Germans will not extradite him ,why is he not on trial in Germany ?.

We criticize the U.S. for not agreeing to sent their people to trials outside the U.S. so what is different ?.

@jeeves42 I think William Thirteen means that Bavaria has a name as a Nazi stronghold which has old SS servicemens clubs and stong right wing parties.
18:31 May 11, 2011 by William Thirteen
okay, perhaps i should narrow it down a bit.

Ingolstadt! why i am not surprised...

i think the real scandal here is the decision to honor Hitler's promise to grant all SS members German citizenship. It would be interesting to see a geographic distribution of all these former foreign SS members...
18:33 May 11, 2011 by EastPrussia
I think its sad how groups and other countries can pressure Germany into putting someone on trial - and an old man at that. Why do Holocaust survivors' descendents have influence in the international affairs of another nation's justice system? If Germany bends to this "pressure", it will be implying that anyone with a grievance can change the focus of the law itself. This man should only be tried or extradicted if there is EVIDENCE to support such a decision. That's the law.
18:47 May 11, 2011 by Englishted
@EastPrussia,

"Why do Holocaust survivors' descendents have influence in the international affairs of another nation's justice system? If Germany bends to this "pressure", it will be implying that anyone with a grievance can change the focus of the law itself."

Justice system -German is allowing a law by Hitler to override a European arrest warrent, There would be no Holocaust survivors' descendents if there had been no Holocaust perpetrated by Klaas Carel Faber and his cohorts.Time can't be allowed to detract from what they did.
19:26 May 11, 2011 by Flint
Let me see if I've got this straight. Germany is outraged at the possible "extrajudicial" killing of Osama Bin Laden, but won't return a convicted war criminal to the Netherlands because Hitler gave him citizenship.

Is that about right?
19:32 May 11, 2011 by finanzdoktor
Now let me get this straight. Germany successfully extradites an old man from the U.S. to stand trial for supposedly being a guard at a Nazi concenetration camp. But, when it comes to this guy, they not only refuse to extradite (according to law) him, but refuse to have him serve out his sentence!!!!

Have to agree with Flint's viewpoint. Looks a bit like double-speak from the Germans.
20:44 May 11, 2011 by MfromUSA
With regard to war criminals, Germany is schizophrenic.

There is no rational law that exists here to hold war criminals accountable.

And German citizens have the audacity to think that the US was wrong in shooting Bin Laden???? At least he was not given a chance to ESCAPE and then find refuge in GERMANY.

Good God Germany, we put an end to Hitler and YOU can't even hold war criminals accountable. And, you then think you are righteous in judging those who are willing to do your dirty work.

GET REAL!!!!!!
21:11 May 11, 2011 by Landmine
@eastprussia

6 million dead, that's why...
21:12 May 11, 2011 by ovalle3.14
Well Adolf Eichmann "disappeared" from Argentina and "appeared" in Israel. Just a thought there.
21:36 May 11, 2011 by ukpunk1
Send in the U.S. Navy Seals!
22:11 May 11, 2011 by wxman
Jeez, go after this guy if you want vengence against a REAL Nazi, and leave poor Demjanjuk alone!
22:52 May 11, 2011 by EastPrussia
The Holocaust is a sensitive issue (rightly so), and most people don't talk about it for that reason. Any opinions are always harshly interpreted and critized. All I was saying is that everyone knows it was a tragedy. We know that some Nazis were the criminals repsonsible for it.

I simply object to ALL members of the SS (especially the army units of the SS) to be accused of 'mass murder', when most likely the majority were were teenage boys drafted to fight against Germany's opponents during a war. Hatred for Nazis gets in the way of good judgement. Some people need scape goats for their irrational hate, instead of considering more important points, like why did this happen? How can we prevent this from happening again?

@Englishted - What, Farbel is responsible for perpetrating the holocaust? Give me a break! There WOULD be a trial, except they don't have enough evidence. That's why he hasn't been extradicted. Try and see it from both sides before pointing fingers.
03:26 May 12, 2011 by JPaul
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
09:34 May 12, 2011 by wood artist
I am reminded of a time in the United States when states did not have the ability to legally pursue criminals beyond their own borders. So, bank robbers would often commit crimes in one state, and then drive the get-away car back to their own, thus eluding trial. Reportedly, Clyde Barrow, of Bonnie and Clyde fame once said that if he had it to do over again, he would commit all his crimes in "the neighboring state."

Under this concept, a German citizen could travel to Belgium, murder a whole city of people, and if he made it back to Germany, could not be extradited to stand for his crimes. Sorry, but at some point that "legal technicality" seems a farce.

In this case, however, there are two farces. The first is the recognition that Hitler granted blanket citizenship, a power he did not have legally. The second is that that action becomes the basis to harbor a criminal fairly convicted of multiple murders.

Sadly this reminds me that until very recently people like Sophie Stoll, her brother, and the other members of White Rose were still officially criminals within Germany, and regarded as such. While I admire much of what Germany has accomplished, both long ago and more recently, I struggle with something like this. I think the law needs to be changed.

wa
10:17 May 12, 2011 by frankiep
This is exactly why the US was right to kill bin Laden. It is becoming clearer and clearer that a lot of these human rights 'experts' which popped up overnight in Germany are not more than unwitting apologists and enablers of evil.
11:13 May 12, 2011 by Raminder Dhillon
This re-inforces the view of some people that germany hasnt really done to purge itself of the past. What is right is right and what is wrong is wrong and defending someone who has commited crimes against humanity, makes the so called peace mission in afghanistan against crimes against humanity there ,in perspective.

Clean your own house first.
11:48 May 12, 2011 by Sooney
Sometimes history can be clouded and overshadowed by events that took place which cannot be ignored as those events shape your future ­ especially if they have negative connotations attached and sometimes actions taken (especially in this case) remain revelant and current as of today ­ the key is how you handle and represent yourselves in those actions ­ there is nothing wrong with empathizing with the fact that he is an old man and he is not the person he use to be - but there is something wrong with those 22 people not being able to live out there lives peacefully to a ripe old age just like he did ­ so where is the justice here for them - no one can say Germany did not take action albeit it appears to be skewed - or have a strong sense and belief in double standards - perhaps its the action that was taken is viewed as a continuing violation of human rights especially since Germany vowed to bring those people to justice (along with a host of other countries) not only to their own people but to the people of the world ­ According to articles as recent as 2009 that I have this guy has been able to slip through the cracks ­ while some alleged former Nazis are facing trial in their old age. Wonder what Boere - who was actually Dutch born is thinking ­ what do you mean I had to go through a trial here in Germany ­ you promised not to deport me to the Netherlands ­ but you put me on trial in Germany ­ and Klass did the same thing - we were both members of the dreaded SS and he gets to stroll peacefully ­ just because he was a German citizen ­ he even killed more people than I did ­ OK, I get it ­ double standards ­ ok for you to do it and get away with it ­ but not me ­ BECAUSE ­ I am not a German citizen. What! now I am really getting pissed off now.. Ok, who is responsible for this ­ I know my rights ­ I need to talk to them ­ something is wrong with this picture. (he-he)
12:27 May 12, 2011 by michael4096
@wa

Why do you say Hitler didn't have the authority to grant citizenship? Countries do it all the time: the British in Hong Kong, the Americans in Vietnam...

It sounds like this guy was lucky. There now is a treaty between all European countries making moving those accused of crimes across borders easier. However, according to the article, this guy was arrested and went through a deportation hearing which effectively cleared him long before this law came along. I guess either the no-retro-active-laws or the double-jeopardy rules save him.

However, before being too critical of Germany, remember that America is still protecting Warren Anderson from a legally issued arrest warrant to answer questions concerning his part in the deaths of 15,000 and the injuring of half a million in India.
12:28 May 12, 2011 by qube2
Firstly, people are assuming that the man is guilty and had the due process of law.

Secondly, it is German law being questioned here, not that of the Netherlands.

Thirdly, Bin Laden's extra-judicial killing is irrelevant to this argument. Apologists for US actions will have to try harder, I think.

Lastly, this report undoes the considerable efforts that go into continuing countering the Nazi past and atonement for their actions. The bigger picture people!
13:20 May 12, 2011 by Englishted
@EastPrussia

@Englishted - What, Farbel is responsible for perpetrating the holocaust? Give me a break! There WOULD be a trial, except they don't have enough evidence.

LOOK :"Faber, a member of a Nazi SS unit, was sentenced to death by a Dutch court in 1947 for murdering 22 Jews in the occupied Netherlands during World War II although this was later commuted to life imprisonment.."

I think as a member of a SS unit he did participate in the Holocaust,now, unless I'm wrong there was a trial in 1947.

You ask me to see it from both sides ,what sides are these? ,my side thinks that if a man murdered 22 people had a trial was found guilty and sent to prison from where he escaped to a neighbouring country there he was sheltered and allowed to live out his life as a freeman is Wrong !!

Your side say what?
14:13 May 12, 2011 by frankiep
Situations like this just make it all the more hypocritical and pathetic when Germans talk about how the US has "double morality". I have heard this accusations from Germans on more than a few occasions. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.
15:07 May 12, 2011 by FredFinger
The Dutch should have hung this guy when they had him. Looks like the americans absolutely did the right thing in killing Bin Laden immediately.
15:47 May 12, 2011 by wood artist
@michael4096

You are correct that other countries have granted citizen under exceptional conditions, however, to my knowledge (which I admit may not include all occurrences) it was always done with two important elements.

The first is that the person granting citizenship had the legislative power to do so, and followed the rules for doing it. Germany had such rules in place at that time, but Hitler simply ignored them and did what he pleased. We could "argue" the validity of the emergency decree, but that's really beyond the point.

The second is that the person receiving citizenship has applied through the accepted process, and been cleared of any outstanding issues. Again, Germany had such a process, but it wasn't used. Membership in the SS was the only requirement, and many of the recipients didn't even know it had happened.

None of this justifies any other country, the US included, from failing to deal with legitimate requests for extradition. The US frequently struggles because others won't send suspects to the US where they might face capital punishment. I understand that, and happen to agree. Usually the US must take that option off the table, which is fine. In other cases, countries don't respond because they have fears the suspect won't get a "fair trial."

Obviously that whole idea is subject to opinions, and I seldom have enough information to make a good case one way or the other. However, I must admit that sometimes the "fair trial" notion seems valid. I watched a bit of the trial of Knox in Italy, and regardless of her guilt, that trial was a travesty of justice. They pretty much made it up on the fly.

No, the US is not perfect, but this man was tried in a reasonably fair setting, found guilty, escaped, and then located. We can agree or disagree with the sentence, but I think this one is different.

wa
19:01 May 12, 2011 by EastPrussia
Faber has served prison time, in both the Netherlands and Israel - from which he was realeased and acquitted (in Israel's case). Why is Germany jumping on the bandwagen too? So what if the Dutch convicted him? You know that there is a heavy bias in the courts of the victors. The side I was refering to is that a man should not be presumed guilty just because someone shouts the word "nazi" and/or finds a questionable SS ID card. It's naive and ignorant. This is just a political game for Germany - I mean, they released him after convicting him - it pleases both sides.
21:07 May 12, 2011 by JPaul
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
22:22 May 12, 2011 by Palle
Bavaria has also repeatedly refused to extradite Soeren Kam back to Denmark (#7 on the Simon Wiesenthal list of wanted Nazi's), on the grounds of citizenship. He lives today as a free man in Germany.
21:54 May 16, 2011 by Masmuka
German Hilter Bastard.
10:08 May 17, 2011 by Fred Janssen
@EastPrussia..Kwatsch. Faber never served prison sentence in Israel, nor was he released. He escaped from a Dutch prison for is personal actions as Waffen-SS for the SD in Action Silbertanne amongst others: -for every killed NSB 3 innocent Dutch people were shot. Besides this Faber was part of the execution-squat of KZ Lager Westerbork. As Folks Deutsche living in the Netherlands I am ashamed of the ignorance and the sheer stupidity of the German Government and German Legal system. Shame on you! Solange die Deutschen sagen: ach der Krieg ist schon so lange her, so lange muessen wir gedenken.
Today's headlines
Jobtalk Germany
Are robots about to take away 18 million jobs?
Robots are set to wipe out large sectors of the work force. Photo:DPA

Are robots about to take away 18 million jobs?

A study commissioned by ING-Diba claims that 59 percent of Germany's work force could be replaced by machines and software in the coming decades. The impact on German society is set to be radical. READ  

Merkel defends BND against criticism
Angela Merkel. Photo: DPA

Merkel defends BND against criticism

Chancellor Angela Merkel defended the German intelligence agency (BND) on Monday amid growing criticism of her knowledge of the agency's activities from within her own government. READ  

Germany falls behind neighbours in hourly pay
Photo: DPA

Germany falls behind neighbours in hourly pay

The average hourly private sector pay in Germany increased slightly between 2013 and 2014, but the rate still lagged behind that in most of Germany’s neighbour states, according to data released on Monday. READ  

Germany braces for longest-ever rail strike
Photo: DPA

Germany braces for longest-ever rail strike

German train drivers found themselves under fire from industry and the government on Monday after announcing their longest walkout in the history of rail operator Deutsche Bahn. READ  

€15m of cocaine found in Aldi banana boxes
A stash of cocaine found in an Aldi banana box last year. Police discovered more hidden narcotics in banana boxes on Monday. Photo: DPA.

€15m of cocaine found in Aldi banana boxes

More than 300 kilograms of cocaine worth €15 million were discovered in Berlin-area Aldi supermarkets, hidden in cases of bananas, police reported on Monday. READ  

Institute to end 'monkey torture' programme
Demonstrators against the Max Planck Institute. Photo: DPA

Institute to end 'monkey torture' programme

After graphic pictures emerged of distressed and unconscious monkeys bleeding from the head at the Max Planck Institute in Tübingen, the world-renowned research centre announced on Sunday that it will close its primate research programme. READ  

A third of parents OK with smacking children

A third of parents OK with smacking children

About one third of German parents think an 'Ohrfeige', or smack across the head, is an appropriate part of child-rearing, according to an RTL survey released on Sunday. READ  

New case of Ebola suspected in Germany
A man suspected of having Ebola has been brought to the Uni Klinik in Düsseldorf. Photo: DPA.

New case of Ebola suspected in Germany

A man in Bochum was taken to hospital on Sunday evening under tight security controls after it was suspected that he was infected with the Ebola virus. READ  

Putin's biker gang cross border into Germany
The Night Wolves have reached Germany. Photo: DPA

Putin's biker gang cross border into Germany

Ten pro-Kremlin Russian bikers, part of a larger group on a controversial World War II victory ride through Europe, reached the German border late Sunday, the Bavarian authorities said. READ  

Merkel joins Holocaust survivors to mark Dachau liberation
Merkel laying a wreath at Dachau. Photo: DPA

Merkel joins Holocaust survivors to mark Dachau liberation

German Chancellor Angela Merkel joined survivors of the former Nazi concentration camp at Dachau on Sunday for a solemn ceremony to mark 70 years since it was liberated by US forces. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Five ways Germany falls short on gay rights
Travel
Giant tortoise found riding Munich rail
National
FCK CPS? A-OK with court
National
Germany's 'other genocide' in Africa
Politics
Opinion: Brexit's dangers for Germany
National
Minister shows off top Denglisch
Features
Off to Norway at 18 km/hour
National
Arms firms get a 'must do better' mark on ethics
Features
Smart kids all want to work for BMW
Sport
Bayern's anticlimactic 25th Bundesliga win
Gallery
German beer day: take the tour
Gallery
The smileys Germans love to text
National
Expats face Monday deadline to register to vote for UK election
Politics
A Greek learning politics in Germany
National
Germany's favourite baby names of 2014
National
Germany's 'very poor' lobbying record
Features
The battle of the "Gates of Berlin"
Politics
Merkel's 15 years at the top of German politics
National
VIDEO: Mario Draghi suffers anti-ECB confetti attack
Travel
Lowest of the low: how woman exploited Germanwings crash
Sport
Football and the €30,000 firework
Technology
Why scientists oppose killer robots
Features
Spice up asparagus season with The Local's serving suggestions
Technology
Electrifying 'Ostalgia'
National
Which city is Germany's worst for drivers?
National
Germanwings co-pilot 'searched suicide info'
National
'Cannibal cop' gets 8 years
Shutterstock
Sponsored Article
10 things you didn’t know about Zagreb (and why you should go)
National
Freed after 25 years on death row
National
Cologne Cathedral returns from space
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
Pupils mourn lost classmates
Sponsored Article
What expat parents should ask before choosing a school
National
LIVE: Co-pilot suspected of crashing plane
Is your workload 'out of control'? You're not alone...
Features
Paddy's Day, Berlin style
National
Why east Germans are happy to get it on on camera
National
What would you do with a 250-year-old pretzel?
Features
Just why is the German flag Schwarz, Rot, Gold?
Business & Money
Getting German workers and bosses thinking positive
National
Uplifting thoughts to get you through the last week of winter
National
Who wants the Olympics more - Hamburg or Berlin?
National
Last-minute drama of Germany's Eurovision 2015 entry
National
German photographer takes world's top prize
Features
Meet the woman getting Germans to drink more – and better – beer
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

7,160
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd
?>