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Nazi war criminal, 90, dies at large - in Bavaria

The Local · 27 May 2012, 12:22

Published: 27 May 2012 12:22 GMT+02:00

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Klaas Carel Faber, who was second on the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's list of Nazi criminals still at large, died on Thursday in Ingolstadt in Bavaria, where he had lived for decades.

German prosecutors said in January they had appealed to a court in Bavaria to make Faber serve the life sentence handed down by Dutch authorities for murdering 22 Jews.

Faber was a former member of the Nazi SS unit known as Silver Fir and was originally sentenced to death by a Dutch court in 1947. While awaiting execution he escaped from Breda prison in the western Netherlands in 1952 with six other former SS men.

He eventually started working for the car maker Audi based in Ingolstadt, while his sentence was commuted to life in prison after the Netherlands abolished the death penalty.

In 1957, a German court threw out all charges against him for lack of evidence and Bavarian authorities said the Netherlands must produce new evidence before Faber could be arrested again.

The Netherlands secured a European arrest warrant for Faber in November 2010 and sought his return to Dutch custody but Bavarian officials refused to execute the warrant.

Faber, who originally had Dutch nationality, escaped because Germany still recognises the citizenship that Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler gave to all those serving in the SS - and does not extradite its own citizens.

German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, amid pressure from Israel, had long pressed Bavaria, which has jurisdiction on the case, to look for alternative solutions to deal with the Faber case.

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Faber 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.

His unit killed Dutch civilians deemed "anti-German" in reprisal for resistance attacks against the Nazi occupation.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

15:57 May 27, 2012 by MrPC
This is an absolute scandal. The germans protected a high profile war criminal for decades while he lived a normal unfettered life in germany. Its plain the germans really didn't learn anything from WW II and the nazi era.
18:58 May 27, 2012 by Manfred von Alaska
Apparently a lack of evidence is grounds for prosecution where the previous commentator resides. The man is dead, the second world war long since over, and with all the strife on-going around this ball upon which we spin, perhaps it is time to move on. Just a thought.
21:55 May 27, 2012 by neilr
The price of his crimes was paid for by his fellow citizens and the innocent souls of Hamburg, Berlin and Dresden many years ago. As in all wars before and since, justice and retribution was dispensed collectively. There's no point in persecuting an individual 70 years after the events occurred. Let's just hope the next generations don't repeat the same mistakes.
22:43 May 27, 2012 by wxman
Previous poster said, "Let's just hope the next generations don't repeat the same mistakes."

Rest assured, they won't. Unfortunately, they'll make new ones.
05:47 May 28, 2012 by cynicoren
You guys are missing the point. He could have been prosecuted back in 1957 when he was young, and only 12 years after the war ended. Every day since, he lives a free, happy day, while 22 people spent another day with the worms, their loved ones never to see them again.
08:34 May 28, 2012 by catjones
There is no statute of limitations for murder except in the minds above.
09:20 May 28, 2012 by neilr
It's not about statutes of limitations, it's about the practicalities of the legal process being applied to a 90 year old for crimes committed 70 years earlier. Also the fact that any sentence is meaningless for someone that age: it won't punish him (I'd happily accept a lethal injection when i turn 90 even if I haven't murdered anyone). I agree it would have been different in the 1950s though, and of course it is a disgrace that his fellow citizens colluded in sheltering a mass murderer. .But clearly back then there was a political decision shared by Germany and the western allies to only punish a few high profile Nazis and let the rest go free. It would have been well known that mass murderers and rapists were being allowed back into society to be doctors and teachers.
13:41 May 28, 2012 by MrPC
That's sheer nonsense neilr, people like Mr. Faber killed women and children and whether a german "court" would accept the evidence is beside the point. The Dutch remember very well what he did. His continued freedom on technicalities/"practicalities" is a german national disgrace and his victims continue to cry out for justice. How far in the past these outrages occurred is completely beside the point with such heinous crimes. And if you think age is a bar to punishment tell us please at exactly what age someone should be excused from mass murder.
16:57 May 28, 2012 by Englishted
I hope they catch anymore of these scum that are still alive and bring them to book.

Some crimes are timeless.


The bombing of Hamburg, Berlin and Dresden ,were acts of war not war crimes remember sowing the wind and reaping the whirlwind.
08:28 May 29, 2012 by Herr Ed
I agree wholeheartedly with MrPC. And the fact that Germany still recognizes the citizenship bestowed upon SS troops by Adolf Hitler is simply unbelievable. Some people here have said we should just "move on." Apparently the German government believes the same even if it means letting mass murderers live free and unencumbered lives within its borders.
18:51 May 29, 2012 by Whipmanager
@neilr: If your mom and sister were raped and brutally beaten, or killed, ar eyou the type of person who, after knowing who it was would not, for the rest of your life, want justice to be done to their attacker/murder? Or if it were your Grandmother and MOm, and you were somehow born and left alive many years later? If this man did what he is supposed to have done, he should have paid for it with his life, be it 2 days or 70 years later.

I am surprised that Germany took the stance of accepting SS members as citizens and letting them stay, but it is not without precedence. I believe that the US and British let in Philipinos (US) and any number of locations that fought for the empire, this is no surprise. If you think that most Germans were behind the German War Machine, and for some years benefitted from Adolph's policies, you would realize that all of german can be convicted under the same flag as Adolph, but, if they had been the victors, everyone would have been heros...we know this as it goes with any winning side. The war criminals are usually the ones who lose.

I am nto equivocating. Real black and white Justice would be blind and equally judge all who were deserving of judging, but where is there true blind justice?
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