93-Year-Old Arrested Over Auschwitz Ties

Hans Lipschis admits to being a cook at camp, says he committed no war crimes

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted May 6, 2013 12:24 PM CDT

(Newser) – A 93-year-old man who was deported from the US in 1983 for lying about his Nazi past was arrested by German authorities today on allegations he served as an Auschwitz death camp guard. Hans Lipschis was taken into custody after authorities concluded there was "compelling evidence" he was involved in crimes at Auschwitz while there from 1941 to 1945, says prosecutor Claudia Krauth. Lipschis has acknowledged being assigned to an SS guard unit at Auschwitz but maintains he only served as a cook and was not involved in any war crimes.

But a judge upheld Krauth's office's request for an arrest warrant after concluding there was enough evidence to hold him before charges on accessory to murder are brought, a process that is expected to take another two months. In the meantime, Krauth says a doctor has confirmed Lipschis' health remains good enough for him to be kept in detention. The case is being pursued on the same legal theory used in the case of John Demjanjuk, the first person to be convicted as an accessory to murder without direct evidence he took part in a specific murder; about 50 other people are being investigated under the same theory. Click for more on Germany's last-ditch effort to go after Auschwitz guards.

An undated image shows the main gate of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz in Poland.
An undated image shows the main gate of the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz in Poland.   (AP Photo/File)
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