Germany's last-ditch effort to go after Nazi guards has reportedly taken a big step forward. An investigation based on a list of 50 former Auschwitz guards who were never prosecuted found that at least 40 of them are still alive and living in Germany—and they may now face justice. The investigators will send the suspects' files to state prosecutors as soon as next month, AFP reports; it will then be up to the prosecutors to decide whether to press charges.
The head of the special German prosecutors' office that carried out the investigation says he will recommend charges against most of the former guards, the AP reports. As we've reported before, John Demjanjuk's conviction in 2011 lowered the legal bar needed to secure a conviction, opening the door for former guards at concentration camps to be charged as an accessory to murder even without direct evidence they took part in a specific murder. The investigations are not completely finished; more details are expected next week. (Read more Auschwitz stories.)