Historians in Poland have put online what they say is the most complete list of Nazi SS commanders and guards at the Auschwitz concentration camp in hopes that some of them can still be brought to justice. The state-run Institute of National Remembrance said Monday that the SS KL Auschwitz Garrison list is based on data from archives in Poland, Germany, Austria, the United States and, to a limited extent, Russia, where archives remain mostly inaccessible. The work of historian Aleksander Lasik, the institute, and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial, it has more than 8,500 entries. Most include the date and place of birth, nationality, education, military service, and party affiliation. Some have a photo attached. Judicial documents are included when the person stood trial in Poland.
It is based on a list that Lasik built during more than 30 years of archival research. "The world justice system has failed and I'm doing what a historian should do: expose the responsible individuals as war criminals," Lasik says. He believes up to 200 former guards at the German death camp could still be living. Historians estimate that some 12% of Auschwitz guards were tried by courts in Poland and elsewhere. Lasik's full database includes more than 25,000 names of guards from various German-run camps. The list is not complete and his search continues, Lasik tells the AP. Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff says the publication of the names is "very important" and can have "practical implications" if Nazi crime investigators in Germany were unaware of some of the names. (Read more Auschwitz stories.)