Netherlands seeks arrest warrant for fugitive SS guard

Thursday, November 25, 2010

THE HAGUE - Dutch justice authorities Thursday issued a Europe-wide arrest warrant for a former SS camp guard accused of murdering at least 22 Jews and who has been living for more than half a century in Germany.

A spokesman for prosecutors in The Hague said the move underscores their determination to bring Dutch-born Klaas Carel Faber to justice.

Faber, now 88, is living in the southern German city of Ingolstadt and is a German citizen.

In Berlin, Justice Ministry officials confirmed the warrant had been received and would be sent on to prosecutors in Munich.

Born in 1922 in Haarlem, Faber murdered at least 22 Jews as well as freedom fighters, according to Dutch records, but has been protected until this day by the so-called “Fuehrer decree”.

In 1943, Adolf Hitler issued a decree granting automatic German citizenship to those Dutch who volunteered for the Waffen SS.

Under current German law, no German national can be extradited.

In order to highlight the injustice, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in Jerusalem has included Faber on its list of most-wanted Nazi war criminals.

“We call on the German authorities to arrest Faber immediately so that he gets his much deserved punishment,” the centre’s director, Efraim Zuroff, said Thursday.

“The fact that this murderer of so many innocent people has been protected by Germany for decades is absurd and sends out the message that even somebody who has committed numerous murders can get away with it,” he continued.

The last Dutch extradition request for Faber was turned down in 2004 by Germany, but the legality of that decision has been questioned by German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger.

The Dutch move Thursday posting a European arrest warrant was taken in an action coordinated with Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, who for her part has been pressing justice authorities in the southern state of Bavaria to reopen the case against Faber.

Courts in Germany failed to rule against Faber, with judges saying the evidence was insufficient.

In the Netherlands Faber and his brother Piet were convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of several inmates of a transit camp in Westerbork in 1944 by a Dutch court. But while Piet was executed, Faber’s sentence was commuted to a life prison term in 1948.

Faber then managed to escape his Dutch prison and in 1952 fled to Germany with the help of a former colleague and a German policeman.

Filed under: Terrorism

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