Germany Has Sights on Several Alleged Nazi War Criminals

The Central Office for the Prosecution of National Socialist Crimes (ZSTL) in Ludwigsburg, near Stuttgart, already has its sights set on four other men who may have committed murder or been accessories to murder on behalf of the Germans, and who, like Demjanjuk, subsequently emigrated to the United States.

A preliminary investigation is now under way against Ivan Kalymon, 87, who lives in Michigan. Kalymon once worked for the Germans in Lemberg, now Lviv, Ukraine, as a member of the Ukrainian Auxiliary Police. In August 1942, he wrote a short-handwritten note to his superiors to report on a mission. The document reads: "I employed my weapon in the line of duty during the 'Jewish Action' on 8/14/1942, at 7 p.m., using four rounds of ammunition, wounding one person and killing another."

It is hard to imagine that this would not suffice as evidence for issuing a German arrest warrant. Kalymon's appeal against the revocation of his US citizenship was denied last fall, and the Americans would be able to place him on a flight to Germany immediately. In the other three cases, German authorities are still at the start of their investigations.

Johann Breyer, 83, was born in Slovakia and lives in Philadelphia today. The son of a Volksdeutsche man and an American woman has admitted that he worked as a guard at the Buchenwald and Auschwitz concentration camps.

A few weeks ago, the Americans deported Josias Kumpf, now 83, to Austria, from where he had emigrated to the United States. Kumpf was present when, in November 1943, the SS shot about 8,000 Jewish inmates in the space of a few days at the Trawniki concentration camp near the southeastern Polish city of Lublin. Kumpf claims, however, that his job was merely to search for survivors in the corpse pits, and that others were responsible for the murders.

Lithuanian Algimantas Dailide, 87, already lives within the jurisdiction of German courts, namely in Kirchberg, a town in the eastern state of Saxony. During World War II, Dailide, as a member of the Lithuanian secret police, handed over Jews who had attempted to escape from the Vilnius ghetto to the Nazis, and they were subsequently murdered. At the end of the war, Dailide went into hiding in Germany, where he married a woman from the eastern state of Thuringia. In 1950, the couple emigrated to the United States and, like Demjanjuk, settled in Cleveland.

In 2001, faced with the threat of deportation from the United States, Dailide went to Europe voluntarily. A Lithuanian court sentenced him to five years in prison, but suspended his sentence due to his supposedly poor health. Now the Ludwigsburg prosecutors are examine whether they have a case against Dailide.

Failures of the German Judiciary

US authorities consistently limit their actions to revoking the US citizenship of suspected Nazi war criminals and then deporting them to European countries. The legal hurdles for taking these steps are relatively low: All it takes is proof that a suspected war criminal lied about his past upon immigration to the United States.

The Americans have never put any suspected Nazi war criminals on trial, even though the Nazis' victims included American Jews who lived in Europe or happened to be there at the time. Otherwise, US courts could have faced a large number of cases. Historians and legal experts estimate that up to 10,000 Nazi collaborators emigrated to the United States during the chaos of the first few postwar years.

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