German prosecutors shelve Nazi investigation

AP News
Posted: Jun 17, 2011 9:45 AM
German prosecutors shelve Nazi investigation

Munich prosecutors have suspended their investigation of an admitted Nazi concentration camp guard after being unable to find evidence he participated in atrocities, a spokesman said Friday.

Barbara Stockinger told The Associated Press that in a year-and-a-half, investigators could not find evidence that Alex Nagorny participated in any specific crimes.

Nagorny testified at the recent trial of John Demjanjuk, 91, admitting on the stand he had been a guard at the Flossenbuerg concentration camp in Germany during the war.

The 94-year-old told the court Demjanjuk had also been a guard at Flossenbuerg _ and that he had lived with him in Germany after the war _ but that the man on trial had "no resemblance" to the Demjanjuk he knew.

Demjanjuk, a retired Ohio autoworker, was convicted in May of 28,060 counts of accessory to murder for being a guard at the Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland and sentenced to five years in prison. He remains free while his appeal is being heard, however, living in a Bavarian nursing home being paid for by the German state.

His case set new legal precedent in Germany, with prosecutors successfully arguing that even though there was no evidence Demjanjuk committed a specific crime, anyone who was a death camp guard was part of the Nazi's machinery of destruction and could be charged with accessory to murder.

Stockinger said that precedent does not extend, however, to guards at concentration camps like Flossenbuerg _ where thousands died or were killed but whose entire purpose was not extermination like Sobibor, Auschwitz and the other death camps.

Last week, a Munich court denied Spain's request to extradite Demjanjuk to stand trial on Flossenbuerg-related crimes for the same reason _ ruling that there was no evidence he committed specific crimes there and that concentration camp guards may not necessarily have been involved in killing.