Wiesenthal Center: Death of Convicted Nazis Before Conclusion of Appeal Process Unfortunate, But Trials Remain Very Important

April 27, 2023

Jerusalem – In response to the death at age 102 of Josef Schutz who was convicted on June 28, 2022 in Brandenburg of accessory to murder in 3,518 cases during his service at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, the Wiesenthal Center's chief Nazi-hunter Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff issued the following statement:

"It is particularly unfortunate that Josef Schutz died before his appeal against his conviction for accessory to murder in 3,518 cases was completed. Thus he ostensibly remains "innocent" even though the evidence of his service as an S.S. guard in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp was very convincing. In addition his full name is not released publicly, and he remains Josef S.

"So far not a single defendant convicted in the "belated trials" in Germany, based on the precedent of the conviction of Sobibor death camp guard Ivan Demjanjuk, has been incarcerated and punished for their crimes, although all of them were convicted. This result is a serious flaw in the German legal system which leaves the survivors and the families of the victims with a very bitter feeling.

"Nonetheless, the Center firmly supports the continuation of as many trials of Holocaust perpetrators as can possibly still be brought to justice. They serve as an important history lesson for German society, and a significant tool in efforts to combat rising anti-Semitism in the Federal Republic."

For additional information please contact the Israel Office of the Wiesenthal Center: Tel: 972-2-563-1274 or Tel: 972-50-721-4156, follow the Center on Facebook, or @simonwiesenthal and @EZuroff for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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