Hans Lipschiz, a 94-year-old German man who allegedly served as an SS guard in
Auschwitz, was ordered to be released by a German court after he was deemed
unfit to stand trial, according to German media reports.
was expelled from the US three decades ago after concealing his past from
immigration authorities, is said to be suffering from dementia, a fact that
compelled the Ellwangen court to declare a mistrial since he would be unable to
mount a credible defense.
Last year Lipschiz acknowledged that he had
served in Auschwitz as a cook in the German military, but denied taking part in
any war crimes, according to Israel Radio.
In 1982, Lipschiz was deported
to Germany from the US after it was discovered that he had lied about his Nazi
During deportation proceedings the Justice Department alleged that
as a corporal at Auschwitz Lipschiz had “ordered, incited, assisted or otherwise
participated in the persecution of persons... because of their race,
religion, national origin or political opinion.”
Arrested in May under
the “strong suspicion” he was involved in murder, Lipschiz’s arrest was welcomed
by the Simon Wiesenthal Center that had placed him fourth on its list of
most-wanted Nazi war criminals.
“Lipschiz served from October 1941 until
January 1945 in the most notorious of Nazi death camps, where approximately
1,300,000 inmates were murdered, among them approximately 1,100,000 Jews,”
according to the center’s website.
“Lipschiz’s arrest is a welcome first
step in what we hope will be a large number of successful legal measures taken
by the German judicial authorities against death camp personnel and those who
served in the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing units), which together murdered
more than three million Jews during the Holocaust,” Dr. Efraim Zuroff, chief
Nazi-hunter at the Wiesenthal Center, said.
Sam Sokol contributed to this