A CROSS is seen in the German death camp Auschwitz II Birkenau..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
German prosecutors and police have begun using virtual reality headsets in their quest to bring the last remaining Auschwitz war criminals to justice, AFP reported Sunday.
Using the blueprints of the death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, Bavarian state crime office digital imaging expert Ralf Breker has created a virtual reality model of Auschwitz which allows judges and prosecutors to mimic moving around the camp as it stood during the Holocaust.
"It has often been the case that suspects say they worked at Auschwitz but didn't really know what was going on," Jens Rommel, head of the federal office investigating Nazi war crimes, told AFP.
"Legally, the question is about intent: must a suspect have known that people were being taken to the gas chambers or shot? This model is a very good and very modern tool for the investigation because it can help answer that question," Rommel added.
"The advantage the model offers is that I get a better overview of the camp and can recreate the perspective of a suspect, for example in a watchtower," Breker said.
According to Rommel, the model could help prosecute "a double-digit" number of suspects who are still alive.
In addition to blueprints from the Auschwitz archives, Breker used photographs from the period and visited Auschwitz himself in 2013 in order to construct the model.
German authorities have said that the model could potentially be lent to Yad Vashem after all of the criminal cases are closed, AFP reported.