Pensioner becomes first UK citizen to be investigated for Nazi war crimes

In the 1990s, Chrzanowski's stepson John Kingston informed London's Metropolitan Police of his suspicions.

March 20, 2018 19:35
2 minute read.

A man wears a costume with a swastika armband . (photo credit: REUTERS)


Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief


A pensioner has become the first UK citizen to be investigated for Nazi war crimes by German prosecutors for his alleged role in the Holocaust.

96-year-old Stanislaw Chrzanowski, who died in October 2017 without being aware of the case, was under investigation by Munich prosecutors for his role in the murder of civilians in his home town of Slonim, Belarus during the Second World War.

Chrzanowski settled in the UK after being taken as a prisoner of war and later joining Allied forces.

In the 1990s, Chrzanowski's step-son John Kingston informed London's Metropolitan Police of his suspicions, having heard stories as a child relating to his step-father's role in the Slonim murders.

Kingston, who died last week, also traveled to Slonim, where he heard testimonies from local residents who claimed they witnessed Chrzanowski working as an auxiliary policeman, cooperating with Nazi troops and shooting prisoners in nearby forests.

The Jewish community of Slonim, which once made up approximately 80% of the town's population, was wiped out during the Holocaust.

According to the BBC, Chrzanowski was questioned by Metropolitan Police detectives following Kingston's allegations, but officials lacked sufficient evidence to take action.

The case was reopened last year when German prosecutors, based in Ludwigsburg, requested access to interview transcripts. They ruled that there was sufficient evidence to pursue a criminal investigation and prosecute Chrzanowski in Germany. Chrzanowski consistently denied his involvement in the crimes.

German prosecutors told the BBC that the investigation represented an important precedent, permitting them to take action against alleged Nazi war criminals accused of murder, regardless of their nationality, the nationality of their victims or the location of the alleged crimes.

Prosecutors also said they were now using British immigration records to search for possible new suspects.

One of Chrzanowski's former neighbors, 91-year-old Bruno Alsdorf, told the Daily Mail that he was not willing to discuss his activities during the Second World War.

"I knew he was Eastern European but we never spoke about the war. He was protective about his past but many people who lived through the war were like that in my experience," said Alsdorf.

"He used to grow plums and oranges in his back garden. He told me he loved fresh fruit and said he always reminded him of when he was a child when he went searching for berries in the woods where he lived."

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

David Irving, the British Holocaust-denier, speaks to Reuters during an interview in Warsaw Septembe
March 23, 2019
Poland likely to bar Holocaust denier, foreign minister says