Police investigating WWII massacre suspect
The man is suspected of being one of three SS men who massacred some 60 Hungarian-Jewish slave laborers in March 1945.
Berlin -- German authorities have searched the residence of an 89-year-old former member of the Nazis' paramilitary SS suspected of taking part in the 1945 massacre of more than 60 Jews in Austria, police said Wednesday.
State police in North Rhine-Westphalia said they are now evaluating documents seized from the residence of the man -- identified only as Adolf S. -- as part of their investigation into his involvement in the massacre in the village of Deutsch Schuetzen, southeast of Vienna.
The man is suspected of being one of three SS men who massacred some 60 Hungarian-Jewish slave laborers in March 1945, just weeks before the end of World War II, police said.
He is also believed to have shot in the back a Jew who could no longer walk during a march from Deutsch Schuetzen to Hartberg in Austria, police said later in a statement.
The remains of the victims of the Deutsch Schuetzen massacre were found in 1995 in a mass grave by the Austrian Jewish association. A plaque now marks the site.
Dortmund prosecutor Ulrich Maass, who heads a department that deals with Nazi-era crimes, opened an investigation into the man about a month ago after being alerted to his presence by an Austrian university student who had been researching the massacre.
He told the AP he had found several witnesses to the massacre who were still alive, including members of the Hitler Youth who were present, and that one had identified the suspect in a photo.
"We are pretty sure it's him," Maass said.
Authorities are still looking for other witnesses in the case, and hope to be able to file charges "as soon as possible," Maass said.
Police said that the man invoked his right not to make a statement to them during Tuesday's raid in the city of Duisburg.
The suspect was interned in an American prisoner of war camp following the war but was released in 1946, Maass said. In the chaotic aftermath of the war, however, it was not uncommon for possible war criminals to slip through the cracks.
The Austrian press has reported the man changed the spelling of his name after World War II, perhaps helping him go undetected for so long.
The man is being investigated on suspicion of murder, for which there is no statute of limitations.