German authorities on Monday arrested a 93-year-old man for allegedly serving as a guard at Auschwitz and assisting in the mass murder carried out at the death camp. Hans Lipschis, who was deported from the US in 1983 for lying about his Nazi affiliations, has acknowledged [Speigel report] being assigned to an SS guard unit, but maintains he only worked as a cook. However, compelling evidence was found that he was involved in the crimes at Auschwitz while posted there from 1941 to 1945. While Lipschis is in detention, prosecutors will try to determine what he did while working at Auschwitz. Although there may be little to no evidence linking Lipschis to a specific crime, new German law allows prosecutors to charge any person who worked at a death camp with accessory to murder because the sole purpose of the camp was to kill people. A doctor has confirmed that Lipschis' health is good enough to remain detained while awaiting his charges.
Despite the ages of the accused, German prosecutors have reopened [JURIST report] hundreds of investigations involving former death camp guards after the conviction [JURIST report] of John Demjanjuk [NNDB profile; JURIST news archive] in May 2011 for the murder of thousands during the holocaust. Like Lipschis, Demjanjuk was also deported from the US. Demjanjuk was sentenced to five years in prison but was released early due to old age and died in September 2011 while awaiting an appeal [JURIST report].