21 Feb 2014

Suspected Auschwitz guards arrested

10:12 am on 21 February 2014

Three suspected former guards of the Auschwitz death camp run by the Nazis during World War II have been arrested in south-western Germany.

The public prosecutor's office in Stuttgart says the three accused - aged 88, 92 and 94 - are believed to have been involved in the murder of prisoners at Auschwitz in Nazi-occupied Poland.

They were arrested after police searched six homes in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg using information released to several German states last autumn by the Central Office of the Judicial Authorities for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes.

Prosecutors say various documents from the Nazi era were seized during the search on Thursday and are being evaluated.

An estimated 1.5 million people perished at Auschwitz, mostly Jews but also Roma, Poles and others, between 1940 and 1945.

German officials are trying to track down other low-level collaborators in a "last chance" hunt for ageing perpetrators of the Holocaust, in which six million Jews were murdered.