Main Focus

Preliminary investigations focus mainly on documents that help us to locate personnel of a camp, task forces or other units who are still alive today. In fact, available evidence rarely proves specific aiding and abetting of a particular murder, but it can merely prove participation in the system of mass murder.

This broad approach has also built the basis of the total of 126 proceedings against former members of the concentration camps Auschwitz, Lublin (Majdanek), Sachsenhausen, Ravensbrück, Buchenwald, Stutthof, Mauthausen, Neuengamme, Flossenbürg and Groß-Rosen, including 27 women, transferred to the public prosecutors since the verdict of the Munich II Regional Court against Ivan (John) Demjanjuk in May 2011 up to and including June 2022. In this regard, 13 charges were brought against the individuals, three of which resulted in convictions. If no charges were brought, the vast majority of cases were desmissed due to inability to stand trial or death.

In addition to the concentration camps mentioned above, the Central Office also conducts investigations into the concentration camps Natzweiler, Dachau and Plaszow.

With a view to transferring the case-law on the criminal liability of aiding and abetting in concentration camps, in which phases of sysytematic murder were recognizible to the staff, to prisoner-of-war camps and Einsatzgruppen as well, the Central Office has recently started to reviewing new complexes, and as a result, criminal investigation proceedings have also been handed over to the public prosecutor's offices. 

Until the beginning of the war in Ukraine, one of the focal points of working was the lagely completed examination of files at archives in the Russian Federation. After the political changes in the former Eastern bloc, the Central Office has gained access to the archive material, which had been kept there and had been inaccessible during the Cold War.

Soon after German reunification, the Central Office also got the order from the conference of ministers of justice to look through and to analyse the large “Nazi-Archive” of the ministry of national security (German: Ministerium für Staatssicherheit - MfS), access to which had been refused for so many years by the authorities of the German Democratic Republic.

Akten Demjaniuk-Verfahren

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