Reasons and Motive for the Establishing

A direct motive for the creation of the Central Office was the so-called Ulm Einsatzkommando Trial of ten former members of the task force Tilsit (the Einsatzkommando Tilsit) - all defendants were sentenced to many years of prison in August 1958, because of their participation in mass executions, particularly of Jews. From these proceedings, indications arise for other similar cases, which occurred in the areas occupied by the former German Reich and still remained uninvestigated or insufficiently investigated as well as for killing operations at concentration camps and extermination camps.

The public prosecutor’s offices and criminal courts are primarily competent to investigate crimes committed in their district or by perpetrators resided in the respective district; such system of jurisdiction has been found unsuitable for extensive work on Nazi crimes. Before the Central Office was founded, investigation of a Nazi crime by the German judicial authorities had depended mainly on coincidence, especially in cases of mass crimes, which had been committed outside Germany. An authority was and still is needed filling this considerable gap within the areas of judicial competence, an authority that would do some preparatory work in advance, push and bundle investigations of the public prosecutor’s offices and provide support for them.

Thus, a systematically conducted prosecution of the Nazi crimes has been started only after creation of the Central Office, which still has a good reputation worldwide today beyond its institutional importance for the judicial dealing with the National Socialism.

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