German prosecutors have filed a complaint against a former SS soldier for inciting and discrediting the memory of Nazi victims.
The accused was not mentioned, but he is called Karl Muenter, who was previously convicted in France for his role in the murder of 86 people in the northern French village of Ascq during the Second World War.
Muenter, 96, told journalists in an interview broadcast by German channel ARD last November that those killed in Ascq were themselves to blame for their death.
He also disputed the fact that the Holocaust claimed the lives of six million Jews.
Karl Münter, 96, was sentenced to death in 1949 for his part in the massacre of 86 French men and boys – but the statue of limitations is exhausted and the sentence is now meaningless
& # 39; The suspect did not dispute that he would give the information to journalists, but he said he did not know that the interview was being recorded and would be broadcast later & # 39 ;, prosecutors from Lower Saxony said in a statement.
& # 39; He also did not consider his statements to be an incentive and therefore thought he could not be held liable for prosecution.
If convicted, the accused is confronted with a maximum of five years in prison for incitement and two years for disregarding the memory of the deceased.
In his first interview about his time in the SS, Münter said that the victims of the horrific massacre deserved to be shot because they tried to run away and disputes that six million Jews were killed in the Holocaust.
& # 39; If I arrest the men, I am responsible for them. And if they run away, I have the right to shoot them, & he said.
But he resolutely claimed that he did not fire his own weapon, but & # 39; Nur dabei & # 39; (present only) at the massacre.
Münter, pictured in his SS uniform around the time of the Ascq massacre, has not served a single day in prison and has been living quietly in Lower Saxony ever since. The photo is part of a photo album that was sent to him by neo-Nazis who worship him as an icon
A reproduction of a photograph of coffins after the Ascq massacre in Villeneuve-d & Ascq, Northern France, in 1944 during the Second World War. 96-year-old former SS member Karl Münter who was involved in the murders has now been charged under German hate speech law
Münter also admitted that he did not regret his participation in the war crimes. Asked if he was sorry, he replied: & # 39; No, not at all! & # 39;
& # 39; Why should I regret it? & # 39 ;, he said. & # 39; I did not fire a shot & # 39 ;.
After admitting that he was nostalgic for the Third Reich, Münter added: & And the issue of the Jews attributed to (Hitler) … be careful. & # 39;
& # 39; There were not even millions of Jews back then (in Germany), that has already been refuted.
& # 39; This number – six million – is incorrect. & # 39;
Muenter was 21 years old and a member of the SS division & # 39; Hitler Youth & # 39; on the night of April 1, 1944, when a train with about 50 soldiers of the division slightly derailed by an explosion in an act of sabotage by the resistance.
German prosecutors investigated Muenter for suspicion of hate speech after he told a TV program last year that he had the right to shoot the men because they ran away
Members of the SS on trial for the Ascq massacre in France in August 1949. (From left to right) Rasmussen, Jung, Zinsmeister, Wronna and Lt Walter Hauck – who was responsible for transport
A memorial plaque in Villeneuve-d & Ascq for the massacre on April 2, 1944 by 86 civilians through a regiment of Nazi Germany
The troops took revenge by shooting 86 men in the nearby village of Ascq, the youngest of whom was 15 years old.
Muenter has already had several run-ins with the courts about his past in the SS.
He was sentenced to death in absence by a French military tribunal in 1949 for his role in the mass murder of Ascq, but was favored in 1955 as part of the Franco-German reconciliation efforts after World War II.
German prosecutors had attempted to reopen the war crime on his home country, but dropped the case against him in March last year because of his earlier conviction in France – according to a legal principle known as double danger.
The original verdict against him is now meaningless because the French statute of restrictions – 20 years – has expired and EU citizens cannot be prosecuted for crimes that they have already been convicted of in another state.
This means that Münter did not serve a single day in prison for his part in the brutal murders that took place in the village of Ascq, near Lille on the night of April 1, 1944.
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