BONN (Dec. 17)
A West German journalist has accused a federal prosecutor of refusing to arrest an extradited former SS officer who was seen to murder the journalist’s grandfather at the Theresienstadt concentration camp in Czechoslovakia.
According to Peter Finkelgruen, his grandfather, Martin Finkelgruen, was beaten to death by Anton Malloth on Dec. 10, 1942, in the so-called “kleine festung” of Theresienstadt.
Finkelgruen told a news conference in Cologne on Friday that on June 6, he presented the written testimony of an eyewitness, Josef Kleger of Prague, to Klaus Schacht of the Dortmund-based National Office for the Prosecution of Nazi Criminals.
But Schacht refused to issue an arrest warrant.
Malloth, now 77, was born in Bohemia, joined the SS and made it his career.
He was sentenced in absentia to death by a Prague court in 1948, but evaded capture, settling in 1957 in Italy, where he was granted citizenship three years later.
He lived undisturbed in Merano, a resort in the German-speaking Tyrol, until Nazi-hunter Simon Wiesenthal tracked him down.
Malloth was extradited to West Germany last year. Prosecutor Schacht visited him at a hospital, but he refused to talk.
Schacht, who claimed there was insufficient evidence to start proceedings, told a television interviewer last year that Malloth could no longer be prosecuted because of the statute of limitations on crimes of beating and torture.
Finkelgruen disagrees. He said Friday that eyewitness testimony should be enough and accused the prosecutor of lacking the will to press the case.