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Germany charges 90-year-old in Nazi-era murders

BERLIN (JTA) — Germany has filed charges against the No. 3 man on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s list of most-wanted Nazis for helping to murder 430,000 Jews during World War II.

Samuel Kunz, 90, was charged in Dortmund last week, according to the French news agency AFP. He reportedly has admitted working in the Belzec extermination camp in occupied Poland.

Kunz, who denies having personally murdered anyone, also is charged in connection with two incidents at Belzec in which 10 Jews were killed. He is also a witness in the war crimes trial against John Demjanjuk, who is charged as an accomplice in the murders of 27,900 Jews while serving as a guard at the Treblinka death camp in Poland.

The new case underscores claims by Nazi hunters, including the Wiesenthal Center’s Jerusalem director Efraim Zuroff, that war criminals are living free more than 60 years after the end of World War II.

Zuroff, director of the Wiesenthal Center in Jerusalem, had long maintainted that those tempted to call Demjanjuk’s case "the last big Nazi trial" were wrong.

Two men under investigation of Nazi-era war crimes died this month before going on trial. Former SS officer Erich Steidtmann, 95, accused of leading Nazi police battalions that committed mass murder of Jews in Eastern Europe, died this week in Hanover, where he lived.

Adolf Storms, 90, indicted reportedly for killing 57 Jewish men in Austria in March 1945 at the end of World War II, died in his home city of Duisburg. He allegedly forced the men, slave laborers, to hand over their valuables before he shot them. 

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