Nazi war criminal Wilhelm Wagner lost his appeal against a life sentence in the Karlsruhe-based federal court last week, but the 82-year-old pensioner, a former policeman, is not likely to spend time in jail because of his poor health.
During much of World War II, Wagner was a policeman in the Polish town of Wieliczka.
In 1942, when the town’s Jewish population was rounded up in the street for deportation, Wagner shot a man who refused to be separated from his family.
A few days later, after some 8,000 Jews were shipped to the Belzec death camp, Wagner killed two elderly Jews hiding in their flat.
During his first trial in 1977, the court found that Wagner was not following orders when he shot the men but acted on his own initiative. The proceedings were suspended in 1980 because of the defendant’s illness.
Wagner was found well enough to stand trial last year, though the court sessions were limited to three hours a day.
Wagner draws a pension for his wartime service and for serving after the war on the police force of his hometown, Nuernberg-Fuerth.
The Archive of the Jewish Telegraphic Agency includes articles published from 1923 to 2008. Archive stories reflect the journalistic standards and practices of the time they were published.