Birgit Homburger, Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger - Reuters - 15.5.11
Vice Chairwoman of German liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) Birgit Homburger, left, with German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, on May 15, 2011. Photo by Reuters
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AMSTERDAM - The Dutch government asked Germany yesterday to jail an 89-year-old Dutch Nazi who escaped in 1952 from a Dutch prison where he was serving a life sentence for killing Jewish prisoners at a Nazi transit camp.

The Netherlands had already tried to extradite former SS soldier Klaas Carel Faber using a European Arrest Warrant - a European Union-wide agreed extradition mechanism - but a court in Munich turned down the application on the grounds that Faber is now a German citizen.

Dutch Justice Minister Ivo Opstelten wrote to his German counterpart yesterday saying that under European rules, Germany should impose on Faber the life sentence he had been serving in the Netherlands.

"The public prosecutor in Munich has informed the Dutch justice ministry it can apply for enforcement of the sentence to be transferred. Opstelten considers this a sign of willingness to implement the sentence in Germany," the Dutch government said in a statement.

Faber was sentenced to death in 1947 for the killing of at least 11 people in the Westerbork camp in the Netherlands, a staging post for Dutch Jews on their journey to concentration camps in Germany, Poland and Ukraine. His brother, who was also a member of the Dutch SS, was shot by firing squad after the war, but Faber's sentence was commuted to life imprisonment. He escaped from the prison and fled to Germany in 1952.

Dutch efforts to extradite Faber have been frustrated by a German law preventing extradition of German nationals for war crimes although Germany sentenced another former Dutch Nazi, Heinrich Broere, to life in prison in March last year.

A German court ruled in 1957 that it had insufficient evidence to try Faber who, according to Dutch newspaper reports, is living in the Bavarian town of Ingolstadt and worked at local carmaker Audi.

In her comments to the German press, German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has been sympathetic to the Dutch requests regarding Faber. Israel has also asked Germany to hand Faber over to the Dutch authorities.