Netherlands Seeking Extradition of Former Nazi Wanted for Killing Jews

Former SS soldier Klaas Carel Faber has been hindered by a German law preventing extradition of German nationals for war crimes. Israel joins extradition request.

The Netherlands will use a new legal procedure to seek the extradition from Germany of an 88-year-old Dutchman who was jailed for killing Jewish prisoners at a Nazi transit camp, but escaped from prison in 1952.

Nazi guards at Belzec death camp in occupied Poland in 1942.
(AP / Yad Vashem).

The extradition of former SS soldier Klaas Carel Faber has been hindered by a German law preventing extradition of German nationals for war crimes; though Germany itself sentenced another former Dutch Nazi, Heinrich Broere, to life in prison in March this year.

A special Dutch prosecution team, the TES, that seeks to enforce older sentences said on Thursday it had issued a European Arrest Warrant against Faber. That warrant supersedes national regulations and, prosecutors argue, could allow Germany to hand him over for trial.

"Faber escaped from the prison in Breda in 1952, went to Germany and the Netherlands has tried a few times to make sure he sits out his life long Germany or to get him back in the Netherlands," prosecutor Reinoud den Haan told Reuters in the town of Zwolle where the TES is based.

"But that didn't work out because the German constitution forbids to extradite people with German passports."

German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger told a German newspaper in September that she would welcome a new Dutch attempt to get Faber to serve out his sentence.

Israel has also requested Germany hand Faber to the Dutch.

A spokesman for the Bavarian general attorney said they had not yet received the warrant but would study it carefully.

Faber joined the Dutch SS along with his brother Pieter Johan. Their father Pieter Faber was killed by the resistance.

Klaas Carel was sentenced to death in 1947 for the killing of at least 11 people in the Westerbork camp in the Netherlands which was a staging post for Dutch Jews on their journey to concentration camps in Germany, Poland and Ukraine.

While his brother was shot by firing squad after the war, the sentence of Klaas Carel was commuted to life imprisonment.

Faber escaped to Germany in 1952 with several others. Extradition attempts so far failed because Faber, due to his SS membership, also has German nationality. A German court ruled in 1957 that it had insufficient evidence to try Faber who, according to newspapers, is living in the Bavarian town of Ingolstadt and worked at local carmaker Audi.