April 14th, 2010

Central Council’s Secretary General criticises half-hearted prosecution of Nazi criminals

The Secretary General of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Stephan J. Kramer, has described Germany's efforts to come to terms with its Nazi past as "half-hearted and hypocritical". He told the newspaper Rheinland am Sonntag that the case of the mass murderer Martin Sandberger, who had lived undisturbed in a German nursing home, was a further demonstration of "how little interest Germany had had in prosecuting Nazi criminals during all those years". Kramer said that neither politicians nor judicial authorities had made real efforts to bring the perpetrators before the court, of which Sandberger's case was an example.

The Secretary General said the claim that the Federal Republic of Germany had done exemplary work in dealing with its Nazi past was utterly ludicrous. "This applies to the prosecution of the perpetrators as well as to the compensation for the victims," emphasised Kramer. He said it was absurd that the aged survivors of the Holocaust had to resort to legal action to receive compensation "while their murderers enjoy a financially secure retirement in Germany". He also said that prosecuting former Stasi members while turning a blind eye to Nazi crimes considerably undermined the state's credibility in the matter.

Kramer called on the government to take greater efforts to combat far-right extremism. In his view, it is irresponsible to want to crack down on Islamism and left-wing extremism while ignoring the threat posed by the far-right. He said there was no reason for giving the all-clear in the struggle against neo-Nazis. (10.04.2010)