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Ex-Nazi charged in deaths of 430,000 Jews

German prosecutors have charged a former Nazi death camp guard with participating in the murder of 430,000 Jews and other crimes during the Third Reich.

German 3rd on most-wanted Nazis list

German prosecutors have charged a former Nazi death camp guard with participating in the murder of 430,000 Jews and other crimes during the Third Reich.

Samuel Kunz, 88, was informed last week of his indictment on charges including participation in the murder of 430,000 Jews at the Belzec death camp in occupied Poland, prosecutor Christoph Goeke said Wednesday. Kunz is believed to have served as a guard there from January 1942 to July 1943.

Polish soldiers holding eternal flames stand in front of a wall during the inauguration at the vast new memorial for the victims of the Belzec Nazi death camp in Poland in 2004. ((Czarek Sokolowski/Associated Press))

Kunz, who is third on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's list of most-wanted Nazi suspects, is also charged with murder over "personal excesses" in which he allegedly shot a total of 10 Jews in two other incidents, Goeke said.

Kunz, who lives near the western German city of Bonn, has refused to comment on the allegations.

Goeke said the case has been sent to the state court in Bonn, where officials were checking whether and when to hold a trial — a standard procedural step in Germany.

Efraim Zuroff, the top Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, called Kunz's indictment "a very positive development," accusing him of taking part in the so-called Operation Reinhard to eliminate Polish Jewry.

Kunz's name came up during investigations connected to the trial of John Demjanjuk.

Demjanjuk, 90, is currently on trial in Munich on charges of being an accessory to the murder of 28,060 Jews as a guard at the Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland. He denies he was ever a camp guard.

Prosecutors allege that both Kunz and Demjanjuk trained as guards at the Trawniki SS camp.