War crimes suspect, 88, freed


A former Slovak army captain, Mr Niznansky ... commanded the Slovak section of the Edelweiss unit, which hunted down partisans and carried out brutal reprisals against villagers who supported them, burning down their homes and shooting civilians.

In the most infamous incident, the unit captured US and British officers...The entire group was executed in the Nazi concentration camp at Mauthausen
According to the prosecution, Niznansky took part in massacres in several Slovakian mountain villages. They included the killings of 146 people in Ostry Grun and Klak in January 1945, among them 48 women and 48 children, as well as the deaths of 18 Jewish civilians in nearby Ksinna.
The the chief judge in Munich said that much of the evidence given at the trial was unreliable. Of course, more than 60 years passed! But why mr.Niznansky escaped trial previously? (then possible witnesses were alive). Only his command position in Edelweiss unit was a sufficient ground for the investigation.

For 33 years he lived openly with his wife in a Munich suburb, and he worked for decades at the US-government backed Radio Free Europe, which broadcast into the then communist-controlled Czechoslovakia.
I have heard (in Soviet times) that Radio Freedom staff is mainly war-criminals. I thought that it was a Soviet propaganda.

Maybe it would be right to close all similar cases? Possible war-criminals are too old. What do you think? Personally, I don't know the right answer.

"It is true that the prosecution at this point of such criminals can be extremely difficult. But the horrific nature of their crimes makes it imperative to leave no stone unturned in the efforts to hold such murderers accountable for their crimes," the centre's chief Nazi-hunter, Ephraim Zuroff, told the Guardian.

He added: "While unfortunate, today's acquittal should in no way lessen the determination to bring as many as possible killers of the Holocaust to justice."

The prosecution had demanded life imprisonment. They would now appeal, they said.
I doubt that an expression 'killers of the Holocaust' should be used in this context. Nationality of innocent victims is irrelevant.

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