Samuel Kunz, 89, one of the world's most-wanted Nazi suspects who was under indictment on allegations that he was involved in killing hundreds of thousands of Jews at a concentration camp in Germany-occupied Poland died Thursday, a court in Bonn announced Monday. The cause was not disclosed.
Kunz's name had surfaced in past investigations, but the recent allegations came up in Germany as prosecutors were poring through World War II-era documents in preparation for the case against John Demjanjuk, a retired Ohio autoworker who is being tried in Munich.
The resulting investigation prompted the Simon Wiesenthal Center to list Kunz in April as the world's third most-wanted Nazi — after Sandor Kepiro of Hungary and Milivoj Asner of Austria — because he was allegedly involved personally in the killings and because of the "enormous scope" of his suspected crimes, said the center's chief Nazi investigator Efraim Zuroff.
Kunz was indicted in July on 10 counts of murder and 430,000 counts of accessory to murder on allegations that he trained at the SS Trawniki camp in occupied Poland and was sent from there to the Belzec death camp as a guard from January 1942 through July 1943.
In his indictment, prosecutors said he was involved in the entire process of killing Jews at the Belzec death camp: from taking victims from trains to pushing them into gas chambers to throwing corpses into mass graves.
Like Demjanjuk, Kunz was born in what became the Soviet Union and served in the Soviet army, becoming a camp guard after his capture by the Germans, prosecutors said. An ethnic German, Kunz moved to Germany after the war and gained citizenship.
— Times wire servicesCopyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun