Nazi henchman eludes justice, dies in peace
Klaas Carel Faber, a war criminal who worked for a time at the Nazi transit camp where schoolgirl Anne Frank was held before being sent to the Auschwitz and Bergen-Belsen concentration camps, died in a Bavarian hospital last week at the ripe old age of 90.
Faber was sentenced to death by a Dutch court after the war but escaped and evaded all attempts by the Netherlands over the next 60 years to get him back.
At the time of his death, he was second on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s list of Nazi criminals still at large.
Faber was a former member of the Nazi SS unit known as Silver Fir and was responsible for the murder of at least 22 Jews, but the toll was believed to be much higher, according to The Telegraph.
In addition, his death squad targeted members of the Dutch resistance, and those who hid Jews and opposed Nazism.
He was also a member of Sonderkommando Feldmeijer, which carried out arbitrary assassinations of prominent Dutch citizens in reprisal for Resistance activities, and he served as a bodyguard to Dutch Nazi leader Anton Mussert.
Faber’s brother Pieter was executed by the Dutch government for pro-Nazi activities in 1948
Faber, who originally had Dutch nationality, escaped justice because Germany still recognizes the citizenship that Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler gave to all those serving in the SS, and does not extradite its own citizens, according to Agence France-Presse.
“German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger, amid pressure from Israel, had long pressed Bavaria, which has jurisdiction on the case, to look for alternative solutions to deal with the Faber case,” according to the wire service.
Faber had escaped from a Dutch prison in the Western part of the nation along with six other former SS men in 1952.
He eventually started working for the car maker Audi in Ingolstadt, West Germany; during this period his sentence was commuted to life in prison after the Netherlands abolished the death penalty.
In 1957, a German court threw out all charges against him for lack of evidence and Bavarian authorities said the Netherlands must produce new evidence before Faber could be arrested again, according to Agence France-Presse.
The Netherlands secured a European arrest warrant for Faber in November 2010 and sought his return to Dutch custody but Bavarian officials refused to execute the warrant.
Faber had joined the Waffen SS shortly after the German occupation of the Netherlands in 1940.
After a few months, he swapped military training for less demanding police jobs in Rotterdam and The Hague.
From 1943 to 1944 he was part of a firing squad at the Westerbork concentration camp, where Anne Frank was sent in August 1944 after German security police discovered her family’s hiding place in Amsterdam.
Frank was sent from Westerbork to Auschwitz in September 1944, then on to Bergen-Belsen later that year. She died at Bergen-Belsen of Typhus in March 1945, just weeks before the camp was liberated by the Allies.