In July, a journalist from The Sun, Britain's biggest-selling newspaper, found Dutch-born SS executioner Klaas Faber, 88, strolling around a German park with his wife.
Incredibly, German officials have been protecting the killer and have insisted he is immune from extradition after Hitler granted him German citizenship as an SS volunteer.
Local privacy laws mean that Germans cannot be told Faber is a war criminal, or see photos of him enjoying his freedom.
But Britain's The Sun newspaper found Faber in the medieval town of Ingolstadt, where he lives with frail wife Jacoba.
And now, thanks to The Sun's actions, German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has stepped in and ordered local officials to reopen the case.
She acted after worldwide outrage following The Sun's story. The Israeli government sent a formal letter to Berlin demanding action following a petition from 150 Jewish lawyers sickened by Faber's case.
Faber escaped from a Dutch prison camp in 1952 where he was serving a life sentence and has been allowed to live peacefully in the German state of Bavaria.
Now Bavaria has told Holland that it is either willing to extradite Faber to Holland for him to finish his life sentence or make him face a German court for the murder of 22 captives at a concentration camp during World War II.
Sun wins justice on Nazi fiend
SS monster ... Faber
Sunday 29th August 2010
The July story in the The Sun when the newspaper tracked down Faber: Nazi executioner strolls in park | The Sun |News (external - login to view)
A NAZI monster tracked down by The Sun faced spending the rest of his days in jail last night after our investigation forced officials to take action.
SS executioner Klaas Faber, 88 - responsible for slaughtering 22 captives at a concentration camp - has been allowed to live peacefully in Bavaria since escaping from a prison in Holland in 1952.
But in July The Sun found him - and now German Justice Minister Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger has stepped in and ordered local officials to reopen the case.
Sickening: Victims in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II
She acted after worldwide outrage following our story. The Israeli government sent a formal letter to Berlin demanding action followed a petition from 150 Jewish lawyers sickened by Faber's case.
Faber, a Dutch-born SS volunteer, was sentenced to life in prison after the Second World War. But following his escape he fled over the border to Germany.
Incredibly, officials refused to hand him back, insisting a law brought in by Hitler gave all foreign collaborators citizenship, which meant he was immune from extradition. And they insisted he could not be tried locally because his crimes were technically manslaughter not murder, and they happened too long ago.
Officials there were under huge pressure from the German national government last night.
Bavarian leaders have now signalled they will act if Holland makes a formal request for Faber to be returned to serve out his life sentence. But he could also be brought before a German court and tried again for the crimes.
Caught ... Nazi Klaas Faber walks in park with wife Jacoba in July with a journalist from The Sun who tracked them down
Justice Minister Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger yesterday confirmed she had intervened. Her spokesman said: "She wrote a letter to the Bavarian Minister of Justice to look into the case again."
Dr Efraim Zuroff, of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre which hunts Nazi war criminals, said The Sun's investigation had shamed Germany into action. He said: "This is a major step forward."
Israeli lawyer David Schonberg said: "The Sun has exposed a great scandal and given an opportunity to right a wrong."
The Sun Says:
JUSTICE is catching up with Nazi monster Klaas Faber - thanks to The Sun.
In 1952, SS executioner Faber escaped from jail in Holland, where he was serving life, and has been living comfortably in Bavaria.
After a Sun investigation, Germany has agreed to reopen the case. Faber is likely to be imprisoned again.
It is what he deserves. And Germany deserves credit for doing the right thing.