Dallas Holocaust survivors welcome prosecution of former Nazi guard



Posted on August 20, 2010 at 10:00 PM

Updated Monday, Aug 23 at 12:19 PM

DALLAS - It's never too late for justice. That's what Dallas Holocaust survivors are saying after Samuel Kunz, a former Nazi henchman, was charged with murdering hundreds of thousands of people, at a death camp.

The death camp guard, like many Nazi war criminals, is in his late eighties.

Critics say they're too old to face prison time but for those who survived one of humanity's most monstrous acts of evil, it is an emotional victory.

Max Glauben's childhood is on display at the Dallas Holocaust Museum. A plaque hangs in memory of his mother, father and little brother, who were all killed at the hands of the Nazis.

"Regardless of how long it takes, the people who were instrumental in killing those innocent victims should be punished," he said.

When Glauben heard the news about the arrest of Nazi death camp guard Samuel Kunz, he thought back to his childhood as an 11-year-old prisoner at a concentration camp. German prosecutors charged Kunz with helping murder 430,000 Jews and gypsies at the Belzec camp.

"Let the people know that if they commit horrible things such as what was committed in the holocaust, then they will pay for it and they will never get away with it," Glauben said.

Glauben spent six years at five concentration camps but he was never in Belzec, where Kunz was a guard. But he remembers a guard, just like Kunz, who found cruel, inhumane ways to kill Jews because he said hanging or shooting them was too easy.

For museum president Alice Murray, the Kunz arrest evokes horrific images of death and suffering at the camps: from human experiments and slave labor to the gas chambers and ovens.

"We have an obligation to bring justice to those six million Jews that were murdered. So I don't know what took them so long," she said.

Murray says the Kunz case brings hope. Since the end of World War II, German authorities investigated more than 25,000 cases involving Nazi war criminals but few went to court. A flurry of recent arrests and court cases involves former Nazis who are now elderly.

"It is important that they be found guilty and that they understand that they are responsible," Murray said.

"They should never get away with it regardless of what age they are and how long it takes," Glauben said.

E-mail: sstoler@wfaa.com