Nazi-hunters turn historian





Germany's chief Nazi prosecutor is now more likely to be consoling the grandchild of a war criminal than chasing Adolf Hitler's murderous henchmen.

More than 60 years after World War Two ended, Nazi hunters are running out of targets and increasingly becoming historians who shine a harsh light on dark family secrets. "It's hard to keep prosecutors here," said Kurt Schrimm, who leads Germany's department for prosecuting Nazi war crimes. "I tell them when they start that the prospects of prosecution are slim. The suspects are getting older. It's more about finding out and explaining what happened."

For many Germans, the search for Nazis in their family ends in the small western town of Ludwigsburg.

Hundreds of thousands of index cards fill the cellar of the former prison. Each card carries a name and often a list of war-crime prosecutions. A librarian leafs through the indexes, looking for names put forward by callers researching family members they may have never known.


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