Germany’s criminal police went after former members of 12th SS Panzer Division Hitler Youth.
12th SS Panzer Division was involved in an attack in France in 1944. 86 men were murdered in this massacre.
The three men – all in their 90s – were charged with taking part in the so-called Ascq massacre that occurred on 1 April 1944 in the northern French village, several kilometers off the Belgian border. On that day, a train carrying SS soldiers from the 12th Panzer Division derailed after an explosion at the railroad.
The convoy commander, SS officer Walter Hauck, ordered his soldiers to search and arrest all male Frenchmen living in the houses on both sides of the track. Seventy men were shot on the spot and another 16 murdered in the Ascq village itself. Six other men were arrested and executed by Gestapo firing squad.
At the end of WWII, some SS men who took park in Ascq executions stood trial in the French Military Court at Lille. They were sentenced to death, but later their sentences were commuted to imprisonment.
Many Nazi war criminals are believed to be at large in Germany and beyond, while international law sets no time frame for persecution of the crimes against humanity, including reprisals, execution of civilians and genocide.