Karl Münter, 96, was sentenced to death in France in 1949 for his part in the massacre of 86 French men and boys – but the statue of limitations has run out and the sentence is now meaningless
A 96-year-old former SS member who was involved in the massacre of 86 French men and boys in 1944 is facing a new investigation for hate speech.
Karl Münter was previously sentenced to death in France in 1949 – but the verdict is now meaningless because the French statute of limitations has expired.
But he caused outrage in a TV interview when he said he shot the victims of the horrific massacre because they tried to ‘run away’.
He told a German TV programme last year: ‘If I arrest the men I’m responsible for them. And if they run away I have the right to shoot them.’
German prosecutors are now investigating him on suspicion of hate speech over the comments.
Münter also denied the holocaust took place, claiming: ‘There weren’t millions of Jews at the time, that’s already been disproved. I’ve recently read somewhere that the number which is talked about is not right.’
German prosecutors are investigating Munter on suspicion of hate speech after he told told a TV programme last year he had the right to shoot the men because they ran away
A reproduction of a photograph showing coffins after the massacre of Ascq in Villeneuve-d’Ascq, northern France, in 1944 during WWII. 96-year-old former SS member Karl Münter who was involved in the killings could now be prosecuted under a German hate speech law
He served in the SS’ notorious 12th Panzer Division ‘Hitler Youth’ which was responsible for a number of war crimes.
Just months before the allied invasion in northern France, members of the resistance set off explosive on a railway near Lille.
It derailed a train carrying Münter’s battalion. Goods cars came off the track but no one was hurt.
However Lt Walter Hauck, who was in charge of the transport, ordered a late night reprisal attack on the nearby village of Ascq.
Men and boys, ranging from 18 to 75, were dragged to the railway tracks, lined up and shot dead.
Members of the SS on trial for the Ascq Massacre in France in August 1949. (Left to right) Rasmussen, Jung, Zinsmeister, Wronna And Lt Walter Hauck – who was in charge of transport
A commemorative plaque in Villeneuve-d’Ascq for the April 2, 1944 WWII massacre of 86 civilians by a Nazi Germany regiment
Nazi authorities claim the killing was justified because they were ‘terrorists’.
The horrific killing was later named he Oradour of the North – after an SS massacre two months afterwards at Oradour-sur-Glane, where 642 people died.
In the years following, several suspects of the massacre were identified inclduing Münter who was only 21 at the time.
Many of the suspects were tried or sentenced to death in absentia like Münter who escaped punishment because he was in Germany.
Münter worked in his local post office for many years appeared at many far right events after becoming an icon for German neo-Nazi groups.
The 96-year-old could face up to five years in prison if he convicted for hate speech.