COPENHAGEN (Reuters) - A Danish former Nazi officer and a war criminal on the Simon Wiesenthal Center’s most wanted list has died, according to a death note in the German paper Allgauer Zeitung published at the weekend.
The notice, drawn up by his children, said 93-year-old Soren Kam died on March 23, little more than two weeks after his wife passed away.
Kam was the fifth-most wanted war criminal by the Simon Wiesenthal Center, an organization that fights to bring former Nazis to justice and protects Jewish rights.
The Dane had been a volunteer officer in the SS-Viking division and was judged to have been involved in the murder of Danish anti-Nazi newspaper editor Carl Henrik Clemmensen. He also fought on the Eastern front and was highly decorated.
A Danish court case conducted straight after the war convicted him in absentia of the murder, together with another man who was executed. Kam had fled to Germany where he obtained citizenship in 1956.
Germany had refused to extradite him to Denmark several times, according to Danish media.
“The fact that Soren Kam, a totally unrepentant Nazi murderer, died a free man in Kempten (Germany), is a terrible failure of the Bavarian judicial authorities,” the center’s chief Nazi hunter, Dr. Efraim Zuroff, said in the statement.
“Kam should have finished his miserable life in jail, whether in Denmark or Germany. The failure to hold him accountable will only inspire the contemporary heirs of the Nazis to consider following in his footsteps,” Zuroff said.
Zuroff later said by telephone Kam had been on the center’s list for the Clemmensen murder and not for giving Nazis a registry of Danish Jews to help forces deport them to concentration camps, an accusation Danish authorities could find no evidence for.
He said the center’s most-wanted list, which now contains the names of eight men, is based on a realistic hope the accused can be brought to justice and is not a list of the most notorious Nazis.
Reporting By Alexander Tange; Editing by Sabina Zawadzki/Hugh Lawson