The undersigned organizations request that the Government instruct the Public Prosecutor to seek the extradition from the United States of four members of the SS Totenkopf-Sturmbann in recognition of Spanish victims of the concentration camps.

Communiqué requesting the Spanish Government to seek the extradition from the United States of the members of the SS Totenkopf-Sturmbann Johann Leprich, Anton Tittjung, Josias Kumpf and Iwan (John) Demjanjuk

Having noted the public information concerning the lawsuit presented in the Audiencia Nacional (Madrid) on June 19 by several survivors and family members of Spanish victims of the National Socialist regime, the undersigned associations declare the following:

1) We support the ethical position of this demand for justice taken by the initial plaintiffs to the lawsuit: David Moyano, survivor of Mauthausen, born in Spain, former French combatant and a Belgian national; Silvia Dinhof-Cueto, an Austrian national, daughter of Victor Cueto, a survivor of Mauthausen from Asturias, Spain, now deceased. Silvia Dinhof-Cueto is a member of the Commemorative Association of Spanish Republicans in Austria; Jesús de Cos Borbolla, a Spanish national, whose father, Donato de Cos Gutiérrez was taken prisoner at Dunkirk and killed at Gusen, Mauthausen; Concha Ramirez Naranjo, a Spanish national whose husband, Gabriel Torralba, was imprisoned in Auschwitz Concentration Camp and later transferred to Flossenbürg Concentration Camp, where he was eventually liberated by US troops. Also participating in the lawsuit is Aurore Gutiérrez, a French national, whose grandfather Augustín Puente Lavin and two uncles, Marcos Puente Izaguirre and Francisco Elías Puente Izaguirre, were killed at Sachsenhausen.

2) We consider that the crimes committed by the National Socialist regime in the concentration and extermination camps during WWII must be prosecuted while those responsible - the SS Totenkopf-Sturmbann in this case - for committing such crimes against humanity and war crimes are still alive.

3) That there exists the substantial possibility of bringing to justice SS Totenkopf-Sturmbann members Johann Leprich, Anton Tittjung, Josias Kumpf and Iwan (John) Demjanjuk, in light of the favourable legal situation in the United States, where the judiciary has proven their membership of the criminal organization of the SS and therefore their direct responsibility in those crimes.

4) That the denaturalization proceedings of the aforementioned SS Totenkopf members before United States Courts have taken place in the course of the last 20 years. In well-known cases such as that of Iwan (John) Demjanjuk, the Supreme Court of the United States itself has denied Demjanjuk's petition for a writ of certiorari as recently as May 19, 2008. Moreover, on May 22, 2008 a U.S. immigration appellate court upheld the removal order for Josias Kumpf and Kumpf has not appealed this decision.

5) That the Spanish victims of the National Socialist regime have never received any legal recognition by the Spanish State. Making matters worse, the law known as the "Ley de la Memoria" (Law of Memory) approved in the past legislature, has declared legal the Francoist laws which consolidated the exclusion of these victims from the European ius gentium.

6) That although the actions of SS Totenkopf-Sturmbann members Johann Leprich, Anton Tittjung, Kosias Kumpf and Iwan (John) Demjanjuk took place in Mauthaussen, Sachsenhausen and Flossenbürg Concentration Camps ("KL" - Konzentrationslager) where there is unquestionable evidence of their execution of the National Socialist extermination plan, we believe that these proceedings represent all Spanish victims and those of other countries who were eliminated for their political ideas, as was proven in the judgement of the Nuremberg Tribunal. Moreover, we trust that these former SS will be tried in Spain for the crimes against humanity and the genocide perpetrated in application of the National Socialist racial legislation that affected, among others, Jews, Gypsies, those professing other religions and those who were classified by the National Socialist racial legislation as "untermenschen" (subhumans).

7) We publicly request the State Public Prosecutor to provide the necessary instructions enabling the Prosecutor's Office of the Audiencia Nacional to advise the Investigating Judge in its required report that Spanish courts have jurisdiction over the case, and that the said court declares the lawsuit admissible and initiates the investigation phase in a timely and efficient manner, these being the normal requirements of any judicial proceedings pursuant to the legal standards of due process in effect in Spain.

8) We make a particular appeal to the General Union of Workers (UGT) and the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) to support this criminal lawsuit which includes, among the evidence submitted on its behalf, the KL Sachsenhausen daily record book identifying Francisco Largo Caballero, the distinguished socialist leader, as a prisoner who was a victim of the extermination program.

9) That these proceedings would permit the Spanish State to confront its responsibility for the support and promotion of the National Socialist regime, and, although delayed for more than 60 years, via the judicial process, to join in the repudiation and condemnation of National Socialist crimes in a clear and non rhetorical way, thereby demonstrating its willingness to comply with European law.

10) We support the January 17, 2006 Decision of the Fourth Section of the European Court of Human Rights (Kolk and Kislyiy v. Estonia) in which that court reaffirmed the non applicability of statutory limitations to crimes against humanity and the retroactive application of such crimes by stating: "No statutory limitation shall apply to the following crimes, irrespective of the date of their commission: [...] b) Crimes against humanity whether committed in time of war or in time of peace as they are defined in the Charter of the International Military Tribunal, Nuremberg, of 8 August 1945 and confirmed by resolutions 3 (I) of 13 February 1946 and 95 (I) of 11 December 1946 of the General Assembly of the United Nations, eviction by armed attack or occupation and inhuman acts resulting from the policy of apartheid, and the crime of genocide as defined in the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, even if such acts do not constitute a violation of the domestic law of the country in which they were committed."

11) We therefore believe that there is no substantive or procedural reason why the State of Spain should not comply with its obligations in international law, with respect to Spanish victims and to the victims of National Socialism during the Second World War who were exterminated in the concentration camps of Mauthausen, Sachsenhausen and Flossenbürg and that it should request the formal handover from the United States of Johann Leprich, Anton Tittjung, Josias Kumpf and Iwan (or John) Demjanjuk so that they can be placed at the disposition of the Spanish Courts.

Madrid, June 30, 2008

Endorsed by:

  • AFARIIREP (Association of Relatives and Friends of the 2nd Republic Victims of Reprisals by the Franco Regime), Ana Viéitez Gómez, President
  • Amical of Mathaussen, Barcelona
  • Ahaztuak 1936-1977 (Victims of the coup d'etat, of the repression and of the Franco regime, Vizcaya)
  • Arab Cause Solidarity Committee, Gijon, Asturies
  • Association for the creation of an Archive of the Civil War, the International Brigades, the Children of the War, the Resistance and the Spanish Exile. AGE (Archive of War and Exile) Dolores Cabra, President
  • Association for the Descendants of the Spanish Exile, Ludivina García Arias, President
  • Association for the Recovery of 1936 Historical Memory of Vigo, Galicia, Telmo Comesaña Pampillón, President
  • Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory of Aguilar de la Frontera, Cordoba, Rafael Espino Navarro, President
  • Association of Salamanca for Memory and Justice, Fermín Sánchez Martín, member of the Board
  • Associaciˇ pro - mem˛ria als Immolats per la llibertat a Catalunya. )Association in honor of the memory of those who died for liberty in Calalonia), Pere Fortuny Velazquez, President
  • Asturian Association of relatives of the disappeared of the Spanish State in Argentina, Bárbara García, President
  • COLICHE Group (Solidarity Group for People's Justice and Dignidty), Logro˝o, La Rioja
  • Coordinating Committee for Historical and Democratic Memory of Catalonia, Álvaro Fernández Alonso, President
    [Coordinadora per a la Memòria Històrica i Democràtica de Catalunya (Associació Memorial Democràtic de SEAT, Associació per a Memòria Històrica i Democràtica del Baix Llobregat, Historaula, Fundació Nou Horitzons, Associació Pont de la Llibertat l'Hospitalet Antifranquista, Fundació Pere Ardiaca, Associació de Familiars de Represaliats pel Franquisme, Col·lectiu d'Història-CJC, Fils et Filles de Républicains Espagnols et Enfants de l'Exode-FREEE, Foro para la Defensa de la Tercera Edad-Memòria Històrica, Fundació l'Alternativa, H2O, col·lectiu gai, lesbià, bisexual i transsexual del Camp de Tarragona, Grup de familiar pro-Associació dels Afusellats a les Terres de Tarragona, Fundació Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, Comissió de Coordinació de la memòria Històrica de l'Unió General dels Treballadors (U.G.T.), Associació Cultural Octubre-Xarxa Suburbe, Ciutadans per la República de Catalunya(Memòri-Històrica), Associació per a la Memòria Històrica "Neus Català", Grup d'Amics Gais de Barcelona, Alvaro Fernández Alonso, presidente]
  • Disappeared of the Civil War and Republican Exile (DESPAGE), Antonio Cruz González, Coordinator
  • Espacio Alternativo (Alternative Space), Madrid
  • Francisco Largo Caballero Foundation, Almudena Asenjo, Director
  • Friends of the Fallen for Liberty (1939-1945), Historical Memory of the Murcia Region, Floren Dimas Balsalobre, Regional President.
  • Federation of Fora for Memory: [Association for Liberty and Justice of El Almendro (Huelva); Forum for Memory, Eastern Asturias; Forum for Memory, Cantabria; Forum for Memory, La Rioja; Forum for Memory, Segovia; Forum for Memory, Aragon; Forum for Memory, Community of Madrid; Forum for Memory, Toledo; Forum for Memory, Guadalajara; Forum for Memory, Valencian Community; Forum for Memory of the Valle del Tietar and La Vera; Forum for Memory, Extremadura, Forum for Memory, Andalucia, Forum for Memory, Granada; Forum for Memory, Málaga; Forum for Memory, Jaen, Forum for Memory, Huelva; Forum for Memory, Cádiz ; Forum for Memory of the Field of Gibraltar; Forum for Memory, El Puerto de Santamaria; Forum for Memory, Argentina] José María Pedreño Gómez, President of the Federation.
  • GRSÖ - Gedenkverein der Republikanischen Spanier in Österreich (Associatoin of Sapnish Republicans in Austria), President Karl Sturm and Vice President Carmen Cazalla Jurado
  • International Cooperation Iniciatives for Development (ICID), Madrid, Nuria Tovar, Vice President, and Ángeles Aguayo, Board of Directors Secretary
  • Memory Association of Mallorca, Maria Antonia Oliver i Paris, President
  • Mesa de Diálogo para la Recuperación de la Memoria Histórica de Asturias (Dialogue Platform for the Recovery of Historic Memory of Asturias): Asociación de Cantabria Héroes por la República y la libertad, Ateneo Republicano, Foro Ciudadano por la República de Asturias, Foro Pozu Fortuna, Foro por la Memoria del Oriente de Asturias-Federación Estatal de Foros por la Memoria, Foro por la Memoria de León, Foro por la Memoria de Burgos, Memoria Histórica Allerana, Memoria Histórica, PCA, PCPE de Asturias, CMC/CJC, Sociedad Cultural Gijonesa, Logia Rosario de Acuña
  • Republican Cultural Association of Galicia (Ateneo Republicano de Galicia) - ARGA
  • "Truth and Justice" Association of Valladolid, Orosia Castán Lanaspa and Ricardo Bedera Bravo, Directors.
  • Vereinigung der österreichischen Freiwilligen in der Spanischen Republik 1936-1939 und Freunde des demokratischen Spanien" (Association of Austrian Volunteers in the Spanish Republic 1936-1939 and Friends of Democratic Spain), Irene Filip (DÖW-Spanien-Archiv)
  • War-Exile and Historical Memory of Andalucia (AGEMHA), Manuel Velasco Haro, President
  • War, Exile and Historical Memory of the Valencian Community, Francisco Martínez López, Vice President

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