WARSAW, Poland — Polish authorities have reopened an investigation into World War II crimes committed at Auschwitz and its satellite camps that was closed in the 1980s because of the country’s isolation behind the Iron Curtain.
One aim of the new probe is to track down any living Nazi perpetrators, according to an announcement Thursday by the Institute of National Remembrance, a state body that investigates Nazi and communist-era crimes.
Nazi Germany opened Auschwitz in 1940, months after it invaded and occupied Poland. Over the next five years of war, German and Austrian Nazis murdered up to 1.5 million people there at the expanded Auschwitz-Birkenau camp complex, most of them Jews from across Europe, but also Poles, Roma, gays and others.
The investigation was opened by a branch of the remembrance institute in Krakow, which is located near Auschwitz. Germany also operated other death camps across Poland — like Chelmno, Treblinka and Belzec — and it was not immediately clear if new investigations into them are also planned....