Notorious SS unit 'traced'

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Polish authorities claim to have identified three survivors of an infamous SS unit that garnered a reputation for brutality that shocked even German wartime commanders.

Prosecutors attached to Poland's Institute of National Remembrance (IPN), the body charged with investigating crimes committed during the war, have announced that they intend to bring the men to justice for their apparent involvement in the suppression of the Warsaw Uprising while serving with the SS Dirlewanger Brigade.

The unit, named after its leader Oscar Dirlewanger, comprised of criminals, the criminally insane and volunteers from Nazi-occupied Europe, and developed a reputation for rape, torture and murder, vicious even by the Nazi's bloody standards.

The three, who live in Germany, were found after the Austrian Red Cross gave a Polish museum a card index containing the names and address of those who served in the unit.

Investigators claim to have tracked them down, but the ex-soldiers refused to speak on the phone about the war.

Boguslaw Czerwinski, a prosecutor with the IPN, said that they had now asked for German assistance in bringing the three men to justice and were awaiting a reply.

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