BREDA, Netherlands — With the death of Adolf Hitler's deputy Rudolf Hess in West Berlin's Spandau prison on Monday, two German Nazis in a Dutch jail became the last known remaining war criminals held continuously since 1946, the year after the end of World War II.
The two, a noncommissioned officer and a captain, exist in relative obscurity with 180 short-stay convicts behind bars in this southern Dutch town.
Franz Fischer, 85, a former noncommissioned SS (elite force) officer, and Ferdinand aus der Fuenten, 77, an ex-SS captain, sent thousands of Dutch Jews to their deaths during the Nazi occupation. Aus der Fuenten was captured in 1945 and Fischer was caught in Germany in 1946. Both stood trial in 1949 and were sentenced to death a year later. The sentences were commuted to life terms.