Authorities in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg said the man was “taken into custody” on Monday, has appeared before a judge and that “an indictment against him is currently being prepared.”
Although prosecutors declined to give the suspect’s name, German media reported him to be Lithuanian-born Hans Lipschis, who lives in the Baden-Wurttemberg town of Aalen. Investigators believe he worked at the infamous Nazi death facility between 1941 and the camp’s liberation in 1945.
In its 2013 report, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre listed Mr Lipschis, as its fourth most-wanted. The Nazi-hunting organisation said he served in a SS-Totenkopf Sturmbann (Death’s Head Battalion) during his years at the death camp and “participated in the mass murder and persecution of innocent civilians, primarily Jews”.
The suspect has said he worked at the camp but only as a cook for the guards and had no contact with prisoners.
The arrest comes as German authorities intensify their efforts to round up the last surviving Nazis in the wake of the 2011 conviction of former camp guard John Demjanjuk as an accessory to the murder of 28,000 people at the Sobibor death camp.
Demjanjuk’s presence at Sobibor was enough to secure a conviction for his involvement in the mass murder that took place at the facility, so now anybody who served at a camp can face charges no matter what their function was.