WICKLIFFE, Ohio -- A former Nazi SS guard who committed suicide after learning he was under investigation for war crimes had been cleared of criminal activities shortly after World War II, his son said Wednesday.
John Stolz, who hanged himself Monday in his basement in suburban Cleveland, was under investigation for suspected criminal activities at a Nazi prison camp in Poland during the war.
However, Stolz's son, Edwin Stolz, said his family has sealed documents that clear his father of any criminal activities.
He said his father was taken prisoner by the Americans after the war and was turned over to the Poles who put him on trial four years later.
Stolz said a number of Jews testified on his father's behalf and he was cleared of any war crimes.
But the Nazi-hunting unit of the Justice Department known as the Office of Special Investigations recently notified the elder Stolz that he was wanted for questioning.
Edwin Stolz said he believed his father took his own life because his nerves were ruined and he just couldn't face the possibility of another trial.
'My father was guilty of nothing,' said Stolz. 'He was simply a very sensitive man and the thought of another trial was more than he could handle.'
Stolz said after the war his father was acquitted, released and he began making a new life for himself in Cleveland.
'It's really a shame that the war can't end after 40 years,' he said.