Germany: A former concentration camp guard, centennial, tried in October

Prosecuted for complicity in 3,518 murders of detainees … A centennial former guard of the Nazi camp of Sachsenhausen, in Germany, accused of “complicity in murders” will appear in early October before a German court, the indictment announced Monday.

The Neuruppin Prosecutor’s Office, which had already processed him last February, believes, after receiving a medical opinion, that “he is capable of following the hearings”, despite his great age. Hearings will be limited to two to two and a half hours a day, according to the prosecution.

The 100-year-old former guard is on trial for complicity in 3,518 murders of detainees for having “knowingly and voluntarily” aided and encouraged his murder between 1942 and 1945 at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Oranienburg, north of Berlin. In particular, he would be involved in “the shooting of Soviet prisoners of war in 1942” or the death of several prisoners “by the use of the poison gas Zyklon B”.

Over the years, the SS have detained some 200,000 people in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp. About 20,000 prisoners were killed there. “Many co-plaintiffs are the same age as the defendants and are waiting for justice to be served,” he said in Die Welt Thomas Walther, attorney for several victims as a civil party in this upcoming trial.

In recent years, Germany has tried and convicted several former SS and has extended to the camp guards the accusation of complicity in the murder, which shows the greater severity, although considered too late by the victims, of its justice. According to the German media, a dozen judicial investigations related to Nazi crimes are still pending in the country.

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In June, the German courts revealed that it was investigating a nonagenarian who was said to have been a guard in a Soviet detention camp between 1943 and 1945 and suspected of complicity in murders. At the end of March, the courts announced that a former concentration camp guard, extradited from the United States, would finally escape a trial in Germany, for lack of “clear evidence.”

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