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Former SS camp guard, aged 100, to start trial in Germa...

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Former SS camp guard, aged 100, to start trial in Germany

epa09120097 People visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial museum on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day in Jerusalem, Israel, 07 April 2021. Israel remembers the six million Jewish victims of Nazi Germany during World War II. EPA-EFE/ABIR SULTAN
By Reuters
07 Oct 2021 2

BERLIN, Oct 7 (Reuters) - A former SS guard who is now 100 years old was due to go on trial in Germany on Thursday, charged with contributing to the deaths of more than 3,000 people in a Nazi concentration camp during World War Two.

Prosecutors charged the man, a member of the Nazi party’s paramilitary SS, with having helped along the deaths of 3,518 people at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp by standing guard in the watchtower between 1942 and 1945.

Doctors have said that the man, who has not been named because of German conventions on the reporting of criminal trials, is only partially fit to stand trial: sessions will be limited to just two and a half hours each day.

Among the crimes prosecutors say he contributed to are the shooting of Soviet prisoners of war and the killing of others with Zyklon-B, the poison gas also used in the extermination camps where millions of Jews were killed in the Holocaust.

“He is accused of contributing to cruel and insidious murders,” the court in Neuruppin, near Berlin, said in a statement, adding that the man had contributed to “creating and maintaining life-threatening conditions in the camp.”

Past years have seen a spate of charges brought against now extremely elderly former camp guards for crimes against humanity committed during World War Two. Last week, a 96-year-old former camp secretary went on the run on the day her trial was to begin, but was caught by police a few hours later.

A 2011 court ruling paved the way to these final prosecutions, stating that even those who contributed indirectly to wartime murders, without pulling a trigger or giving an order, could bear criminal responsibility.

Sachsenhausen, opened in 1936 as one of the earliest Nazi concentration camps, acted as a training camp for SS guards who then went to serve in other camps like Auschwitz and Treblinka. Others killed at Sachsenhausen included Dutch resistance fighters and the Nazis’ domestic political opponents. (Reporting by Thomas Escritt; Editing by Susan Fenton)

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  • Mmmmm, makes you think.
    If only our justice system would hunt down our looters, tenderprenuers and PPE criminals to account for their crimes against the South African people with only half the vigour the German prosecutors are pursuing war crimes?

    • Are you serious – “the vigour the German prosecutors…” pursuing them 75+ years later? They have allowed them to be productive members of German society for all these years, now, when they are a burden with pension and health issues, charge them and hopefully hasten their end!!

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