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  • Writer's pictureDahlia Foundation

Former Nazi Camp Guard, 98, Charged For Complicity In Over 3,300 Killings


Berlin:

German prosecutors said Friday they have charged a former SS guard, now 98 years old, for complicity in the killings of over 3,300 people at a Nazi concentration camp during World War II.

The German man, unnamed by prosecutors, was an adolescent when he worked as a SS watchman at the Sachsenhausen camp between July 1943 and February 1945.

He is accused of "having assisted in the cruel and insidious killing of thousands of prisoners" in the camp, said prosecutor Thomas Hauburger.


A psychiatric assessment in October 2022 of the suspect has found that he is fit to stand trial within certain limits.

Given his young age at the time of the alleged crime, a juvenile court will decide whether to open proceedings.

Germany has seen a stream of legal action against ageing former SS guards, after case law was set in 2011 with the conviction of former guard John Demjanjuk on the basis that he served as part of the Nazi killing machine at the Sobibor camp in occupied Poland.

Since then, Germany has been racing to put on trial surviving SS personnel on those grounds rather than for murders or atrocities directly linked to the individual accused.

But given the advanced age of the accused, many trials have had to be cancelled for health reasons.

Convictions also do not lead to actual imprisonment, with some defendants dying before they could even begin to serve their jail terms.

Among those found guilty in these late trials were Oskar Groening, an accountant at Auschwitz, and Reinhold Hanning, a former SS guard at the same camp.

Both men were found guilty for complicity in mass murder at age 94 but died before they could be imprisoned.

An 101-year-old ex Nazi camp guard, Josef Schuetz was convicted last year, becoming the oldest so far to be put on trial for complicity.



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