Story at a glance

  • A 100-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard, accused of complicity in more than 3,500 murders, was found fit for trial.
  • The man is accused of “knowingly and willingly” participating in the murder.
  • The conviction of former camp guard John Demjanjuk in 2011 set a legal precedent to try individuals for complicity in crimes for their roles as part of the larger Nazi apparatus.

A 100-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard, accused of complicity in more than 3,500 murders, was found fit for trial, authorties said.  

Authorities first charged the unnamed man in February and, after a medical evaluation, determined he could stand trial for up to two and a half hours per day, according to the prosecutor’s office in Neuruppin, per The Guardian

The man is accused of “knowingly and willingly” participating in murder “by firing squad of Soviet prisoners of war in 1942” and using “the poisonous gas Zyklon B” at the Sachsenhausen camp between 1942 and 1945.  

“Several of the co-complainants are just as old as the accused and expect justice to be done,” Thomas Walther, a lawyer representing some of the victims, told Welt am Sonntag, according to The Guardian. 


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Sachsenhausen, established in 1936, held an estimated 200,000 prisoners from 1936 to 1945. The camp was initially set up to house political opponents but eventually held thousands of Jews — especially after Kristnalnacht, an antisemitic pogrom — with more than 6,000 Jews arriving at the camp in the immediate days after the riots. 

The conviction of former camp guard John Demjanjuk in 2011 set a legal precedent to try individuals for complicity in crimes for their roles as part of the larger Nazi apparatus.

German prosecutors in February charged a 95-year-old woman with 10,000 counts of accessory to murder at the Stuttof camp, according to The Associated Press (AP). Peter Mueller-Rakow, spokesman for prosecutors in Itzehoe, said the woman would be tried as a juvenile given that she was under the age of 21 at the time of her alleged crimes. 

“In the trial we will focus on the suspect who was in the camp as a secretary, and her concrete responsibility for the functioning of the camp,” Mueller-Rakow said.


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Published on Aug 03, 2021