100-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard charged with Holocaust atrocities
Posted February 10, 2021 9:43 a.m. EST
CNN — German prosecutors have charged a 100-year-old former SS concentration camp guard with aiding and abetting the murder of 3,518 people.
The man is charged with "knowingly and willfully" aiding and abetting the murder of prisoners at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Oranienburg, north of Berlin, from January 1942 to February 1945, according to the prosecutor's office in Neuruppin, Brandenburg.
The man's name has not been released, in accordance with Germany's privacy laws.
The charges include involvement in the shooting of Soviet prisoners of war in 1942, and aiding and abetting the murder of prisoners through the use of the poison gas Zyklon B, as well as other shootings and the killing of prisoners by creating and maintaining hostile conditions in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.
Sachsenhausen was established in 1936. Of the roughly 200,000 prisoners who passed through it, around 100,000 are thought to have died there. During World War II, the camp's inmate population fluctuated between about 11,000 and 48,000 people.
The prosecution considers the man fit to stand trial despite his advanced age, Cyrill Klement, the Neuruppin court's senior prosecutor, told CNN.
Klement told CNN that the Neuruppin Regional Court consulted with a forensic psychiatrist and found the man able to attend the trial, though only for a few hours a day, with breaks.
The court is now considering whether to go ahead with the trial. The defendant first has the opportunity to respond to the indictment.
German prosecutors are investigating several other cases connected to the concentration camps of Buchenwald, Sachsenhausen, Mauthausen and Stutthof, according to the Central Office for the Investigation of Nazi Crimes.
Just last week, a former secretary from the Stutthof concentration camp was charged with complicity in the murders of 10,000 people. Prosecutors in Itzehoe did not name the woman but said in a statement that they charged her with "aiding and abetting murder in more than 10,000 cases," as well as complicity in attempted murder.
Last year, former concentration camp guard Bruno D. was given a two-year suspended sentence by the Hamburg Regional Court. He was proven to have worked as an SS guard at Stutthof and, in the court's view, aided and abetted the murder of 5,232 people there.
An estimated 6 million Jewish people were killed in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Also killed were hundreds of thousands of Roma people and people with physical or learning disabilities.