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100-year-old Goes on Trial in Germany Accused of 3,518 Nazi War Crimes

  • Waleed Qureshi
  • October 8, 2021
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Nazi

Josef Schuetz arrived with a walking aid for the proceedings.

Berlin, Germany: The court hearing of a 100-year old former SS Nazi guard will begin on Thursday in Brandenburg, a der Havel town Germany. 

He is indicted of being an accomplice to murder in 3,518 incidents beginning from his time as the security personnel at the Nazi concentration camp in Sachsenhausen, said but to the Neuruppin public prosecutor’s department.

The arrested allegedly served at the former concentration camp in Sachsenhausen as a prison security personnel from 1942-1945; in that time, tens of thousands of inmates perished at the camp due to forced labor, starvation, sickness, medical experiments, and abuse.

More than 200,000 inmates were interned at the concentration camp, which was established on the outskirts of Berlin between 1936 and 1945.

“The offender is implicated of having supported and abetted cruel and insidious killing” at the concentration camp.

His charges “include the killing of Soviet prisoners of war in 1942, supporting and abetting the murder of inmates through the use of poison gas, as well as other gunning’s and the slaughter of captives by creating and maintaining hateful conditions in the former Sachsenhausen concentration camp.”

Prosecutors have not identified the centenarian in line with German privacy regulations.

Despite his age, the man has been considered able to stand trial. Court trials will last between two and two and a half hours a day. The tribunal has listed a total of 22 trial dates.

Prosecutors spent 18 months examining the man, according to Thomas Will, the administrator of Germany’s central department for investigating Nazi atrocities in Ludwigsburg.

“We collected data from various sources. The name of the man came up during explorations in Sachsenhausen and the Moscow Military Documents,” Will told CNN.

“We studied the time period where this man was posted at and stationed to and assembled all the proof needed to pass the information along to the local prosecutor’s department,” he added.

Will told CNN that the allegations against the offender mean that a term of jailing can be expected, but he said he could not say the outcome of the expected punishment.

Germany is chasing to bring the last surviving perpetrators of Nazi war atrocities — now well into old age — to fairness.

Nearly eight decades after the downfall of the Nazi regime, Will said that the possible circle of cases to bring the last remaining perpetrators of Nazi war atrocities to justice is narrowing.

“As of today, there are only seven cases with regional prosecutors. Just last week there were eight cases with regional prosecutors. It’s a chase against time,” said Will.

“However, here at our central department for reviewing Nazi crimes, we are still evaluating more cases, if they can be passed onto regional prosecutors. All we can do now is to help out with our searches to bring those people to trial who have done Nazi war crimes.”

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