Centennial denies complicit in murder at Nazi camp

A 100-year-old man on trial for his alleged role as a Nazi SS guard at a concentration camp during World War II told a German court on Friday he was innocent.

The accused is charged with 3,518 counts of aiding and abetting murder at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin, where he allegedly worked between 1942 and 1945 as an enlisted member of the paramilitary wing of the Nazi party.


German news agency dpa reported that the accused, who was only identified as Josef S. under German confidentiality rules, said on the second day of his trial in Neuruppin State Court that he did not know the Sachsenhausen camp.

Two witnesses from France and the Netherlands told the court earlier how their fathers were killed in Sachsenhausen for being part of the resistance against the Nazis.

German Bruno D., 93, accused of being an SS guard implicated in the murder of thousands of prisoners, many of them Jews, between August 1944 and April 1945, in the Nazi concentration camp of Stutthof near Gdansk, in Poland, arrives pending his verdict during his trial in a courtroom in Hamburg, Germany, July 23, 2020 (Fabian Bimmer / Pool via AP)

The authorities found the accused sufficiently fit to stand trial despite his advanced age, although the number of hours per day the court sits is limited.

More than 200,000 people were detained at Sachsenhausen between 1936 and 1945. Tens of thousands of detainees died of hunger, disease, exhaustion from forced labor and other causes, as well as as a result of ‘medical experiments and systematic SS extermination operations, including shootings, hangings and gassings. .

The exact number of people killed varies, with higher estimates of around 100,000, although the researchers suggest that the figures of 40,000 to 50,000 are likely more accurate.


“The accused knowingly and willfully aided and abetted this at least by conscientiously performing a custody service, which integrated perfectly into the killing system,” prosecutor Cyrill Klement told the court.

Further hearings are scheduled until January.

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