76 years on, a 100-year-old former concentration camp guard is set to face trial in Germany for approximately 3,500 murders.
The guard is due to stand trial for accessory to the murders which took place at the Sachsenhausen death camp.
The 100-year-old is believed to have worked as a guard at the camp for three years.
Around 200,000 people were held in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin between 1936 and May 1945. During this time around 20,000 people were killed.
The defendant is said to have worked at the camp from 1942 to 1945.
The ex-guard’s identity has been withheld for legal reasons, however, Thomas Walther, an attorney who is involved in his trial has said: ‘Sachsenhausen was the setting for the Nazi leadership at the gates of Berlin for their delusion of rule over life and death. Many co-plaintiffs are of the same age as the accused and hope for justice.’
Walther has previously represented joint plaintiffs in cases against Nazis in the past.
Despite the trial taking place over 75 years later, Stephanie Bohra, research associate at the Berlin Documentation Center ‘Topography of Terror’ said:
Murder is not time-barred, which is why even older semesters have to answer in court. It’s about solving crimes and former prisoners have the opportunity to report on what happened there.
The conviction of John Demjanjuk in 2o11, who was 91-years-old at the time, has opened up doors to more possible convictions for Nazi crimes. Demjanjuk was a guard at the Sobibor concentration camp in Poland.
Despite being described by a Nazi expert as ‘the littlest of the little fishes’, he was sentenced to five years in prison. He was convicted as an accessory to the mass murder of over 28,060 Jewish people.
The latest trial of the 100-year-old Sachsenhausen guard is due to begin at the start of October. Court President Frank Stark has said that the 100-year-old should be able to negotiate for between two and two and a half hours a day.
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