100 year old former concentration camp guard to stand trial

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09 Aug 2021, 5:20 pm

100-year-old alleged ex-Nazi guard to stand trial on thousands of counts of being an accessory to murder

A 100-year-old man who allegedly served as a guard at a Nazi concentration camp during World War II will stand trial in October for alleged complicity in the killings of more than 3,500 people during the conflict, German media reported Sunday.

German prosecutors in February charged the man, who hasn’t been identified by authorities because of the country’s privacy laws, with being an accessory to murder. He is accused of working at the Sachsenhausen Nazi concentration camp, located roughly 20 miles north of Berlin, from 1942 to 1945, according to the Welt am Sonntag newspaper. (The concentration camp held 11,000 Jewish prisoners in 1945.)

A representative for the man could not be reached, and it isn’t clear whether the defendant has retained an attorney.

Until a landmark court ruling in 2011, German prosecutors were generally required to prove defendants had committed specific acts, against specific victims, to convict them of World War II-era war crimes. The threshold was near impossible to meet due to the general anonymity of camp guards to victims and the decreasing number of witnesses decades after the war.

But that year, a Munich court found John Demjanjuk guilty of being an accessory to murder for having served as a guard at Sobibor concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. The court’s decision paved the way for convictions that largely rested on whether the defendant had served at a Nazi death camp. Demjanjuk, who died in 2012, denied he had been a guard.

Now, the 100-year-old man joins scores of elderly suspects recently brought to trial for having allegedly worked for the Nazi regime at concentration camps.

Irmgard Furchner, a 96-year-old woman who prosecutors say worked as a secretary to the commandant of the Stutthof concentration camp in Nazi-occupied Poland will face trial this year for alleged complicity in the killings of more than 11,000 people, according to Der Spiegel, the German news magazine. (A legal representative for Furchner could not be reached.)

Last year, Bruno Dey, a man in his 90s who served as a guard at the same camp as Furchner, was found guilty by a Hamburg court for complicity in more than 5,200 murders from 1944 to 1945. (He was given a suspended sentence.)

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09 Aug 2021, 5:27 pm

Well, for a 100 year old the stakes aren't that high anyway. He lived a long and fulfilling prison-free life, he is about to die shortly anyway, so he doesn't have that much to lose. And of course the crimes he committed aren't relevant to anything in the news, so there isn't that much of an emotion on the prosecutor side either. I would say "looks interesting". Just in terms of how both sides would act in this kind of unusual case. A nice disraction from terrorism and covid and everything else that we are all tired of.


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09 Aug 2021, 10:50 pm

When I was a kid in the Sixties most of the men of my parents generation were WWII vets, or Korean War vets, or both.

But now both the surviving victims of the holocaust, and the perps, who were all the same 20 something age during the war as my generations dads (who fought the perps and liberated the victims) have all died off except for the few remaining centenarians. When I was a child the Holocaust was very much part of living memory. But soon it will no longer be. Wow. Just thinking aloud.


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09 Aug 2021, 11:04 pm

Defense strategy: delay, delay, delay

Then a hero comes along, with the strength to carry on, and you cast your fears aside, and you know you can survive.

Be the hero of your life.


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10 Aug 2021, 7:57 pm

QFT wrote:
And of course the crimes he committed aren't relevant to anything in the news, so there isn't that much of an emotion on the prosecutor side either.

Ummm he murdered or was complicit in the deaths of 5,200 people. He's a monster.


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10 Aug 2021, 9:34 pm

Disgusting that he lived a full life while thousands of people were sent to their deaths. :evil: