A 98-year-old former SS camp guard was charged in Germany today with complicity in the murder of more than 3,300 people at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp during World War II. Since the person was not yet 21 years of age at the time of the facts, the juvenile court will decide whether he should actually appear.
The man, whose name has not been released, is suspected of complicity in more than 3,300 murders at the camp between 1943 and 1945, Chief Prosecutor Thomas Haberger said in a press release. He was accused of “supporting the brutal and treacherous murder of thousands of prisoners, as a member of SS guard groups.”
The accused underwent a psychiatric examination last year. The test revealed that he was competent to attend at least one trial.
The indictment was filed with the Hanau court, which will now decide whether to send the case to trial. If so, he will be tried under the Juvenile Act, taking into account his age at the time of the alleged acts.
Several cases involving former suspects
Since the conviction of Jan Demjanjuk in 2011, Germany has stepped up its prosecution of former SS camp guards. Because these suspects are elderly, it is not always possible to get a conviction or prison sentence. Sometimes the case is dropped due to the ill health of the suspect, and sometimes he dies before being convicted.
The oldest defendant to date is Joseph Schutz. The 101-year-old was sentenced to five years in prison last year for his role in killing at least 3,500 prisoners at Sachsenhausen. He appealed, but died in April aged 102 before the judge ruled on the case.
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