From Le Figaro with AFP
Posted 47 minutes ago
The former Sachsenhausen concentration camp is now a memorial site in Oranienburg, Germany. JOHN MACDOUGALL / AFP
If the complaint leads to a trial, the man, who was under 21 at the time of the crime, will be tried before the juvenile criminal chamber of the Hanau Regional Court.
The Gießen public prosecutor’s office announced on Friday, September 1st, the indictment for alleged complicity in the murder of a 98-year-old former SS guard at the Sachsenhausen Nazi camp north of Berlin.
The person affected, whose name the prosecution does not reveal, is suspected of complicity in murders in more than 3,300 cases between 1943 and 1945 in this camp, said senior public prosecutor Thomas Hauburger in a press release. He is accused of “supporting the cruel and deceitful killing of thousands of prisoners as a member of the SS guards,” he continued.
Negotiated by the Youth Chamber
If the complaint leads to a trial, the man, who was under 21 at the time of the crime, will be tried before the youth chamber of the Hanau regional court in the west of the country. According to the public prosecutor’s office, the defendant is considered “at least partially competent to stand trial” based on a psychiatric analysis carried out in October 2022.
Between its opening in 1936 and its liberation by the Soviets on April 22, 1945, the Sachsenhausen camp held around 200,000 prisoners, mostly political opponents, Jews and homosexuals. Tens of thousands of them died, mostly victims of exhaustion from forced labor and cruel prison conditions.
Since the conviction of former Sobibor death camp guard John Demjanjuk in 2011, which set a precedent, trials against former Nazi camp guards have become increasingly common in Germany in recent years.
Due to the old age of the defendants, the trials could not always take place for health reasons, or when they did take place, the convicts died before being incarcerated, like John Demjanjuk. The most recent cases include that of Josef Schütz, also a former security guard in Sachsenhausen, who was sentenced to five years in prison in June 2022 for “complicity” in the murder of at least 3,500 prisoners between 1942 and 1945. He died in the same year of 102 before serving his sentence.