Centenarian to Face Trial for Nazi Death Camp Crimes

100-year-old man was said to have been a guard at Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2021 7:51 AM CDT
Centenarian to Face Trial for Nazi Death Camp Crimes
In this Jan. 27, 2019, file photo a man walks through the gate of the Sachsenhausen Nazi death camp during International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Oranienburg, Germany, north of Berlin.   (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)

There aren't many living Nazi war crimes suspects still wandering the Earth, but one more is about to face a reckoning. As Reuters reports, a 100-year-old man will go to trial in October, about 75 years after he's accused of having been a guard at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin. The suspect, who has remained anonymous under German media law, reportedly worked at the death camp, where 20,000 people were killed, from 1942 and 1945. The Washington Post notes the man was charged in February for being an accessory to the murder of more than 3,500 people. The paper reports that, until a decade ago it was difficult to go after suspects for World War II-era war crimes, as prosecutors had to tie the accused to specific acts and victims.

That changed in 2011, when a court in Munich convicted John Demjanjuk of being an accessory to murder who played a role in 28,000 deaths at the Sobibor concentration camp, in what's now Poland. In this most recent case, a spokesman for the district court in Neuruppin told local media that, despite his advanced age, the suspect should be able to stand trial for up to two and a half hours a day. Officials continue to seek justice for Nazi war crimes by going after remaining elderly suspects: Over the past two decades or so, at least 105 people have been found guilty of such crimes, per the Simon Wiesenthal Center. (More Nazis stories.)

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