Friday, April 19, 2024

Germany attempts 100-year-old suspect in Nazi war crimes

Date:

Brandberg on der Howell (Germany) – AFP
The trial of a 100-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard began in Germany on Thursday, and he became the oldest convicted felon in the country for Nazi crimes.
Joseph Schutz, a former captain and commander of the “Tottenoff” (head of death) battalion in the Nazi Party (Waffen SS) military group, is being prosecuted for “complicity in the murder” of 3,518 prisoners while working at the Sachenhausen camp. Near Berlin between 1942 and 1945.
The trial began Thursday in a der Howell in Brandenburg, East Germany, in the presence of the accused, who uses the treadmill and was not arrested.
The accused at the outset of the facts is 21 years old, and he is particularly suspected of shooting Soviet prisoners and aiding and abetting the killings of Zyglon P. Gas.
Between the start of 1936 and the liberation by the Soviets on April 22, 1945, more than two hundred thousand prisoners passed through the camp, most of them political enemies and Jews, and tens of thousands more died of exhaustion from the harsh conditions of forced labor and detention.
The investigation begins after a failed attempt to prosecute Irmkort Fortner, 96, a former secretary of another Nazi concentration camp.
Ten years ago, Germany convicted and convicted four members of the Nazi security forces and expanded the charge of complicity in the killings to camp guards and other Nazi order enforcement officers, who are considered too late.
Iris Leklerk, a spokeswoman for the European Office of the Attorney General, said:
Theoretically, he could be sentenced to at least three years in prison, but his sentence would certainly be indicative of his adulthood.
In August a doctor announced that he could appear in court, with 22 hearings scheduled until early January only for a maximum of two hours.
The case is being heard at a gym near the accused’s home to prevent him from traveling long distances.
“He is in very good health and has shown no signs of dementia,” said Thomas Walter, a lawyer for 11 of the 16 civil prosecutors at the trial, including seven survivors.
Little is known about the accused’s life .After his capture in 1947, he wisely lived as a locker in the nearby Brandenburg district, the Bild newspaper reports.
His lawyer, Stephen Watercomb, said “the accused has been quiet so far” and did not specify whether he should be released.

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Rolf Colon
Rolf Colon
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