101-year-old former SS guard jailed for five years
A 101-year-old man who served as an SS guard has been jailed for five years in Germany.
‘SS’, the abbreviation of Schutzstaffel, was the leading paramilitary organisation under Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party.
The unnamed man, who was convicted of 3,518 counts of accessory to murder at Sachsenhausen concentration camp, denied his role as an SS guard and insisted that he had been a farm labourer during the time period in question.
The trial at Brandenburg’s Landgericht Neuruppin court lasted nine months, partially owing to the fact that the defendant was only able to attend sessions for a maximum of two-and-a-half hours each day due to his age.
Judge Udo Lechtermann said: “The court has come to the conclusion that, contrary to what you claim, you worked in the concentration camp as a guard for about three years.
“You willingly supported this mass extermination with your activity.”
In March, Dr Efraim Zuroff, the Chief Nazi Hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, appeared on Podcast Against Antisemitism where he discussed the trial, calling it “an important reminder of the terror of the camp”.
He added: “Every generation needs its own reminders and the passage of time in no way diminishes the guilt of the killers.
“What people have to remember is today they look old and frail but when they committed these crimes they were young people full of energy and they devoted all their energy to murder innocent men, women and children simply because they were Jews or other enemies of the Reich.”