Germany: former SS guard to stand trial in October
Thursday, 08 August 2019
A former SS guard of a concentration camp, aged 92, will appear before a German court for complicity in thousands of murders during the Second World War, AFP said on Thursday.
“The trial will open on 17 October,” Hamburg court spokesperson told AFP, confirming a Die Welt newspaper report. This will be probably one of the last trials against a former Nazi soldier or camp guard.
The hearings will be restricted to two per week and a maximum of two hours each, due to the poor health of the accused, according to Die Welt.
The nonagenarian, Bruno Dey, had been indicted by the prosecutor of Hamburg in mid-April for contributing to the murders of 5,230 prisoners, committed as camp warden “between August 1944 and April 1945” at the Stutthof camp in northern Poland, near Gdansk. He was 17 at the time.
The task of the accused was to “prevent escape, revolt or release of prisoners”, Jews condemned to extermination by a bullet in the neck or by Zyklon B pesticide (used in gas chambers), according to the charges. He was, therefore, “knowingly, a cog in the murderous machinery” the prosecutor added.
According to Die Welt, the accused had admitted to the prosecutor at the time to have known what was going on in the camp with the gas chambers and cremation of corpses but explained that he could not flee for fear of being himself killed.
Approximately 65,000 people died in the Stutthof camp, mainly Jewish women from Baltic countries and Poland. This camp was included in the plan of extermination of the Jews in June 1944.
In early April, the trial of another former guard of the same Nazi camp was abandoned because of degradation of the accused’s health, aged 95.