98-Year-Old Ex-Nazi Prison Guard Facing Charges As Accessory To Murder

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A 98-year-old German man is facing charges as an accessory to murder for his role as a Nazi prison guard between 1943 and 1945, prosecutors announced Friday.

The man, identified only as Gregor F., stands accused of “having aided the cruel and perfidious killing of thousands of prisoners,” chief prosecutor Thomas Hauburger stated, according to The Guardian. Officials have charged the suspect with more than 3,300 counts of being an accessory to murder after he served as a guard at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp during World War II, according to the Associated Press (AP)

Sachsenhausen, built in 1936, was the first new concentration camp established under the leadership of Heinrich Himmler, the chief of the German Police. More than 200,000 were imprisoned at the camp, including political opponents of the Nazi regime and individuals who belonged to groups Nazis claimed to be inferior — including Jews, Roma, homosexuals and “career criminals.” Tens of thousands died during their incarceration at the camp as a result of hunger, disease, forced labor, medical experiments or systematic extermination via gas chambers. In addition to its use as a concentration camp, Sachsenhausen served as a training ground for SS officers.

The charges against the suspect were brought before the state court in Hanau, which will decide whether the case will go to trial, the AP reported. If the court deems a trial is appropriate, the suspect will be tried under juvenile law given his age at the time of the allegations, the outlet stated.

Lawyer and former federal prosecutor Hans-Jürgen Foster told German media that he hoped this trial “would expose the role of those who might not have been directly involved in the killings, but whose role as cogs in the wheel of the Nazi killing machine enabled the Holocaust to succeed,” The Guardian reported. (RELATED: 93-Year-Old Former Nazi Concentration Camp Guard Convicted Of Aiding The Murder Of 5,232 People In Juvenile Court)

Foster further stated that guards such as Gregor F. “were a specific aspect of the conditions which were hostile to life, that prevailed throughout the entire concentration camp complex,” the outlet stated.