98-Year-Old Ex-Concentration Camp Guard Charged With Murder

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp Liberation 70th Anniversary Nears
ORANIENBURG, GERMANY - MARCH 18: A visitor sits next to a memorial at Station Z, where inmates were executed, their gold teeth removed and their bodies burned at the former Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin on March 18, 2015 in Oranienburg, Germany. The Nazis ran Sachsenhausen from 1936-1945, using it initially for political prisoners, then later also for Soviet prisoners of war, Jews, homosexuals, Jehova's Witnesses and other victims. The camp included a gas chamber, execution pit and ovens for burning bodies, and an estimated 30,000 inmates died. Germany will soon commemorate the 70th anniversary of the April 22, 1945 liberation of the camp by Soviet and Polish soldiers. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

OAN’s Abril Elfi
11:39 AM – Friday, September 1, 2023

A 98-year-old former concentration camp guard has been charged with being an accessory to murder at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.


On Friday, prosecutors in Gießen, Germany charged the unidentified guard accusing him of having “supported the cruel and malicious killing of thousands of prisoners as a member of the SS guard detail.”

The man is being charged with more than 3,300 counts of being an accessory to murder between July 1943 and February 1945. The indictment was filed at the state court in Hanau, which will now have to decide whether to send the case to trial. 

State prosecutors said that if and when the case came to trial, it would be in a juvenile court due to his age at the time of the acts in which he is accused of participating. 

Thomas Hauburger, Gießen’s chief prosecutor, spoke to the German media about the former guard. 

“The man, a German citizen, who at the time of the crimes was an adolescent, is accused of having aided the cruel and perfidious killing of thousands of prisoners,” he said.

Hauburger also stated that the 98-year-old had been evaluated by psychiatric experts for his ability to stand trial and had been deemed to be “fit to face trial, with restrictions.”

Hans-Jürgen Foster, a lawyer and former federal public prosecutor at the federal court of justice, said he hoped a trial would bring to light the role of those who were not directly involved in the killings but whose role as cogs in the Nazi killing machine enabled the Holocaust to succeed.

“I believe prison guards like him were a specific aspect of the conditions which were hostile to life, that prevailed throughout the entire concentration camp complex,” the lawyer said. 

German prosecutors have launched many cases under a recent precedent that allows those who assisted a Nazi camp’s operation to be punished as an accessory to the killings committed there without direct evidence of participation in a specific killing.

Under German law, charges of murder and being an accessory to murder do not have a statute of limitations.

According to reports, more than 200,000 people were held at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp between 1936 and 1945. An estimate of 100,000 of the victims died of various causes, including diseases, starvation, medical experiments, forced labor and systematic SS extermination operations including shootings, hangings and gassing.

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