Josef Schuetz has been charged with greater than 3,000 counts of accent to homicide on the Sachsenhausen focus camp near Berlin.
A 100-year-old man on trial for his alleged position as a Nazi SS guard at a focus camp throughout World War II has instructed a German court docket he’s harmless.
The defendant, Josef Schuetz, is charged with 3,518 counts of accent to homicide on the Sachsenhausen focus camp near Berlin. He allegedly labored on the camp between 1942 and 1945 as an enlisted member of the Nazi Party’s paramilitary wing.
On Friday, throughout the second day of his trial earlier than the Neuruppin state court docket, Schuetz denied the fees levelled towards him and insisted that he knew nothing about what occurred on the Sachsenhausen camp.
“I am innocent,” he stated.
His claims of innocence sparked an outcry from co-plaintiffs.
Pointing a finger on the accused, co-plaintiff Christoffel Heijer, 84, instructed the court docket: “To Mr Schuetz, I would like to say – I can understand that you were driven by fear of the Nazis to not leave your work, but how did you sleep peacefully for so long? Have you not thought about it? Never felt guilty?”
Tens of hundreds killed
More than 200,000 folks had been held at Sachsenhausen between 1936 and 1945.
Tens of hundreds of inmates died of hunger, illness, exhaustion from compelled labour and different causes, in addition to by medical experiments and systematic SS extermination operations together with shootings, hangings and gassing.
The precise numbers of these killed differ, with higher estimates of some 100,000, although students recommend figures of 40,000 to 50,000 are probably extra correct.
“The defendant knowingly and willingly aided and abetted this at least by conscientiously performing guard duty, which was seamlessly integrated into the killing system,” prosecutor Cyrill Klement instructed the court docket.
Two witnesses from France and the Netherlands additionally spoke within the court docket on Friday, telling the listening to their fathers had been killed at Sachsenhausen for having been a part of the resistance towards the Nazis.
Authorities deemed Schuetz match sufficient to face trial regardless of his superior age, although the variety of hours per day the court docket is in session can be restricted.
Further hearings are scheduled by January. Schuetz stays free throughout the trial.
Germany races to attempt Nazi perpetrators
More than 70 years after World War II, German prosecutors are racing to deliver the final surviving Nazi perpetrators to justice.
The 2011 conviction of former guard John Demjanjuk, on the idea that he served as a part of Adolf Hitler’s killing machine, set a authorized precedent and paved the best way to a number of of those twilight justice instances.
Since then, courts have handed down a number of responsible verdicts on these grounds fairly than for murders or atrocities straight linked to the person accused.
Among these dropped at late justice had been Oskar Groening, an accountant at Auschwitz, and Reinhold Hanning, a former SS guard at Auschwitz.
Both had been convicted on the age of 94 of complicity in mass homicide, however died earlier than they might be imprisoned.
Most not too long ago, former SS guard Bruno Dey was discovered responsible on the age of 93 final yr and was given a two-year suspended sentence.
Separately within the northern German city of Itzehoe, a 96-year-old former secretary in a Nazi dying camp is on trial for complicity in homicide.
She dramatically fled earlier than the beginning of her trial, however was caught hours later. Her trial resumes on October 19.