Rainer Schulze

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Defendant Josef Schütz gets help from his lawyer to hide his face as he arrives for his trial in Brandenburg an der Havel, northeastern Germany, on October 7, 2021. The 100-year-old former concentration camp guard is the oldest person yet to be tried for Nazi-era crimes. © Tobias Schwarz / AFP

A 100-year-old man is on trial in Germany this month. The man, who has not been named due to German privacy laws, is charged with “knowingly and willingly” assisting in the of murder of 3,518 people as a former SS guard at Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

He is far from the only elderly defendant to face trial now for crimes committed during the Nazi period. The trial of Irmgard Furchner, 96, a former secretary at Stutthof concentration camp, was to begin last month, but was briefly delayed after Furchner fled from her care home.

Among other recent cases are John Demjanjuk, 89, in 2009; Oscar Gröning, 93, the so-called “accountant of Auschwitz”, in 2015; Johann Rehbogen, 93, in 2018 (his case was later dropped because he was deemed “permanently unfit for trial”); and Bruno Dey, 93, in 2019.…  Seguir leyendo »