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World

AFP
April 17, 2018

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94-year-old ex-Auschwitz guard charged

94-year-old ex-Auschwitz guard charged

BERLIN, Germany: German prosecutors brought charges on Monday against a 94-year-old former Auschwitz guard, accusing him of abetting murder in the latest 11th-hour attempt to use the criminal justice system to address the Holocaust.

The public prosecutor’s office in Stuttgart said it had filed charges of accessory to murder with the regional court in nearby Mannheim against the unnamed suspect, a German citizen born in Ruma in today’s Serbia. The then 19-year-old began his training as a guard at the Auschwitz death camp in German-occupied Poland in October 1942 and worked from December 1942 until January 1943 "supporting camp operations and thus acts of extermination", prosecutors said.

"In this time, at least 15 rail transports arrived at the Auschwitz concentration camp after which people were immediately ‘selected’ based on their ability to work," they said. "The prosecutor’s office assumes that at least 13,335 of these people were classified as unfit to work and murdered in the gas chambers at Auschwitz-Birkenau." The suspect said through his defence attorney that he was "not aware of the background, intent or procedures behind the killing" at Auschwitz.

The court in Mannheim must now decide if the case should go to trial. If so, the suspect will be tried before a juvenile court because he was a teenager at the time of his alleged crimes.

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