Former Nazi camp guard, 93, faces German court reckoning

Berlin (AFP) – The prosecution’s closing arguments will be listened to on Monday in the trial of a 93-calendar year-outdated former Nazi focus camp guard for complicity in the murder of far more than 5,000 people today all through Globe War II.

In what could be a person of the very last these types of conditions of surviving Nazi guards, Bruno Dey stands accused of complicity in the murder of 5,230 men and women when he labored at the Stutthof camp near what was then Danzig, now Gdansk in Poland.

Dey, who has appeared in court in a wheelchair, denies bearing any guilt for what occurred at the camp.

His defence has insisted that he did not sign up for the SS voluntarily before serving at the camp from August 1944 to April 1945, ending up assigned there due to the fact a coronary heart condition excluded him from frontline support.

But prosecutors argue that his involvement was essential to the killings, as his time in the SS coincided with the “Final Resolution” order to systematically exterminate Jews by way of gassing, starvation or denial of medical care.

Dey is standing trial at a juvenile court docket mainly because he was aged concerning 17 and 18 at the time.

– ‘Emaciated figures’ –

During his testimony in May perhaps, Dey advised the courtroom that he wanted to forget about his time at the camp.

“I never want to retain likely about the past,” he explained to the Hamburg tribunal.

Decide Anna Meier-Goering had requested whether or not Dey experienced spoken to his small children and grandchildren about the time he stood guard at Stutthof.

“I you should not bear any guilt for what transpired back again then,” Dey mentioned. “I didn’t contribute just about anything to it, other than standing guard. But I was forced to do it, it was an order.”

Dey acknowledged very last yr that he experienced been mindful of the camp’s gasoline chambers and admitted looking at “emaciated figures, folks who had endured”, but insisted he was not responsible.

The Nazis set up the Stutthof camp in 1939, in the beginning working with it to detain Polish political prisoners.

But it finished up holding 110,000 detainees, like a lot of Jews. Some 65,000 people perished in the camp.

– Race against time –

Dey, who now lives in Hamburg, became a baker soon after the war.

Married with two daughters, he supplemented his cash flow by doing the job as a truck driver, right before later on using on a job in building upkeep.

He came into prosecutors’ sights after a landmark 2011 ruling against former Sobibor camp guard John Demjanjuk on the basis that he was aspect of the Nazi killing machine.

Given that then, Germany has been racing to put on trial surviving SS personnel on individuals grounds fairly than for murders or atrocities instantly joined to the personal accused.

Ukrainian-American Demjanjuk was convicted of being an accessory to the murder of virtually 30,000 Jews at the Sobibor demise camp. He died even though his appeal was pending.

The court ruled that as a guard at the camp, he was automatically implicated in killings carried out there at the time.

The scenario set a new legal precedent and prompted numerous additional convictions of Nazi officers, which includes that of the “bookkeeper of Auschwitz” Oscar Groening.

He died aged 96 just before he could be jailed.

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