98-year-old man charged and accused of helping Nazi murders in Holocaust

98-year-old man charged and accused of helping Nazi murders in Holocaust

A 98-year-old former guard at a Nazi camp has been charged in Germany for his role in the Holocaust.

Authorities have not released the suspect’s name, in accordance with German privacy laws, but the Guardian and German newsmagazine Der Spiegel identified the man as “Gregor F.”

The defendant is accused of having “supported the cruel and malicious killing” of more than 3,300 people while working at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp from July 1943 until February 1945, German prosecutors said in a statement.

The indictment was filed at the state court in Hanau, which will decide whether to send the case to trial. If it does, the man, who was an adolescent at the time of the alleged crimes, will be tried under juvenile law.

Prosecutors told the Associated Press that the suspect had been deemed fit to stand trial at least on a limited basis after a psychiatric assessment in October.

Hans-Jürgen Förster, a German lawyer who is expected to represent Shimon Rothschild, a former prisoner at Sachsenhausen, told Der Spiegel that everyone who worked under the Nazi regime — from commanders to guards to secretaries — should be held accountable.

German prosecutors agree.

The effort to charge former guards, secretaries and other workers as accessories to murder for their contributions to the Holocaust, which killed an estimated 6 million people, began after the landmark May 2011 conviction of former guard John Demjanjuk, who was convicted of being an accessory to more than 28,000 murders at the Sobibor death camp, The Washington Post previously reported.

Several other convictions have followed.

In 2015, Oskar Groening, also known as the “Accountant of Auschwitz,” was sentenced to four years in prison for being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Hungarian Jews; 94-year-old Reinhold Hanning, a former guard who worked at the Auschwitz death camp, was sentenced to five years in prison the following year after he was found guilty of being an accessory to the murder of more than 170,000 people; 101-year-old Josef Schütz was sentenced to five years in prison in June 2022 for being an accessory to nearly 4,000 murders when he was a guard at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, the BBC reported; a German court convicted 97-year-old Irmgard Furchner in December for being an accessory to more than 10,000 murders while she was a secretary to the commander of the Stutthof concentration camp.

And on Friday, German prosecutors announced that they had charged the 98-year-old former guard.

Rothschild, 96, who was injected with hepatitis vaccines and other substances while imprisoned at Sachsenhausen, will testify against the defendant if the case goes to trial, according to Der Spiegel.

The Sachsenhausen concentration camp, which was just outside Berlin, was built by prisoners in the summer of 1936, according to the Sachsenhausen museum.

More than 200,000 people, including Jews and political prisoners, were imprisoned at the camp between 1936 and 1945. Of those, roughly 100,000 prisoners are believed to have died there, according to CNN.

They died of starvation, disease, medical experiments and exhaustion through forced labor. Others were subject to systematic killings, including shootings and gassings, according to the museum.