Former Nazi camp guard sentenced to 5 years for Holocaust-related atrocities

In 2021, this man was charged with “knowingly and willfully” aiding and abetting the murder of prisoners at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in Oranienburg, north of Berlin, from January 1942 to February 1945, according to the Neuruppin prosecutor’s office in the northeast. land of Brandenburg.

He was sentenced by the Neuruppin district court on Tuesday, court spokeswoman Iris Le Claire told CNN.

Le Claire said the trial was a complex process. “Finding an appropriate punishment was extremely difficult, because the deeds were committed a very long time ago, and the culprit is already very old. All this had a mitigating effect on the verdict,” she said.

The huge number of people who died under the supervision of guards was also taken into account, Le Clair suggested. Under German law, those found guilty of murder are usually sentenced to between three and 15 years in prison.

“The verdict is a belated compensation for relatives and a very important sign from Germany,” Christoph Heubner of the Auschwitz International Committee told CNN on Tuesday.

Heubner, who followed the trial, criticized the number of years it took German courts to bring charges. “Now the relatives’ wounds can be taken care of,” he said.

According to Heubner, the convict always denied being active in the concentration camp.

The Central Council of Jews in Germany recognized this decision. “Even if the defendant probably won’t serve a full prison sentence due to advanced age, the sentence is to be welcomed,” council president Josef Schuster told CNN.

“Thousands of people who worked in the concentration camps kept the killing machine running. They were part of the system, so they should also be held accountable for it,” Schuster said. “It is bitter that the defendant completely denied his activities at that time and showed no remorse.”

The man’s name has not been released in accordance with German privacy laws. The charges included involvement in the 1942 execution of Soviet prisoners of war, as well as aiding and abetting the murder of prisoners by using poisonous gas, and other executions and murders of prisoners by creating and maintaining hostile conditions in the Sachsenhausen camp. .

Sachsenhausen was built by prisoners and opened in 1936. It is believed that of the approximately 200,000 prisoners who passed through it, about 100,000 died there. During World War II, the number of camp inmates varied from 11,000 to 48,000.

An estimated 6 million Jews were killed in Nazi concentration camps during World War II. Hundreds of thousands of Roma, political opponents, homosexuals and people with physical or learning disabilities were also killed.

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