BERLIN — A former Auschwitz guard, now 94, has been charged in Germany as an accomplice to 13,335 murders in the death camp.
State prosecutors in Stuttgart announced Monday that the man, from the state of Mannheim, is charged with supporting the genocide through his function as a guard and on-call member of the SS at the camp from December 1942 to January 1943.
The man, whose name has not been released, was charged in youth court since he was 19 years old while working at the camp.
The Mannheim Regional Court must decide whether the charge is admissible, and whether the defendant is in a physical and mental condition to stand trial.
According to the prosecutors, at least 15 transports of prisoners arrived during that period, and 13,335 people were murdered in the gas chambers almost immediately after arrival, having been deemed incapable of working.
The defendant’s attorney reportedly claimed his client had no idea of the genocide taking place at the time.
In related news, State Prosecutors in Kassel announced earlier this month that they have started an investigation into a member of the Einsatzgruppe C mobile death squad for his possible role in the mass murders of Jews on Sept. 29-30, 1941, at Babi Yar, a ravine near Kiev.
Efraim Zuroff, the Jerusalem-based Nazi hunter for the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said the move is a result of a list of names the center submitted to the German ministers of justice and the interior on Sept. 1, 2014.
“It is incumbent upon the German judicial authorities to expedite these cases as quickly as possible,” Zuroff said in a statement.
According to the German Press Agency’s Southwest Regional Department, the Central Office for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes, based in Ludwigsburg, is currently working on about 12 active preliminary investigations against alleged Nazi criminals.