A 98-year-old man was charged in Germany with aiding and abetting murder as a guard at the Nazi concentration camp in Sachsenhausen between 1943 and 1945, prosecutors said on Friday.
The German citizen, who lives in the Main-Kinzig district near Frankfurt, is accused of “supporting the cruel and malicious killing of thousands of prisoners as a member of the SS guard command,” according to a statement by the Gießen public prosecutor.
They did not release the suspect’s name.
Between July 1943 and February 1945 he was accused of being an accessory to murder in more than 3,300 cases.
The indictment was filed with the district court in Hanau, which now has to decide on the hearing of the case.
Should this be the case, a juvenile justice will be imposed on him, taking into account his age at the time of the alleged offences.
Prosecutors said a report by a psychiatric expert last October indicated the suspect could face at least a limited trial.
In several cases in recent years, German prosecutors have established a precedent that allows individuals who supported the functioning of a Nazi camp to be prosecuted as aiding and abetting the killings there without direct evidence that they participated in one particular murder.
According to German law, charges of murder and aiding and abetting murder are not subject to a statute of limitations.
Between 1936 and 1945 more than 200,000 people were held in Sachsenhausen north of Berlin.
Tens of thousands died from starvation, disease, forced labor and other causes, as well as from medical experiments and systematic extermination actions by the SS, including shootings, hangings and gassings.
The exact numbers killed vary, with upper estimates being around 100,000. However, scientists believe that numbers from 40,000 to 50,000 are probably more accurate.