German centenarian sentenced to 5 years for working in Nazi death camp
Berlin: A regional court in Neuruppin, a town in the German state of Brandenburg, sentenced Joseph Z., a 101-year-old former guard of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, to 5 years in jail on charges of complicity in mass murder, German media reported on Tuesday.
The defendant denied having served in Sachsenhausen, despite the fact that the prosecutor’s office presented a lot of relevant documents from the camp’s archive, the newspaper Bild stated.
The former SS officer has been found guilty of complicity in the murder of 3,518 prisoners of the Sachsenhausen camp. Former prisoners of the camp participated in the trial on the side of the prosecution. Their lawyers demanded a longer term of imprisonment for Josef Z. Representatives of the two co-prosecutors stated that their clients would be satisfied with a conditional sentence, according to Bild.
Over 200,000 prisoners were held in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in the city Oranienburg near Berlin from 1936 to 1945. Tens of thousands of people died there from hunger, disease, forced labor, medical experiments, torture and systematic extermination carried out by military SS units. The Red Army and Polish armed forces liberated the camp on April 22, 1945.
According to the data base created in cooperation with the Institute of Contemporary History Munich – Berlin with the Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem, since 1945 almost 38,000 investigations of Nazi crimes have been conducted in the Federal Republic of Germany and 15,000 investigations in East Germany (until 1990). Only about 17,000 people stood trial in West Germany on charges related to Nazi crimes, 270 people were sentenced to long terms of imprisonment, the newspaper Die Welt reported.