Ex-Auschwitz guard, 94, charged over atrocities

A 94-year-old former Auschwitz guard has been charged in Germany with being an accessory to murder.

The German national, who was born in Serbia and has not been named, was charged as a juvenile because he was 19 at the time of the alleged offences.

German prosecutors say he served as a guard at the Nazi concentration camp in late 1942 and early 1943, a period in which they estimate 13,335 people were sent to the gas chambers.

According to prosecutors, the suspect has said via his lawyer that he wasn’t aware of the background and aims of what was happening at the camp, or of details of the killings.

A picture taken of Auschwitz in January 1945 after it was liberated by Soviet troops
The suspect has been charged on the premise that, as a guard, he helped the camp function

The suspect has been charged on the premise that, as a guard, he helped the camp function.

Last month, a man known as the “Bookkeeper of Auschwitz” died at the age of 96 – shortly before he was due to begin a four-year prison sentence.

Oskar Groening was convicted in 2015 of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews at the concentration camp.

The former SS guard said during his trial that he oversaw the collection of belongings from those killed at Auschwitz or used as slave labour.

He then ensured that valuables and cash were separated to be sent to Berlin.

There were several occasions when he was assigned to “ramp duty”, which involved processing new arrivals.

While he admitted witnessing individual atrocities, Groening did not acknowledge participating in any crimes.

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