5 months ago
A former SS guard cried openly in court during the first day of his trial for complicity in the mass murder of hundreds of people at the World War II Nazi concentration camp, Stutthof.
The unidentified 94-year-old German man served as a guard at the death camp in Poland from June 1942 to September 1944, The Guardian reported.
The straight-faced man, known only as Johann R., was wheeled into the Münster, Germany courtroom by an aide to face his accusers. He soon began to break down and weep as the lawyers of several Holocaust survivors present read their testimony.
One accuser, Marga Griesbach, told the story of how she saw her six-year-old brother for the last time at Stutthof before he was transferred to face a gas chamber at Auschwitz. A woman who now lives in Indianapolis claimed the defendant “helped to murder my beloved mother, whom I have missed my entire life.”
Johann R. is “accused in his capacity as a guard of participating in the killing operations,” the prosecutor said, but is being tried as a juvenile since he was between 18 and 20-years-old at the time of the alleged atrocities.
“Many people were gassed, shot or left to die of hunger,” the prosecutor added, stressing that the guards “knew about the killing methods.”
Stutthof was erected in 1939 and, according to its own museum, detained some 110,000 people during the war. At least 65,000 people died there.
If found guilty, the former Nazi faces up to 15 years in prison but it is unlikely he will serve any time because of his advanced age.Read the full story at The Guardian