(Photo of the entrance of Sachsenhausen camp)
A German court has set a trial date for a 100-year-old man who is charged with 3,518 counts of accessory to murder on allegations he served as a Nazi SS guard at a concentration camp on the outskirts of Berlin during the second world war.
The suspect is alleged to have worked at the Sachsenhausen camp between 1942 and 1945 as an enlisted member of the Nazi Party's paramilitary wing. Authorities say that despite his advanced age, the suspect is considered fit enough to stand trial, the trial is set to begin in early October. The Neuruppin office was handed the case in 2019 by the special federal prosecutors’ office in Ludwigsburg tasked with investigating Nazi-era war crimes. The state court in Neuruppin is based northwest of the town of Oranienburg, where Sachsenhausen was located.
Sachsenhausen was established in 1936 just north of Berlin as the first new camp after Adolf Hitler gave the SS full control of the Nazi concentration camp system. It was intended to be a model facility and training camp for the labyrinthine network that the Nazis built across Germany, Austria and occupied territories. More than 200,000 people were held there between 1936 and 1945. Tens of thousands of inmates there died of starvation, disease, forced labour and other causes, as well as through medical experiments and systematic SS extermination operations including shootings, hangings and gassing. Exact numbers on those killed vary, with upper estimates of some 100,000, though scholars suggest figures of 40,000 to 50,000 are likely more accurate.
Read more at the Associated Press.