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Germany charges 93-year-old former Nazi

SS guard at Auschwitz death camp accused as an accessory to the murder of 170,000 people

A concentration camp prisoner attending a ceremony at the memorial site of the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 27, 2014. (AFP/JANEK SKARZYNSKI)
A concentration camp prisoner attending a ceremony at the memorial site of the former Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau on January 27, 2014. (AFP/JANEK SKARZYNSKI)

A German court said a 93-year-old man has been charged with 170,000 counts of accessory to murder on allegations he served as an SS guard at the Nazis’ Auschwitz death camp in occupied Poland.

The defendant, whose name wasn’t disclosed in line with privacy laws, allegedly served in Auschwitz from January 1942 to June 1944, the Detmold state court said in a statement Monday.

He is alleged to have been assigned to the Auschwitz I camp, but also to have helped supervise new prisoners, largely Jews, as they arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau, the part of the camp complex where most of its 1.1 million victims were killed.

Defense attorney Johannes Salmen said his client has acknowledged being at Auschwitz I, but denies being assigned to Birkenau or being involved in killings.

In September, a German court charged another former SS guard at Auschwitz, Oskar Groening, with 300,000 counts of accessory to murder for helping operate the death camp.

Groening and the newest defendant are two of some 30 former Auschwitz guards who federal investigators recommended last year that state prosecutors pursue charges against under a new precedent in German law.

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