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Lawyers ask German court to acquit 101-year-old accused ex-Nazi guard

Unnamed defendant allegedly served at the Sachsenhausen camp on the outskirts of Berlin between 1942 and 1945, has denied ever working there

Illustrative: A man walks through the gate of the Sachsenhausen Nazi death camp with the phrase 'Arbeit macht frei' (work sets you free) during International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Oranienburg, about 30 kilometers (18 miles), north of Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)
Illustrative: A man walks through the gate of the Sachsenhausen Nazi death camp with the phrase 'Arbeit macht frei' (work sets you free) during International Holocaust Remembrance Day in Oranienburg, about 30 kilometers (18 miles), north of Berlin, Germany. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber, file)

BERLIN — Lawyers asked a German court Monday to acquit a 101-year-old man charged with 3,518 counts of being an accessory to murder for allegedly serving as an SS guard at a World War II Nazi concentration camp.

The defendant, whose name was not released, due to German privacy laws, allegedly worked at the Sachsenhausen camp on the outskirts of Berlin between 1942 and 1945 as an enlisted member of the Nazi Party’s paramilitary wing.

In their closing statement, the man’s lawyers argued that there was no evidence that their client had actively assisted in any killings.

The man has denied ever working at the camp, but prosecutors presented numerous documents containing his name, date and place of birth, to argue that he did. They have asked the court to impose a five-year sentence on the defendant.

Sachsenhausen was established just north of Berlin in 1936, as the first new camp after Adolf Hitler gave the SS full control of the Nazi concentration camp system. 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.

The Neuruppin court is expected to rule on the case Tuesday.

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