Court Sets Date For 100 Year Old Nazi Guard

( On Monday a spokeswoman for the Neuruppin state court in Germany announced that it has set an October trial date for a one hundred-year-old man who is charged with 3,518 counts of accessory to murder dating back to the time he served as a Nazi SS guard at a concentration camp on the outskirts of Berlin.

Because of German privacy laws, the 100-year-old defendant’s name is being withheld from the public.

The man is alleged to have worked as an enlisted member of the Nazi Party’s paramilitary wing, and worked at the Sachsenhausen camp from 1942 to 1945.

Despite his advanced age, authorities say that the suspect is considered fit to stand trial, but in a limited capacity. To accommodate, the court will limit the number of hours per day the court is in session.

The state court in Neuruppin is based northwest of the town of Oranienburg, which is where the Sachsenhausen camp was located during the war. The case was handed over to the Neuruppin office in 2019 by the special federal prosecutors tasked with investigating Nazi-era war crimes.

The unnamed defendant reportedly lives in Brandenburg outside of Berlin.

The Sachsenhausen camp was established in 1936 shortly after Adolf Hitler gave the SS full control of the concentration camp system. Its purpose was to be a model facility and training camp for the vast network of camps the Nazis built throughout Germany, Austria and Nazi occupied territories.

In its nine years of operation, more than 200,000 people were held at Sachsenhausen. Tens of thousands died of starvation, disease, and forced labor. Others were killed in SS extermination operations – including mass shootings, hangings and gassing. The camp also conducted medical experiments on prisoners.

While the precise numbers of dead are not known, it is estimated that between 40,000 to 50,000 died at Sachsenhausen. Though some put the number as high as 100,000 dead.

Initially, Sachsenhausen was used to hold political prisoners or criminals, but it held some Jehovah’s Witnesses and homosexuals as well. It wasn’t until 1938 after Kristallnacht (the Night of Broken Glass) that the camp was used for Jewish prisoners.

As with the other Nazi camps, the Jewish prisoners at Sachsenhausen were singled out for the harshest treatment. Those still alive by 1942 were transferred to the Auschwitz death camp.

The Soviet army, which liberated Sachsenhausen in April 1945, went on to use it as a brutal camp of their own.