Josef S., a former SS guard at the Sachsenhausen Nazi concentration camp in Oranienburg during World War Two, now 100 years old, was accused of “contributing to cruel and insidious murders” by aiding in “creating and maintaining life-threatening conditions in the camp” and is on trial for 3,518 deaths. Prosecutors have not named the centenarian in line with German privacy laws but said „we collected evidence from various sources”. Josef S was 21 when he first became a chief corporal at Sachsenhausen in 1942. He was into a German courtroom in Neuruppin, near Berlin on a walking frame on Thursday. Doctors have said that the man is only partially fit to stand trial: sessions will be limited to just two and a half hours each day.
Sachsenhausen housed predominantly political prisoners from all over Europe, along with Soviet prisoners of war and some Jews. More than 200,000 people were interned at the concentration camp, which is located on the outskirts of Berlin, between 1936 and 1945. Opened in 1936 as one of the earliest Nazi concentration camps, it acted as a training camp for SS guards who then went to serve elsewhere, including in Auschwitz and Treblinka. The accused, who has lived in the Brandenburg area for years, has refused to speak publicly about the trial. “Justice has ‘no expiry date”, said lawyer Thomas Walther, who represents survivors of the horrors and their relatives.