In Nazi Germany, there was a new development regarding the murder of thousands of people in gas chambers. The trial of the 100-year-old ex-Nazi officer directly involved in 3518 murders has begun. 76 years after the end of World War II, the trial of a former Nazi officer working in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near the German capital, Berlin, started today.
100-year-old ex-Nazi officer directly involved in mass murders
The 100-year-old defendant Josef S is among those responsible for the deaths of 3518 people. It is believed that the accused was directly involved in the shooting of Soviet detainees held in the camp and the mass killings with Zyklon B gas. Time is running out for the trial of criminals from Nazi Germany because they are all so old. Josef S is the oldest defendant currently on trial. The trial of low-ranking Nazi officers began only a few years ago. Ten years ago, the trial and sentencing of a former Nazi officer, John Demjanjuk, paved the way for prosecutors to investigate lower-ranking Nazi officials as well. Until then, it was necessary to prove that the defendants played a direct role in the deaths. This was limited only to the trial of high-ranking Nazi officials.
He came to the courtroom in a wheelchair
The defendant, whose name is only identified as Josef S under German privacy laws, is being held under high-security measures in a sports area allocated to him in the prison in Brandenburg an der Havel, where the trial began. The defendant, who came to the courtroom in a wheelchair, was also seen carrying a briefcase. Josef S, who has lived as a locksmith for years in the Brandenburg region, has never spoken about the case until today.
Ex Nazi Officer was 21 when he was commissioned as an officer.
He was 21 years old when he was commissioned as an officer in the Sachsenhausen camp in 1942. He’s about to turn 101 now. For this reason, it was stated that he could attend the hearing for a maximum of 2 or 2.5 hours a day. The case is expected to last until January and conclude by the beginning of the year. Tens of thousands of people died in the Oranienburg camp, north of Berlin. These included dissidents against Nazi rule, Jews, homosexuals, and many Soviet soldiers and civilians who were taken hostage during the war. In 1943, a gas chamber was created in Sachsenhausen, and near the end of the war, 3,000 “hard to walk” people were killed in this gas chamber.
The trial, which began Thursday, is based on the charges of 17 plaintiffs. Among them are victims who survived the Sachsenhausen camp. Christoffel Heijer was 6 years old when he last saw his father. His father, Johan Hendrik Heijer, was one of 71 Dutch anti-Nazi activists shot and killed in this camp.
“Murder is not destiny, nor is it a crime that will be erased in time,” Heijer told the Berliner Zeitung newspaper.
Only 50 officers were tried and sentenced
But many Nazi camp officers will not be prosecuted. In the Stutthof camp alone, 3,000 officers were on duty. Only 50 of them were tried and sentenced. Last week, the trial of Irmgard Furchner, who was the secretary of the commanders in Stutthof and is 96 years old today, was to begin in Hamburg. Before the trial, however, she escaped from the nursing home where she was staying. Furchner’s trial, which was found after a while, will be heard on October 19.