German prosecutors have confirmed dates and details for the trial of a 100-year-old former SS guard on charges of aiding and abetting murder while he was at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp under the Nazi regime.
An initial trial date has been set for 7th October, with the district court in Neuruppin, a town in the north-eastern German province of Brandenburg, some 80 kilometres (49.7 miles) north-west of Berlin, setting a further 21 dates until January 2022.
The plan to bring the case against the former SS guard to trial has been complicated by the need, first of all, to confirm that the man was mentally fit, which was confirmed last month.
Prosecutors then needed to find a court that could meet the conditions imposed to ensure his well-being as well. This includes the fact that the accused will only be allowed to appear for two-and-a-half-hour sessions at a time, due to his advanced age.
A lawyer for a number of the victims and co-plaintiffs, Thomas Walther, said: “Several of the co-complainants are just as old as the accused and expect justice to be done.”
Twelve co-plaintiffs are expected to take part in the trial, from countries including Israel, France, the Netherlands, Peru and Poland, among others.
The defendant stands accused of aiding and abetting mass murder at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp between January 1942 August 1944, and between December 1944 and February 1945.
He faces a charge of complicity to commit murder and 3,518 cases.
The former SS guard has been assessed by medical experts who have deemed him fit enough to stand trial.
He is accused, while working as a security guard at the concentration camp, of having contributed to the shooting of Soviet prisoners of war and of having helped murder prisoners through the use of the deadly poison gas cyclone be, among other charges.
The Sachsenhausen concentration camp was built in 1936 and it was the first new camp to be built after Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler put the entire duration System under the control of the SS.
It is believed that over 200,000 people were detained there between 1936 and 1945, with tens of thousands of them dying is due to hunger, disease, and through medical experiments that the Nazis conducted on them, as well as in mass murder events involving prisoners being gassed, shot, or hanged.
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