Gregor Formanek was named after the Giessen Public Prosecutor’s Office, which officially linked him with the deaths of more than 3,300 people between July 1943 and February 1945.
The charges were brought days before the man from the Main-Kinzig district in Frankfurt, Germany, whose neighbours believed he was a retired company manager, turned 99.
Media revealed that the SS guard, who was born in Romania as the son of a German-speaking tailor, had first joined the SS on 4th July 1943.
He served in the Sachsenhausen Guard Battalion, at the Sachsenhausen Nazi concentration camp in Oranienburg, Germany, about 30 miles north of Berlin.
Established in 1936, the camp mainly held political prisoners throughout World War II, some of which were highly prominent, including Joseph Stalin’s oldest son Yakov Dzhugashvili.
The facility served as a training ground for Hitler’s mass extermination before it was closed in April 1945, shortly before the defeat of Nazi Germany.
It is said that more than 100,000 prisoners lost their lives on the site.
Giessen Public Prosecutor’s Office spokesperson Thomas Hauburger said: “He is accused of aiding and abetting murder in over 3,300 cases between July 1943 and February 1945.”
Prosecutors claimed that Formanek “supported the cruel and treacherous killing of thousands of prisoners” over the two-year-long period.
A document by the Ministry for State Security (Stasi) said: “Formanek was a member of an SS guard battalion in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp from 1943 to 1945.
“There he continued to kill prisoners.”
Formanek was sentenced to 25 years in prison for ‘crimes against humanity’ and ‘espionage’ by a Soviet military court in 1947. He reportedly served 10 of those in Bautzen.
Due to the 99-year-old’s limited ability to stand trial at the moment, the Hanau (Hesse) Regional Court should now decide whether to admit the charges against him.
If authorities proceed with the case, Formanek will be tried in juvenile court due to his age at the time.
Investigations against two other elderly concentration camp guards, reportedly a man and a woman, in addition to two more prisoner-of-war camp guards, are also underway.
However, they are reportedly too infirm for trial, media claim, meaning Formanek might well be the last to ever go on trial.
Formanek’s charges follow after another prison guard named Josef Schuetz was handed a five-year sentence after a criminal trial for complicity in war crimes during World War II at the same camp.
Schuetz, who died earlier this year at the age of 101, was the oldest person tried and convicted for Nazi war crimes in Germany.
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Story By: Georgina Jadikovska, Sub-Editor: Michael Leidig, Agency: Newsflash
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