Germany's oldest accused of Nazi crimes refuses to speak out at trial

the essential The oldest accused of Nazi crimes, whose trial opened yesterday in Germany, will not speak on the facts with which he is accused.

“The accused will not speak ‘on the facts’ but will give information about his personal situation,” said Stefan Waterkamp, ​​lawyer for Josef Schütz, former concentration camp guard and one of the last former Nazis tried in Germany. Appearing free, Mr. Schütz entered the room using a walker, hiding his face from the photographers with a cardboard sleeve. However, he replied in a clear voice to the president of the court, who asked him to confirm his identity and his personal situation. The man lives in Brandenburg, a neighboring region of Berlin, has been widowed since 1986 and proudly explained that he was “going to celebrate (his) soon 1944 th anniversary, on 000 next November! “. This first of the 21 scheduled hearings, ended after only an hour due to his precarious state of health, was devoted to the reading of a part 134 pages of the indictment by the prosecutor, Cyrill Klement. Josef Schütz, former master corporal of the “Totenkopf” (Skull) division of the Waffen-SS, is being prosecuted for “complicity in the murders” of 3. 518 prisoners when ‘he was operating in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp, not far from Berlin, between 1942 and 1945. The accused was 16 years old at the beginning of the events. He is particularly suspected of having shot Soviet prisoners, “with aid and complicity in systematic murders” by Zyklon B-type gas and “by detaining prisoners in hostile conditions”.

Between its opening in 1936 and its release by the Soviets on 21 April 1945, the Sachsenhausen camp saw some 200. 000 prisoners, mainly political opponents, Jews and homosexuals. Several tens of thousands of them died, victims mainly of exhaustion due to forced labor and cruel conditions of detention.

“I’m moved. It’s been 79 years since I lost my father and this guy is a dirty guy, a bastard who refuses the possibility of guilt” exclaimed Antoine Grumbach, 79 years. This Frenchman attends the opening of the trial in memory of his father, engaged in the Gaullist resistance and assassinated in March 1944 in Sachsenhausen.

Back to top button