Nazi Soldier Jailed For Aiding In Murdering Jews

( A former Nazi concentration camp guard was convicted in Germany this week of charges of accessory to murder.

The man, who is 101 years old, was sentenced to spend five years in prison as a result of his conviction. The man was unnamed due to privacy laws in Germany but was referred to as Josef S. in local media reports.

He has denied that he worked as a guard for the SS at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp during World War II and aiding and abetting the murder of more than 3,500 prisoners there. That didn’t persuade the Neuruppin Regional Court, though, which hand down the verdict and sentence.

The man’s trial started last October. During the trial, the man claimed he was working as a laborer on a farm near the town of Pasewalk, which is located in the northeastern section of Germany, for the period of time that he was accused of committing the atrocities.

The court, though, considered it had been a proven fact that the man indeed worked at the concentration camp between the years of 1942 to 1945. The camp was located just outside of Berlin.

Local news outlet dpa reported that the man apparently enlisted himself as a member of the Nazi Party in the paramilitary wing.

The presiding judge in the case, Udo Lechtermann, commented during the trial:

“The court has come to the conclusion that, contrary to what you claim, you worked in the concentration camp as a guard for about three years.”

During that time, the judge said Josef S. assisted in the murder mechanisms and terror that the Nazis inflicted on thousands and thousands of people. The judge continued:

“You willingly supported this mass extermination with your activity. You watched deported people being cruelly tortured and murdered there every day for three years.”

The entire case was based on documents prosecutors were able to obtain that mentioned a guard for the SS who had the same name as Josef S. In addition, the place of birth and date of birth for the man matched up exactly to that of Josef S. They also had other documents that corroborated their claims, which they brought before the court.

Prosecutors were sure to be happy with the prison sentence of five years, as it was roughly in line with what they were demanding.

Josef S.’s lawyers were seeking an acquittal in the trial. The German media outlet reported after the sentence was handed down that the defendant’s lawyer, Stefan Waterkamp, said they would be appealing the trial.

Following the decision being handed down, the head of Germany’s top Jewish group, Josef Schuster of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, said:

“The thousands of people who worked in the concentration camps kept the murder machinery running. They were part of the system, so they should take responsibility for it. It is bitter that the defendant has denied his activities at that time until the end and has shown no remorse.”