BERLIN – The prosecution’s closing arguments shall be heard on Monday within the trial of a 93-year-old former Nazi focus camp guard for complicity within the homicide of greater than 5,000 folks throughout World War II.
In what might be one of many final such circumstances of surviving Nazi guards, Bruno Dey stands accused of complicity within the homicide of 5,230 folks when he labored on the Stutthof camp close to what was then Danzig, now Gdansk in Poland.
Dey, who has appeared in court docket in a wheelchair, denies bearing any guilt for what occurred on the camp.
His protection has insisted that he didn’t be a part of the SS voluntarily earlier than serving on the camp from August 1944 to April 1945, ending up assigned there as a result of a coronary heart situation excluded him from frontline service.
But prosecutors argue that his involvement was essential to the killings, as his time within the SS coincided with the “Final Solution” order to systematically exterminate Jews by means of gassing, hunger or denial of medical care.
Dey is standing trial at a juvenile court docket as a result of he was aged between 17 and 18 on the time.
During his testimony in May, Dey informed the court docket that he needed to neglect his time on the camp.
“I do not need to maintain going over the previous,” he informed the Hamburg tribunal.
Judge Anna Meier-Goering had requested whether or not Dey had spoken to his kids and grandchildren concerning the time he stood guard at Stutthof.
“I do not bear any guilt for what occurred again then,” Dey mentioned. “I did not contribute something to it, apart from standing guard. But I used to be compelled to do it, it was an order.”
Dey acknowledged final yr that he had been conscious of the camp’s gasoline chambers and admitted seeing “emaciated figures, individuals who had suffered”, however insisted he was not responsible.
The Nazis arrange the Stutthof camp in 1939, initially utilizing it to detain Polish political prisoners.
But it ended up holding 110,000 detainees, together with many Jews. Some 65,000 folks perished within the camp.
Race in opposition to time
Dey, who now lives in Hamburg, turned a baker after the conflict.
Married with two daughters, he supplemented his revenue by working as a truck driver, earlier than later taking over a job in constructing upkeep.
He got here into prosecutors’ sights after a landmark 2011 ruling in opposition to former Sobibor camp guard John Demjanjuk on the idea that he was a part of the Nazi killing machine.
Since then, Germany has been racing to placed on trial surviving SS personnel on these grounds fairly than for murders or atrocities instantly linked to the person accused.
Ukrainian-American Demjanjuk was convicted of being an adjunct to the homicide of almost 30,000 Jews on the Sobibor demise camp. He died whereas his enchantment was pending.
The court docket dominated that as a guard on the camp, he was mechanically implicated in killings carried on the market on the time.
The case set a brand new authorized precedent and prompted a number of additional convictions of Nazi officers, together with that of the “bookkeeper of Auschwitz” Oscar Groening.
He died aged 96 earlier than he might be jailed.