Jun 28, 2022 - World

101-year-old ex-Nazi guard sentenced to prison

Former Nazi concentration camp guard Josef Schuetz (R) hides his face with a folder as he arrives on June 28, 2022 at a gym used as a makeshift courtroom in Brandenburg an der Havel, eastern Germany.
Former Nazi concentration camp guard Josef Schuetz hides his face with a folder as he arrives on June 28 in Brandenburg an der Havel, eastern Germany. Photo: Adam Berry/AFP via Getty Images

A 101-year-old former Nazi guard was convicted Tuesday of more than 3,500 counts of accessory to murder and sentenced to five years in prison, AP reports.

Driving the news: Prosecutors accused Josef Schuetz of being an accessory to the murder of thousands of Jews at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp during World War II.

  • "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," Judge Udo Lechtermann said, the German news agency dpa reports, per AP.
  • "You willingly supported this mass extermination with your activity," Lechtermann said. "You watched deported people being cruelly tortured and murdered there every day for three years," per AP.
  • Schuetz has repeatedly denied the allegations and instead said he worked as an agricultural laborer in northeastern Germany during that time.

State of play: A recent legal precedent in Germany set that anyone who assisted in running a Nazi camp can be prosecuted for being an accessory to the murders committed, AP notes.

What they're saying: "Even if the defendant will probably not serve the full prison sentence due to his advanced age, the verdict is to be welcomed," said Josef Schuster, the head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, AP reports.

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