Former Nazi death camp guard, 96, charged as accessory to murder


(JTA) — A former guard at the Majdanek Nazi death camp has been charged in Germany with being an accessory to murder.

The Frankfurt resident, 96, whose name has not been released due to the country’s privacy laws, was charged by the city prosecutor on Friday for being an accessory to murder during his service between August 1943 and January 1944, when at least 17,000 Jews were killed at the camp located near the Polish city of Lublin.

He is alleged to have worked as a perimeter guard and in the guard towers as a member of the SS’s Death’s Head division. He was 22 at the time.

The indictment accuses him of being part of Operation “Erntefest” — or Harvest Festival — on Nov. 3, 1943, when at least 17,000 Jewish prisoners from the Majdanek camp and others who were being used as forced laborers in and around Lublin were shot in ditches that they dug for their graves just outside the camp.

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No trial date has been set.

The conviction of John Demjanjuk in 2011 had launched several high-profile trials of Nazi camp guards, including Oskar Groening, 96, in 2015 and Reinhold Hanning, also in his 90s, in 2016. In September, a German court dropped its case against former Auschwitz medic Hubert Zafke, 96, after he was found unfit to stand trial due to dementia.

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