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'Johann R' on Trial for War Crimes

Posted 163 days ago | 06.11.18

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'Johann R' on Trial for War Crimes

A 94 year-old man is on trial accused of complicity in mass murder during WW. He was an SS guard and served in Stutthof Camp, now in northern Poland, from June 1942 to September 1944.

He has only been names as Johann R by the authorities and denies knowing anything about atrocities committed there. He was not yet 21 then so he is being tried in a juvenile court in Munster, Germany.

Though he could be sentenced to 15 years if convicted, he is unlikely to serve ant time, due to his age and his incapacity. (He uses a wheelchair) and his court appearances will be limited to two hours at a time for the same reason.

More than 100 Polish prisoners were gassed at the camp on 21 and 22 June 1944, as well as many more Jewish prisoners who were killed between August and December 1944.

Johann R was captured by the US Army after the war but returned to civilian life, working as a landscape architect for the North Rhine-Westphalia state authorities. 

When he was questioned by police last year, he denied knowing about atrocities in the camp.

The prosecutor, Mr. Brendel said: "Germany owes it to the families and victims to prosecute these Nazi crimes even today. That is a legal and moral question."

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