Former concentration camp guard, 93, goes on trial

Former concentration camp guard, 93, goes on trial

The 93-year-old German Bruno D. arrives for his trial in Hamburg court, Germany, October 17, 2019, accused of being an SS guard and involved in killings between August 1944 and April 1945, helping to murder thousands of prisoners, many of them Jewish, in the Stutthof Nazi concentration camp near Gdansk, Poland. Daniel Bockwoldt/Pool via REUTERS

A 93-year-old former concentration camp guard will go on trial in Hamburg on Thursday accused of being an accessory to the murder of 5,230 people, in what could be one of the last prosecutions of Nazi war crimes.

Bruno D., whose surname cannot be given for legal reasons, was part of a force that manned the watchtowers in Stutthof concentration camp, near what is now the city of Gdansk in Poland, prosecutors say.

He was 17 and 18 at the time of the alleged offences in the final months of World War Two, so the nonagenarian will be tried in a youth court.

Tens of thousands of people, mostly Jews, died at the camp during the six years of its existence. Many were murdered in its gas chamber while others succumbed to hunger, sickness and exhaustion.

Descendents of survivors were expected to fill the court's public galleries.

Prosecutors argue that the guards were accessories to the murders through the act of stopping inmates escaping from the camp, which was one of the last to be liberated in 1945.

Broadcaster NDR reported there are around 29 open cases in Germany against people accused of being involved in the Holocaust, in which Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime murdered more than 6 million Jews.