Former Nazi camp guard, 98, charged with 3,330 counts of accessory to murder

A 98-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard has been charged with being an accessory to murder.

The German citizen, who has not been named, is accused of having "supported the cruel and malicious killing of thousands of prisoners as a member of the SS guard detail," prosecutors in Giessen, Germany said.

He is charged with more than 3,300 counts of being an accessory to murder in two years from July 1943 to February 1945.

A court in the state of Hanau, will now decide whether to send the case to trial. If it does, the suspect will tried under juvenile law, taking account of his age at the time of the alleged crimes.

Sachsenhausen, just north of Berlin, held more than 200,000 people between 1936 and 1945.

Tens of thousands of people died of starvation, disease, forced labour and other causes, including after medical experiments.

Shootings, hangings and gassing at the hands of SS extermination operations were also a main cause of death.

Prosecutors said last October that the suspect is fit to stand trial at least on a limited basis, after a report by a psychiatrist.

The case is one of a number brought by German prosecutors under a precedent set in recent years that allows for people who helped a Nazi camp function to be prosecuted as an accessory to murder.

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There does not have to be any direct evidence that they participated in a specific killing.

In 2021, a 100-year-old former SS guard went on trial to face charges of helping to send more than 3,500 people to their deaths at a Nazi concentration camp.

Exact numbers for those killed in Sachsenhausen, range between 40,000 to 50,000, although upper estimates reach 100,000.