Former Auschwitz paramedic to face trial

By Sarah Harvey

Former Nazi German concentration camp Auschwitz.    REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh
Former Nazi German concentration camp Auschwitz. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh

An elderly man will face trial on charges of being an accessory to the murder of at least 3681 people at Auschwitz Concentration Camp, a German court has announced.

Hubert Z, a 95-year-old man who was a paramedic at the Nazi death camp will go on trial next month, if it is deemed he is fit to stand trial.

He was a sergeant in the Nazi SS at Auschwitz from October 1943 to January 1944 and acted as one of the death camp’s paramedics for a month in 1944.

During that time at least 14 trains arrived at the camp crammed with people, most of whom later perished in the camp’s gas chambers.  Among the prisoners on the trains was teenage diarist Anne Frank and her family.

According to The Guardian the first session of the court is expected to determine the state of Hubert Z’s health (his surname has been withheld because of Germany’s privacy laws).

He is not accused of being directly involved in the killings but instead of being aware of the camp’s function as a facility for mass murder thereby consciously participating in the accelerated deaths of thousands of people, prosecutors say.

It is not the first time an elderly German citizen has been brought to trial for atrocities committed during World War II.

In July last year, 94-year-old Oskar Gröning, known as the “bookkeeper of Auschwitz”, was sentenced to four years in prison after he was convicted of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 people in Auschwitz.


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