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A German court sentenced a 101-year-old Nazi SS concentration camp guard to five years in prison over his involvement in the murder of more than 3,500 people during the Holocaust, CNN reported.
The court charged the man – only identified as Josef S. due to Germany’s strict privacy laws – with aiding and abetting the killing of prisoners in the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near the German capital, Berlin.
While prosecutors could not directly link him to the deaths, the charges included involvement in the shooting of Soviet prisoners, as well as involvement in the murder of detainees through the use of poisonous gas, USA Today added.
Josef S. denied that he worked as an SS guard and his lawyer said that he will appeal the case.
The suspect is considered the oldest living person to be tried on charges stemming from the Holocaust period. Court spokeswoman Iris le Claire told CNN that the trial was very complex because the crimes took place a long time ago and the perpetrator is very old – all of which had “a mitigating effect on the sentence,” she added.
Holocaust remembrance groups and Jewish organizations welcomed the verdict, despite the number of years it took to charge the man.
Sachsenhausen was built by prisoners and opened in 1936. About 100,000 of the 200,000 inmates that passed through the camp died there.