101-year-old former Nazi guard convicted in Germany of complicity in murder

The defendant’s lawyer had asked for an acquittal. Lawyer Stefan Waterkamp said he would appeal against the verdict after the verdict, dpa reports.

For practical reasons, the trial took place in a gymnasium in Brandenburg/Havel, the home of the 101-year-old. The man was only partially fit to stand trial and was only able to participate in the trial for about two and a half hours a day. The process was interrupted several times for health reasons and hospitalizations.

Sachsenhausen was founded in 1936 just north of Berlin as the first new location after Adolf Hitler gave the SS complete control of the Nazi concentration camp system. It was intended as a model facility and training camp for the labyrinthine network the Nazis had built in Germany, Austria and occupied territories.

More than 200,000 people were held there between 1936 and 1945. Tens of thousands of prisoners died from starvation, disease, forced labor and other causes, as well as from medical experimentation and systematic SS destruction operations, including shelling, hangings and gassing.

Exact numbers about the dead vary, with higher estimates of around 100,000, though scholars suggest numbers from 40,000 to 50,000 are likely more accurate.