German Prosecutors Call for Three-Year Jail Sentence for Ex-Nazi Death Camp Guard
A 93-year-old man standing trial in Germany for his role in the Holocaust should be given a prison sentence of three years, prosecutors said on Monday.
“The accused is charged with accessory to murder on 5,230 counts,” prosecutor Lars Mahnke told a court in Hamburg.
The defendant, Bruno Dey, was aged 17 and 18 when he served as an SS guard at the Nazi concentration camp in Stutthof between August 9, 1944 and April 26, 1945.
He is being tried by a juvenile court, because of his age at the time of the World War II crimes.
The prosecution argues that Dey had known at the time what was happening at the camp, located near the city of Gdansk, namely that people were being shot in the crematorium. He is said to have recognized that the regime’s mass murder of Jews was wrong.
“In such a situation, loyalty to the perpetrators must end,” Mahnke said, arguing that the man should have quit his post in the watch tower.
The elderly defendant confessed at the beginning of his trial at to having served as a guard at the Stutthof camp, where more than 60,000 people are thought to have died. It was one of the last Nazi death camps to be liberated.
He was drafted to the Wehrmacht armed forces in 1944 but sent to Stutthof — purportedly against his will — because he was not deemed fit to serve on the front lines.
Dey said he saw many dead bodies during his time there but never used his own weapon.
The German national is accused of having “supported the insidious and cruel killing of mostly Jewish prisoners,” according to the prosecution.
One of his tasks was allegedly to prevent prisoners from escaping, revolting or being liberated.
During the trial, Dey also acknowledged witnessing inmates being locked behind a door but insisted that he did not know that it was a door to a gas chamber.