• Germany edition
 
90-year-old charged for Nazi massacre
An archive picture of Waffen SS members swearing allegiance. Photo: DPA

90-year-old charged for Nazi massacre

Published: 17 Nov 2009 14:25 GMT+01:00
Updated: 17 Nov 2009 14:25 GMT+01:00

With Allied forces fast overrunning Germany, the man, named in the media as Adolf Storms, was accused of hatching a plot on March 28, 1945 with other SS and members of the Hitler Youth, to slaughter Jewish prisoners in their charge.

The next day, the accused and other SS took at least 57 labourers in several groups into woods near the small town of Deutsch Schützen in Hitler's native Austria near the present-day border with Hungary, prosecutors alleged.

There, the Jews, who were Hungarian, were stripped of their valuables before being made to kneel down in a ditch. Storms and his accomplices then dispatched them with bullets from behind, prosecutors said in a statement.

The same day or the day after, he gunned down a 58th labourer who was too exhausted to continue a forced march. Shooting him in the same "cowardly" manner in the back, prosecutors said. The 90-year-old, a former member of the fifth SS Tank Division "Viking," now lives in the west German industrial city of Duisburg near Cologne. Police raided his residence in December, seizing documents.

Der Spiegel magazine reported last October that investigators were put onto Storms thanks to research into the massacre by a 28-year-old Austrian student, Andreas Forster.

Forster travelled to Duisburg and filmed hours of interviews over several days, finding the elderly man to be "sprightly" but unable to recollect the day of the massacre.

"We informed prosecutors in July," Forster told the magazine, since which time Storms has refused all contact with him.

At the time of the massacre, the Nazis were desperately evacuating concentration camps, forcing emaciated prisoners on exhausting marches and killing those too weak to carry on.

Just a month later, with the Third Reich in ruins, Hitler shot himself in his bunker as the Red Army swept into Berlin, and the war in Europe, and the Holocaust, were over.

A court in Duisburg now has to decide whether the trial of the man can go ahead. The defendant has two weeks to present evidence or to appeal against the case proceeding.

Prosecutors allege that he was driven by National Socialist ideology according to which his victims were considered to be "of low value," a spokesman said in the statement.

News of the charges raised the prospect of another Nazi trial, more than six decades after the end of the fighting and the Nuremberg trials of Hitler's top henchmen.

On November 30, alleged Nazi death camp guard John Demjanjuk, 89, was due to stand trial in the southern city of Munich, charged with assisting in the murder of 27,900 people in 1943.

Ukrainian-born Demjanjuk, deported from the United States in May, is number three on the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's list of most wanted war criminals, behind two others believed to be dead.

Prosecutors have charged Demjanjuk with being a guard at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1943 where hundreds of thousands of Jews were herded to the gas chambers. His family insists he is innocent and that he is too ill to stand trial.

Last month, 88-year-old former SS soldier Heinrich Boere went on trial in the western city of Aachen for gunning down three Dutch resistance fighters in 1944. He has said he was following orders.

And in August, a court jailed a 90-year-old former German army commander for life for ordering a massacre of Italian civilians in 1944. His troops gunned down a 74-year-old woman and three men in the street before forcing 11 males aged between 15 and 66 into the ground floor of a farmhouse which they then blew up. Only the youngest one survived.

Don't miss...X
Left Right
Today's headlines
Glass memorial honours Nazi disabled victims
Floral tributes were laid on Tuesday at the new Holocaust memorial in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Glass memorial honours Nazi disabled victims

A 24-metre blue glass wall in Berlin has been unveiled to commemorate the systematic murder of up to 300,000 mentally ill and disabled people under Adolf Hitler. READ  

Germany to help with Mediterranean refugees
Migrants aboard an Italian navy patrol vessel in April 2014. Photo: DPA

Germany to help with Mediterranean refugees

Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière on Tuesday pledged support for his Italian colleague in the struggle to manage refugees trying to reach the European Union via its southern coast. READ  

Ice bucket challenge raises €500,000 in a week
Elephant Nelly takes part in the ice bucket challenge in a Lower Saxony safari park. Photo: DPA

Ice bucket challenge raises €500,000 in a week

The coffers of the German Society for Muscular Disease (DGM) are overflowing with donations thanks to the viral craze for videos of donors dousing themselves with ice-cold water. READ  

Russian-German school opens in teeth of conflict
The GRIAT will open in the Russian city of Kazan. Photo: Shutterstock

Russian-German school opens in teeth of conflict

The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is pressing ahead with its German-Russian Institute of Advanced Technologies (GRIAT) against a backdrop of international tensions over Ukraine. READ  

Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw
Photo: DPA

Schweinsteiger is new Germany captain: Löw

Bastian Schweinsteiger will replace fellow Bayern Munich player Philipp Lahm as captain of the German national football team, head trainer Joachim Löw said on Tuesday. READ  

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'
Christine Haderthauer at her resignation press conference in Munich on Monday. Photo: DPA

Munich minister resigns in 'model car scandal'

Christine Haderthauer, head of the Bavarian state chancery, resigned “with immediate effect” on Monday evening over the so-called “model car scandal” in which her company sold scale models built by a man convicted of three sexual murders. READ  

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck
President Gauck stands shoulder to shoulder with President Komorowski of Poland in Gdansk on Monday. Photo: DPA

Russia 'severed' from Europe: President Gauck

Russia has "effectively severed its partnership" with Europe and wants to establish a new order, German President Joachim Gauck said on Monday. READ  

National Uber ban is revenge of the taxis
Taxis are a powerful trade lobby in Germany. Photo: DPA

National Uber ban is revenge of the taxis

The Frankfurt regional court has imposed a temporary nationwide ban on chauffeur car service Uber, saying that it must pay a €250,000 fine if passengers continue to book rides through its app. READ  

Sex party 'desecrates' Bavarian royal spa
The facade of the Bad Reichenhall Royal Spa Hotel.

Sex party 'desecrates' Bavarian royal spa

The Bavarian finance ministry has demanded a report from the company running a publicly-owned spa in the town of Bad Reichenhall after they rented the property out for a fetish party. READ  

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs
Angela Merkel addressing the Bundestag on Monday as her ministers look on. Photo: DPA

Merkel details Iraq arms shipment to MPs

UPDATE: Chancellor Angela Merkel addressed the Bundestag on Monday to explain her government's decision to send weapons to Iraqi Kurds fighting terrorist group Isis. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Sponsored Article
Bilingual education from nursery to graduation at Phorms
Photo: Shutterstock
Gallery
Ten of the oddest things found by German border control
Photo: Gerkan, Marg and Partners/Tegel Projekt GmbH/J. Mayer
Berlin
How will Berlin look in five years' time?
Photo: DPA
Culture
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? 10 reasons why you should
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The best of Berlin's mayor Klaus Wowereit in 14 pictures
Photo: DPA
Politics
Germany sends burgers and sausages to Kurds
Photo: Matthias Kock
National
Tribes, ties and a movie: A German's Afghan life
Photo: DPA
Gallery
10 things to do before summer in Germany is really over
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The mysteries of Berlin's abandoned theme park
Photo: Europeana.de 1914 - 1918
Gallery
A German soldier's life behind WWI lines
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,412
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd