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Auschwitz guard, 93, to face trial in April

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Barbed wire fences at the Auschwitz death camp. File photo: DPA
17:01 CET+01:00
A 93-year-old former SS guard at the Auschwitz death camp will stand trial in April for accessory to murder, a German court said Friday.

The accused, who was not named by the court, worked at the camp in occupied Poland between November 1, 1942 and June 25, 1943.

On his watch, at least three trains carrying deportees from Berlin, Drancy in France and Westerbork in the Netherlands arrived at the camp, the court of Hanau said in a statement.

"Of the deportees, at least 1,075 people were cruelly and maliciously killed in the gas chambers after their arrival in Auschwitz," the statement said.

At present, three relatives of victims killed in the death camp have been accepted as co-plaintiffs, added the court.

Despite his advanced age, the accused was found by a doctor to be fit to stand trial, although hearings will be limited to four hours a day.

The trial will be the third in 2016 of former SS personnel at Auschwitz, as Germany races to prosecute ageing Third Reich criminals.

Another former guard, 94-year-old Reinhold Hanning, is to appear in court in Detmold next week.

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And a 95-year-old ex-medic named as Hubert Zafke will stand trial in Neubrandenburg at the end of February. Both are charged with complicity in the killings of thousands of people at the camp.

Some 1.1 million people, most of them European Jews, perished between 1940 and 1945 in Auschwitz-Birkenau before it was liberated by Soviet forces.

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