SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

Elderly German robs Danish bank with water pistol

An 80-year-old German-born man was placed in protective custody in Denmark on Friday for robbing a bank with a water pistol after his bank refused to let him repay an account overdraft in installments, police said.

The German man, who has lived in Denmark for nearly 50 years, walked into a Sydbank branch in the western town of Viborg on Thursday wearing dark glasses and carrying a cane. Pointing a water gun at the teller, he politely asked her to give him a bit of money.

“Don’t worry,” he said, according to media reports. “I don’t shoot people.”

He left the bank with a plastic bag filled with about 30,000 kroner (€4,000, $6,100), but only managed to walk some 300 metres (985 feet) before he was stopped by police. By that time, his booty had become worthless after an exploding cartridge placed in the bag by the bank clerk exploded, spraying the money – and his clothing – with red ink.

The man planned the hold-up after he overdrew his account when redecorating his new apartment in a retirement home and his bank refused to set up a repayment plan for him.

Police said it remained unclear whether the man had robbed his own bank. On Friday, the man happily accepted being sent to jail, telling the judge: “I don’t want to return to my apartment. I’m too ashamed.”

CRIME

101-year-old former Nazi guard pleads innocent in German trial

A 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard on Monday once again denied being complicit in war crimes during the Holocaust as his trial drew to a close in Germany.

101-year-old former Nazi guard pleads innocent in German trial

Josef Schütz, the oldest person so far to face trial over Nazi crimes during World War II, is accused of involvement in the murders of 3,518 prisoners at the Sachsenhausen camp in Oranienburg, north of Berlin, between 1942 and 1945.

The pensioner, who now lives in Brandenburg state, has pleaded innocent throughout the trial, saying he did “absolutely nothing” and was not aware of the gruesome crimes being carried out at the camp.

“I don’t know why I am here,” he said again at the close of the proceedings, his voice wavering.

Dressed in a grey shirt and pyjama bottoms and sitting in a wheelchair, Schütz insisted he had had nothing to do with the atrocities and was “telling the truth”.

READ ALSO: Ex-Nazi death camp secretary who fled trial to face court in Germany

Prosecutors say he “knowingly and willingly” participated in the crimes as a guard at the camp and are seeking to punish him with five years behind bars.

But Schütz’s lawyer, Stefan Waterkamp, said that since there were no photographs of him wearing an SS uniform, the case was based on “hints” of his possible involvement.

“As early as 1973, investigators had information about him but did not pursue him. At the time, witnesses could have been heard but now they are all dead or no longer able to speak,” Waterkamp said.

Former Nazi guard

The 101-year-old former Nazi guard covers his face at the Neuruppin courthouse. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Fabian Sommer

It would be a mistake for the court to try to “make up for the mistakes of a previous generation of judges”, the lawyer said.

Antoine Grumbach, 80, whose father died in Sachsenhausen, told AFP Schuetz “does not want to remember”, calling it “a form of defence”.

The trial was not just about “putting a centenarian in prison”, he said. It had also produced evidence that Sachsenhausen was an “experimental extermination camp”.

“All the cruellest methods were invented there and then exported,” Grumbach said.

READ ALSO: Trials of aging Nazis a ‘reminder for the present’, says German prosecutor

SHOW COMMENTS