SHARE
COPY LINK

CRIME

Berlin man arrested for attempted murder by gas explosion

Hamburg police have arrested a Berlin man who tried to blow up his Berlin apartment building last Friday, Berlin daily Berliner Morgenpost reported Wednesday.

Berlin man arrested for attempted murder by gas explosion
Photo: DPA

The 36-year-old Michael S. is accused of multiple cases of attempted murder for allegedly manipulating the gas connection and booby trapping his Dunckerstrasse 13 apartment in Berlin’s trendy Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood on July 18. Neighbors smelled the gas and called emergency services, who found that dozens of residents around the building were in danger.

The man had tampered with the gas connection and removed the glass from a light bulb. Had the light been turned on, an explosion would have inevitably occurred, police said.

He fled to Hamburg and was spotted in the city’s St. Pauli and Sternschanze districts, but police didn’t capture him until the early hours of Wednesday morning, the paper said.

The man was already known to police for getting into fights and damaging property.

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