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CRIME

Thieves pilfer cash machine with a bang

A window rattling boom woke up residents of Elmenhorst in the eastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania early on Friday after thieves used explosives to boost a bank's cash machine.

Thieves pilfer cash machine with a bang
Photo: Stralsund police

Police from the nearby city of Stralsund reported two men in white overalls “deposited” a bomb at a cash machine. After the ATM exploded, the crooks picked up the money and fled in a small transporter that was parked directly in front of the bank.

There weren’t many details known yet and police continue their investigation. ”We don’t know much at this moment but specialists are working on it in the lab to find out what kind of material they used,” police spokesperson Officer Grotzky told The Local on Friday. “All we know yet is that it was quite a big boom.”

The front building of the bank suffered serious damage after the impact of the explosion burst windows and even curved some structural beams inside the bank building.

This isn’t the first time thieves tried to get their hands on some money by blasting open a cash machine, according to police.

“People are very creative when, let’s say, they don’t have a bank card. It’s usually a gang that does that kind of stuff,” said Grotzky.

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

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