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CRIME

Erfurt school evacuated after email threat

An Erfurt high school has been evacuated on Wednesday after receiving threats of a killing spree, authorities in the German state of Thuringia said.

Erfurt school evacuated after email threat
Photo: DPA

Eight years after the homicidal massacre in the same city at the Gutenberg Gymnasium high school in Erfurt that left 16 dead, another school recieved anonymous threats via email on Tuesday, police spokessperson Manfred Etzel told news agency DPA on Wednesday.

The building was closed while police searched for possible bombs with the help of tracking dogs, he said. Meanwhile, police are trying to trace the person who sent the email.

Authorities will have to consult with the Interior Ministry before they can announce when the school’s some 800 students will be allowed back onto the campus, Etzel said.

In the meantime, the students will be sent to other schools in Erfurt.

In April 2002, a 19-year-old former student of the Gutenberg Gymnasium went on a gun rampage and killed 13 teachers, 2 students, and a police officer before committing suicide.

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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