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CRIME

Twelve-year-old hurt in mailbox bombing out of danger

She nearly lost her arm in a mailbox bombing in November, but a 12-year-old Berlin girl will likely be released from intensive care before Christmas, news agency DPA reported on Thursday.

Twelve-year-old hurt in mailbox bombing out of danger
Photo: DPA

The girl identified by the German press only as Charlyn is thought to have been a victim of an attack by her step-uncle, who was recently arrested.

Doctors were able to save her arm from the blast wounds after putting her in an artificial coma for several days after the bombing. She has now begun physical therapy, Andreas Eisenschenk, head of hand transplant and microsurgery at the Marzahn clinic where Charlyn is being treated said.

“Everything is healing well and there have been no complications so far,” Eisenschenk said. “The little one has been very lucky.”

The alleged bomber, 32-year-old Peter John, was recently arrested after a nation-wide manhunt and currently he now sits in jail awaiting charges. He allegedly placed a bomb in a letterbox at her family’s home in Berlin’s Rudow district that exploded as she opened it.

Later that week, police located the booby-trapped red BMW of the suspect while Charlyn remained in critical condition. The suspect also allegedly put a bomb on the roof of the car of Charlyn’s father on the same day of the mailbox blast, but he handed it over to police after it did not explode.

Police believe the bombing was part of a long-running family feud. The father reportedly revealed during police questioning that he suspected someone in his extended family might want to harm his immediate family.

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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