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CRIME

Lovesick former pupil stabs teacher to death

A love-obsessed young man stabbed his former school teacher to death Friday after she rejected his advances, police announced in the city of Bremen.

Lovesick former pupil stabs teacher to death
A forensics officer examines the crime scene. Photo: DPA

Police and state prosecutors announced Saturday that the 21-year-old man from the town of Osterholz-Scharmbeck in Lower Saxony had stabbed the teacher, 35, more than 20 times. She died at the scene of the attack – a carpark close to her home.

Police said the man had wanted to ask “several thousand questions” of his former teacher and declared his love for her before he attacked.

A witness tried unsuccessfully to stop the attack.

The woman taught biology and chemistry at a high school in Osterholz-Scharmbeck. She had previously contacted police in January 2008 because she feared he might try to kill her.

Police investigated the man – who was considered a peculiar loner – at the time and found in his house gunpowder and fireworks. But they found nothing with which they could prosecute him.

The former pupil called the police himself after the murder and then waited to be arrested.

State prosecutor Uwe Picard said he gave his name and spoke lucidly during the call, telling police: “I’ve killed someone. I’ve put down my weapon. Please pick me up.” Police were still questioning the man on Saturday.

He had apparently planned the attack well in advance. During his interrogation, he said he had prepared several questions on various topics – including intimacy and sex – which he wanted to put to his former teacher.

The young man told police he had fixed a GPS tracking device to the teacher’s car about 10am on Friday and used it to follow her to the car park near her home where he confronted her.

He had planned to force her into a neighbouring house but this fell through when the woman resisted.

The man, who wasn’t awarded his high school certificate, had apparently been spying on the teacher for some time without her knowledge.

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CRIME

Former Nazi camp guard, 101, gets five-year jail sentence

A German court on Tuesday handed a five-year jail sentence to a 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard, the oldest person so far to go on trial for complicity in war crimes during the Holocaust.

Former Nazi camp guard, 101, gets five-year jail sentence

Josef S. was found guilty of being an accessory to murder while working as a prison guard at the Sachsenhausen camp in Oranienburg, north of Berlin, between 1942 and 1945, presiding judge Udo Lechtermann said.

The pensioner, who now lives in Brandenburg state, had pleaded innocent, 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 at the close of his trial on Monday.

But prosecutors said he “knowingly and willingly” participated in the murders of 3,518 prisoners at the camp and called for him to be punished with five years behind bars.

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

More than 200,000 people, including Jews, Roma, regime opponents and gay people, were detained at the Sachsenhausen camp between 1936 and 1945.

Tens of thousands of inmates died from forced labour, murder, medical experiments, hunger or disease before the camp was liberated by Soviet troops, according to the Sachsenhausen Memorial and Museum.

Prosecutors said the man had aided and abetted the “execution by firing squad of Soviet prisoners of war in 1942” and the murder of prisoners “using the poisonous gas Zyklon B”.

He was 21 years old at the time.

Contradictory statements

During the trial, S. made several inconsistent statements about his past, complaining that his head was getting “mixed up”.

At one point, the centenarian said he had worked as an agricultural labourer in Germany for most of World War II, a claim contradicted by several historical documents bearing his name, date and place of birth.

After the war, the man was transferred to a prison camp in Russia before returning to Germany, where he worked as a farmer and a locksmith.

He remained at liberty during the trial, which began in 2021 but has been delayed several times because of his health.

Despite his conviction, he is highly unlikely to be put behind bars, given his age.

His lawyer Stefan Waterkamp told AFP ahead of the verdict that if found guilty, he would appeal.

More than seven decades after World War II, German prosecutors are racing to bring the last surviving Nazi perpetrators to justice.

The 2011 conviction of former guard John Demjanjuk, on the basis that he served as part of Hitler’s killing machine, set a legal precedent and paved the way for several of these twilight justice cases.

Since then, courts have handed down several guilty verdicts on those grounds rather than for murders or atrocities directly linked to the individual accused.

By David COURBET

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