Burglar flees, scared stiff by mummified corpse

A burglar got more than he bargained for when he broke into a flat and found the mummified corpse of a woman who had died five years previously. He was so terrified he fled.

Burglar flees, scared stiff by mummified corpse
Photo: DPA

“Finding something like that would certainly be frightening,” a police spokesman told The Local on Monday.

Cops were called to the second-floor flat in Hagen, North Rhine-Westphalia by a neighbour who heard the smash of the would-be burglar kicking in the door.

When they went to investigate, they found a rubbish-strewn apartment – and the preserved corpse of the pensioner lying on the floor of the living room next to the television.

An autopsy later showed that the woman had been lying there for five years.

“In a warm, dry building a body can mummify itself,” the spokesman said.

“It would smell though,” he added.

The woman’s rent and bills had been automatically paid from account, and “clearly no-one had noticed she had disappeared,” a police statement said.

An autopsy on Monday morning revealed that the woman was 66 when she died. The cause of death is not known, but police confirmed the corpse showed no signs of violence.

The Local/ DPA/jcw

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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