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Stalker jailed for life for killing dance partner

A stalker was jailed for life on Thursday for murdering his former dance partner in south-west Germany in her front garden.

Stalker jailed for life for killing dance partner
A police van outside Heidelberg court where the man was sentenced. Photo: DPA

The 61-year-old was given the life sentence by a regional court in Heidelberg for killing his former girlfriend and dance partner in October 2013.

He stabbed the 59-year-old to death with a knife in her front garden after months of harassment, including loitering outside her home, scratching her car and making threatening phone calls.
 
The killer’s defence asked for the man to be convicted of  manslaughter but the presiding judge told the court: “The accused is entirely responsible for his actions.”
 
The two first met at a dance class and later began an intimate relationship.
 
But after the woman broke off the association, he continued to pester her until a court ruled that he could not attend any dance classes where she was present.
 
"What may once have been love and then friendship had disappeared and turned to fury," the judge said on Thursday.
 
After killing the woman the man tried to drown himself in the River Neckar which runs through Heidelberg. He was rescued by a jogger after losing consciousness.
 
Addressing the court, he said tearfully: "I wanted the opposite of this indescribable disaster."
 
 

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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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