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El Paisano

94 Year Old Ex-Nazi on Trial Over Mass Killings at Concentration Camps

Gilberto Espana, Staff Writer

Johann Rehbogen, a 94-year-old former SS guard went on trial November 6th in a German juvenile court. Courts charged Rehbogen with being an accessory in the murders of several hundred Jewish and Polish prisoners at the Stutthof camp in Gdansk, Poland in the 1940’s.

According to NPR’s Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, “ he admits to having worked at the camp but denies knowing about any murders there”. Rehbogen allegedly aided the mass murder of hundreds of people at a Nazi concentration camp more than 70 years ago.

Charges and Historical Crimes

The former SS guard faced trial at a juvenile court in Germany, despite being under 21 at the time of the murders. Due to his health, Rehbogen came to the courtroom in a wheelchair for only two hours a day. Prosecutors tracked the former guard using a concentration camp paper trail.

German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, a spokesman for the court, said Rehbogan was found using documents like laundry lists “ to deduce those persons who worked as guards”.

Welle released details on the indictment stating, “Several hundred prisoners who were no longer able to work were systematically killed by shots to the back of the neck while being told they were receiving a medical examination. They had to stand in front of a measuring tape attached to the wall, behind which a silenced pistol was mounted in the next room. SS doctors and paramedics also murdered prisoners in the sick bays, including many Jewish women and children, by injecting gasoline and pheno directly into their hearts”.

The Consequences & an Ending Battle

Johann Rehbogen could face up to a 15-year prison sentence but is unlikely he serves all years due to his health and old age. Jens Rommel, Germany’s lead Nazi hunter of the Central Office for the Investigation of Nazi Crimes, stated “ the crimes were committed 70 years ago. This means it is becoming more and more difficult to find defendants who are still alive and able to stand trial. Overall, it will have to be said that too few suspects have been brought to justice, that many perpetrators were punished too leniently and that many trials came too late.”

Over 65,000 people died at the concentration camp at Stutthof in Gdansk, Poland in the early 1940’s.

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94 Year Old Ex-Nazi on Trial Over Mass Killings at Concentration Camps