[JURIST] A German court on Tuesday allowed the trial of a 95-year-old German man, Hubert Z, accused of being an accessory to the murder of 3,681 people at Auschwitz. Hubert Z. had previously been deemed too fragile to stand trial, but Tuesday’s decision [Reuters report] reversed the lower court. Because of Germany’s privacy laws, Hubert Z’s last name has not been released, but it is known that he was a death camp paramedic that operated as a sergeant in the Nazi SS from 1943 to 1944.
German courts have recently seen a flurry of war crimes-related charges against former members of the German Nazi party. Prior to 2011, German prosecutors often chose not to charge individuals they regarded as simply “cogs” in, rather than active members of, the Nazi war machine. Last month, a German court deemed [JURIST report] that a 93-year-old former SS sergeant, charged with 170,000 counts of accessory to murder for allegedly serving as a Nazi camp prison guard, was fit for trial. The 2011 conviction [JURIST report] of former Nazi guard John Demjanjuk may have emboldened German prosecutors to pursue cases against all those who materially helped Nazi Germany function. The most recent person imprisoned for their role in the Holocaust was Oskar Groening. Known as the “accountant of Auschwitz,” Groening was charged [JURIST report] in September of last year as an accessory to the murder of 300,000 people. In June, Groening was given a four-year jail sentence for his role at Auschwitz, a sentence Groening said he would appeal [JURIST reports].