Criminal proceedings against a 93 year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard began on Thursday. The former SS guard, referred to as Bruno D., was 17 and 18 at the time of the acts and will therefore be tried in juvenile court for assisting in 5,230 murders.
Between August 1944 and April 1945, Bruno D. is accused of knowingly supporting “insidious and cruel killing” at Stutthof concentration camp in Poland. The indictment states that prisoners were killed by neck shot (Genickschuss) or poison gas. Many also died from the deliberately sustained hostile conditions in the camp, including death from hunger and lack of medical care.
The accused’s duty was to prevent the escape, revolt, and liberation of prisoners. The prosecution stated that he was the “wheels of the murder machine.”
Stutthof concentration camp in Poland was established by the Nazis in 1939 and housed 115,000 prisoners, 65,000 of those died in the camp and 22,000 were transferred to other concentration camps. Stutthof was one of the last camps to be liberated.
While being wheeled into trial, Bruno D. attempted to hide his face behind a red folder. While the juvenile trial is required to be closed, it is expected that the descendants of survivors will fill the public galleries of the court.