On Thursday (23 July), a Hamburg court delivered the verdict in one of Germany’s last Holocaust trials. The court’s judges found the now 93 year-old former SS guard, known as Bruno D in German media, guilty of aiding and abetting murder in 5,232 different cases.
This number represents the people estimated to have been murdered in the Stutthof concentration camp east of Gdansk during the time that Bruno D. served as a guard there between August 1944 and April 1945.
During the trial, the court heard testimony from six survivors who described the horrific conditions in the camp including hunger and malnutrition, typhoid, beatings and executions.
Given that Bruno D. was just 17 when he worked as a guard, his case went to a juvenile court. The prosecution requested a relatively lenient sentence citing the defendant’s cooperation with authorities.
However, many survivors were upset with the outcome.
“It is unsatisfactory and much too late,” said Christoph Heubner of the Vice President of the International Auschwitz Committee, according to the New York Times.
“What is so upsetting for survivors is that this defendant failed to use the many postwar years of his life to reflect on what he saw and heard.”
(Sarah Lawton | EURACTIV.de)