German on trial for Nazi crimes believed to involve Anne Frank family

A 95-year-old German man accused of working at the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp when Anne Frank's family likely arrived went on trial Monday charged with accessory to 3,681 Nazi murders.

During the one month in 1944 the defendant allegedly worked as a paramedic at Auschwitz, at least 3,681 victims arrived at the Nazi camp - on 14 deportation trains - and perished in its gas chambers, prosecutors said.

One of the trains included the family of Anne Frank, who as a young Jewish teenager hiding from the Nazis during the German occupation of the Netherlands documented her ordeal in a diary.

She died a year later in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. The defendant, whose name has not been released due to Germany's strict privacy laws, has not been charged with Frank's death.

The trial represents the fourth time the man, who was pushed into the courtroom in a wheel chair, has faced the court. The previous proceedings had been called off due to poor health.

The presiding judge in the case said he planned to once again review whether the defendant was fit to stand trial after a court expert said the accused suffered a light form of dementia.

The man was examined by a doctor shortly before his trial opened in the eastern German town of Neubrandenburg.

Prosecutors alleged that he worked as an orderly in the SS about 650 metres from the gas ovens of the infamous concentration camp for one month in 1944.

They claim he was part of the camp hierarchy and was therefore involved in the murders that took place during his time at Auschwitz.

More than 1 million prisoners altogether died at Auschwitz – the overwhelming majority of them were Jews.

The defendant's lawyers insisted that he was innocent.

Last update: Mon, 12/09/2016 - 20:55
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