In front of the Münster district court, the former security guard in the Stutthof concentration camp expresses himself for the first time. He rejects a debt, he also acted out of coercion.
On Tuesday, the 94-year-old former concentration camp guard from the district of Borken made his first statement in the Nazi trial at the Münster district court . The former SS man had an individual guilty of killing in the Stutthof concentration camp near Gdansk. He did not find any “systematic killing machinery” in his time there, he said in a multipage statement read by his lawyer.
Through good contact with his former company commander he had been mainly used at the first watchtower and not involved in the organization of the camp. Nevertheless, the accused admitted that all the guards in the camp knew of a crematorium on the grounds.
At that time he acted out of compulsion, not out of conviction, it was said. As a native Romanian he was at the age of 18 years of the Nazi state as “ethnic German dug” and committed to serve in the concentration camp Stutthof. The conditions there he described as “the unspeakable suffering of the camp inmates”. However, he did not know of either neck-blowers or gas chambers for the murder of Jews. From his perspective at that time, it had been a detention center for regime-critical Poles, not an extermination camp. The accused lives today in a small community in the Münsterland.
Accused of assisting to murder in several hundred cases
The trial was opened a week ago. The public prosecutor’s office in Dortmund accuses the former concentration camp guard of murder in several hundred cases (AZ: 10 KLs – 45 Js 2/16 – 13/17). According to the court from June 1942 to autumn 1944, the defendant was responsible for guarding the camp and supervising labor commands outside the camp. According to the prosecution, he had known about the murder of detainees and “deliberately encouraged” them by his activity in the security service.
The 94-year-old has to answer before the juvenile chamber of the district court, because he was at the time of his alleged deeds not 21 years old. The process is scheduled for February 12th. The public prosecutor’s office requested on Tuesday the hearing of four survivors of the concentration camp Stutthof as witnesses. The women living in the US today will be brought on board via Skype to “give a voice to the victims of the Holocaust,” they said.