Holocaust Survivor Urged Former Guard in Auschwitz to Admit He is an Accomplice for the killings
Feb 15, 2016 08:08 AM EST
A former guard in Auschwitz Concentration camp was accused of being an accomplice over the mass murders during the Holocaust. The court trial was held in Germany on Thursday. One of the survivors urges him to confess the truth regarding the killings at the said Nazi Death camp.
The former death camp guard, Reinhold Hanning, 94 years old appeared in a court in Detmold, the Guardian reported. An Auschwitz former prisoner and survivor, Leon Schwarzbaum, 94 told the jurors about his time during the Nazi death camp and became emotional as he delivered his plea.
"Mr Hanning, we are virtually the same age and soon we will face our final judge. I would like to ask you to tell the historical truth here, just as I am. Tell the truth about what you and your colleagues did," Schwarzbaum said. Hanning is charge of complicity in the mass murder of 170,000 Holocaust victims during the Second World War, Independent reported. He worked as an Auschwitz guard in the camp's "Death's Head" SS division between January 1943 to June 1944.
Plaintiffs who filed the case against Hanning include Schwarzbaum along with more than 40 Holocaust survivors. According to Schwarzbaum, he recalled a 17 year old Jewish girl who was shot at Auschwitz,. He also remembered witnessing a lorry full of naked Jews screaming as they were driven to gas chambers.
Hanning admitted he served under the SS at the said death camp. But he insisted that he was not involved on the mass killings inside the concentration camp. Prosecutors also argued that the fact that he was a guard during at the death camp, he is also facilitated the mass murders.
Given the age of the accused, trials are delayed due to lengthy procedures to determine whether they are fit to be in court. Hearings are also restricted to two hours per day. But Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff, responsible for war crime investigations at the Simon Wiesenthal Center, said age should not be viewed as an obstacle to prosecution.