Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Ex-German SS Member Is Charged Over Massacre of Jews in Austria

A 90-year-old German who allegedly served in an SS tank division during World War II was charged with murdering Jewish slave laborers in Austria.

The man, who wasn’t identified, was accused of conspiring with other members of his division in the March 1945 murders, according to the indictment filed in Duisburg, Germany, by prosecutors, court spokesman Stefan Ulrich said in an e-mailed statement today. The case is known as the massacre at Deutsch Schuetzen, a small town in Austria, Ulrich said.

“The indictment claims that the accused was guided by an extremely hostile and inhumane attitude toward the victims equivalent to the Nazi doctrine,” said Ulrich.

The indictment comes about two weeks before the trial of John Demjanjuk, a suspected Nazi death-camp guard, over the killing of 27,900 people in the Sobibor concentration camp will start in Munich. Germany lifted its statute of limitations for murder in 1979, allowing prosecution of Nazi criminals to continue.

The accused and his accomplices allegedly brought 57 victims into the woods, made them give up their valuables and kneel down before they shot them from behind, prosecutors claim. Another Jew who was too weak to continue to march with a group of slave laborers was also killed, Ulrich said, citing the indictment.


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