Prosectors in Hamburg, Germany, have charged a 92-year-old man for aiding and abetting at least 5,230 murders of men, women, and children at the Stutthof concentration camp near Gdansk, Poland.
The man, who has been identified only as Bruno D., allegedly stood guard at the camp's watchtower for nine months when he was 17 years old, i24 News reported. He was assigned to security duty after a heart condition kept him from fighting on the front lines, according to the Independent.
More than 60,000 people, including 28,000 Jews, died at the camp during World War II. The case will be one of the last ever to be tried involving Nazi-era war crimes.
What are the details?
The former SS man worked at the camp from Aug. 9, 1944, to April 26, 1945. Three days after Bruno D. left the camp, Germany surrendered to the Allies.
Bruno D. told prosecutors he did not actively participate in the killings at the camp where many died of starvation, cold, or execution.
But he reportedly admitted during a voluntary interrogation last summer that he witnessed people being taken to the gas chambers to be murdered and bodies being taken to the crematorium.
"What good would it have done for me to leave? They'd just have found somebody else," he told prosecutors in July, according to Die Welt newspaper.
He also claimed that he was not a Nazi sympathizer.
"I felt sorry for the Jews," Bruno D. said. "I have harmed the people who were there. I did not know why they were there.
"I knew well that those were Jews who had committed no crime. Those who were only there because they were Jews. And they have the same right to live and work like any other person," Bruno D. continued. "But that was just Hitler or his party who were against it, who had anything against Jews and wanted to root out that tribe."
The former guard went on to become a trained baker.
Last year, the case against 94-year-old Johann Rehbogen, also a former SS guard at Stutthof, was halted. He was deemed too sick to continue to stand trial, according to the Guardian.