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Former SS camp guard, 94, accused over mass murder

Denials: Johann Rehbogen in court PICTURE: EPA

A FORMER SS guard at a Nazi concentration camp, now aged 94, has gone on trial in Germany as an accessory to hundreds of murders.

Johann Rehbogen was enlisted to serve at Stutthof camp in German-occupied Poland from June 1942 to September 1944.

More than 60,000 prisoners — including tens of thousands of Jews — were killed in the camp, either in the gas chamber, by lethal injection, shot dead, starved or left to freeze naked outdoors, said prosecutor Andreas Brendel. The prosecution argues that he was an accessory to at least hundreds of deaths in the camp, east of Danzig, now the Polish city of Gdansk.

Rehbogen, who is being tried in a juvenile court in Munster because he was under 21 at the time, has said he was unaware of the killings.

The Simon Wiesenthal Centre, which helped find 20 survivors to serve as possible witnesses, said such trials are important even more than 70 years after World War II. ‘The passage of time in no way diminishes the guilt of Holocaust perpetrators and old age should not afford protection to those who committed such heinous crimes,’ said head Nazi hunter, Efraim Zuroff.

Rehbogen’s attorney has said his client will make a statement in court. Because of his age and health, the trial lasts no more than two hours a day on two non-consecutive days a week.