German prosecutors say the trial of a 93-year-old former guard at the Nazis’ Stutthof concentration camp proved he was an accessory to murder, and they called Monday for him to be given a three-year sentence.
Bruno Dey, a former SS private, went on trial at the Hamburg state court in October. He faces 5,230 counts of accessory to murder for killings while he was at Stutthof from 1944 to 1945.
Prosecutor Lars Mahnke said in closing arguments that Dey, who was 17 and 18 years old at the time, knew what was going on in the gas chambers at the camp and that people were being shot to death in the crematorium, German news agency dpa reported.
Mahnke argued that Dey had recognized that the Nazi genocide against Jews was wrong and said that “in such a situation, there must be an end to loyalty toward criminals.”
Though there is no evidence that Dey was involved in a specific killing at the camp near Danzig, today the Polish city of Gdansk, prosecutors argue that, as a guard, he helped the camp function.
Dey has said that he was posted involuntarily to Stutthof because he was unfit for combat duty and that he was never a follower of Nazi ideology.
Despite being in his 90s, Dey is being tried in a juvenile court in Germany because he was 17 when he started serving at Stutthof.
He faces a possible prison sentence of six months to 10 years if convicted. There are no consecutive sentences under German law.
A verdict is expected later this month.