Brexit Party MEP Ann Widdecombe has come out in defence of a former Nazi concentration camp guard who is on trial in Germany, saying that the case against him "lacks proportionality".
Widdecombe said that resistance from Bruno Dey, who was 17 when he guarded prisoners at Stuthof camp in Gdansk, would have done "absolutely nothing in terms of alleviating human suffering".
Dey, who does not deny serving as a guard between August 1944 to April 1945, is on trial on 5,230 counts of accessory to murder at the age of 93.
Widdecombe defended the man on LBC's Nick Ferrari radio show, claiming that he "would have been shot" if he had put up any resistance to the Nazi regime.
"If he had been in any way, even at the age of 17, actively involved in the deaths at the death camps, then I think that's a different issue," said Widdecombe. "But he wasn't."
However the court merely says there is no evidence that he directly participated in any killings.
Nick Ferrari pointed out that Dey did watch over labour crews and was aware of "corpses being taken from the crematoria to be burned".
But to Widdecombe, trying the 93-year-old, who uses a wheelchair, in a juvenile court for his role in the camp is "just going one stage too far".
She argued he "presumably" led a "decent life" afterwards and that it would have been "somewhat different" if the trial had been sooner after the war.
"What was he supposed to do?" she asked. "I think that's the question we've got to ask ourselves if he had simply defied the order he would have been shot. And not a single Jew would have been saved."
She said some "massively brave" guards had resisted following orders, but asked: "What was he supposed to do?"
"But Ann, we file this under the 'I was only carrying out orders' excuse," said Ferrari, referring to the principles followed at the Nuremberg trials, which did not accept this as a defence.
"But I'm asking you what he could have done that would have been effective," said Widdecombe.
She added: "I think we're now starting to lack proportionality on this."