JUIL 23, 2020 topactu.net
German court convicts 93-year-old man for Nazi crimes

In what could be one of the last such cases involving surviving Nazi guards, Dey was convicted for his role in the killings when he was an SS tower guard at the Stutthof camp near what was then Danzig, now Gdansk, in Poland.

former Nazi concentration camp guard was convicted of thousands of counts of being an accessory to murder and given a two-year suspended prison sentence Thursday, a court announced.

As he was only 17 or 18 years old at the time of the crimes, he was subject to youth sentencing guidelines.

The trial opened in October. Because of Dey's age, court sessions were limited to two, two-hour sessions a week. Additional precautions also were taken to keep the case going through the height of the coronavirus pandemic.

'I would like to stress again that I would never have voluntarily signed up to the SS or any other unit - especially not in a concentration camp, ' he said in his final statements before the court delivered the verdict. "I didn't contribute anything to it, other than standing guard".

93-year-old former SS camp guard Bruno D. Demjanjuk, who steadfastly denied the allegations, died before his appeal could be heard.

He had acknowledged his presence at the camp but argued that did not amount to guilt.

A federal court subsequently upheld the 2015 conviction of former Auschwitz guard Oskar Groening, solidifying the precedent.

The Dey case extends the argument to apply to a guard at a concentration camp that did not exist for the sole objective of extermination.

He was found guilty of being involved in killings between August 1944 and April 1945.

Efraim Zuroff, the head Nazi hunter at the Simon Wiesenthal Center's office in Jerusalem, criticized the suspended sentence as "tainting the process" of trying to bring justice for Holocaust survivors, saying Dey waited until he was facing jail time before apologizing for his actions.

About 65,000 people, including many Jews, were murdered or died at Stutthof, according to the museum's website.

The Nazis set up the Stutthof camp in 1939, initially using it to detain Polish political prisoners.

More than 60,000 people were killed there by being given lethal injections of gasoline or phenol directly to their hearts, shot or starved.

As a guard there, he said he frequently was directed to watch over prisoner labour crews working outside the camp.