Reinhold Hanning, former Auschwitz guard, goes on trial in Germany
A 94-year-old former guard at Auschwitz goes on trial in Germany on Thursday accused of being an accessory to the murder of at least 170,000 people — the first of four such court cases that could be the last due to the very old age of the defendants.
Hanning was 20 years old in 1942 when he started serving as a guard at the Auschwitz death camp in occupied Poland where more than 1.1 million Jews were killed by the Nazis. He served as a guard until at least June 1944.
Accused by the prosecutor’s office in Dortmund as well as by 38 joint plaintiffs from Hungary, Israel, Canada, Great Britain, the United States and Germany, Hanning will face the accounts of contemporary camp witnesses.
Hanning denies involvement in the mass killing, although investigators point out his service at Auschwitz’s Birkenau sub-division where about 90 percent of more than 1.2 million killings in the camp were carried out in four gas chambers.
According to them, the Nazis’ killing machinery hinged on people like Hanning and accuse him of expediting or, at least, facilitating the murders.
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"Il devient absolument urgent de mettre un terme à cette injustice. Il y a un manque de connaissances et de recherches. Il faut donc promouvoir le recueil de témoignages, mais aussi construire des mémoriaux, organiser des expositions..." - @BenjaminAbtan