A 96-year-old German who has been charged with crimes during World War II is too old for trial, judges the judge. The chances are, however, that he would have been found guilty of having to pay the litigation costs himself.
Harry S. was charged in 2017 for his role in the atrocities at the Stutthof camp in Poland, the first concentration camp that the Nazis set up outside Germany. In the course of the war, some 60,000 people died there, from hardships, ill-treatment and executions.
As a supervisor, S. would have been directly involved in transports to Auschwitz. Thats why he was charged with the murder of 600 prisoners.
Highly elderly suspects
In recent years, Germany has sued a handful of senior SS employees for their role in the Holocaust. In the years immediately after the war, suspects were only prosecuted if there was evidence that they had actually killed or abused people themselves, but nowadays complicity in the machine of destruction is sufficient for a charge.
Earlier this year, a secretary of 95 was sued for her role in the functioning of Stutthof. Last year, a 93-year-old former SS man received a parole sentence for his role in the death of more than 5000 victims.