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German court sentences 101-year-old ex-guard to prison for aiding murders at Nazi camp

German court sentences 101-year-old ex-guard to prison for aiding murders at Nazi camp
The Sachsenhausen Nazi concentration camp is seen in 2009. Historical records say that Josef Schutz was a guard at the camp during World War II when thousands of people were killed at the camp. Photo by Tommes73/Wikimedia Commons

June 28 (UPI) -- A 101-year-old German man was sentenced to five years in prison on Tuesday after being convicted of aiding thousands of deaths as a guard in a Nazi concentration camp during World War II.

The conviction by a German court makes the guard, identified as Josef Schutz, the oldest person ever to stand trial for crimes committed by the Nazis.

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Schutz denied the charges during the trial at Neuruppin Regional Court in Brandenburg-an-der-Havel, which is located west of Berlin.

Judge Udo Lechtermann told the former guard that he was "aware that prisoners were killed there."

Schutz was convicted of over 3,500 counts of accessory to murder and given a five-year prison sentence on Tuesday. His lawyers said they will appeal any attempt to send Schutz to prison, given his age and health.

Schutz denied that he ever wore a Nazi uniform and said he spent his years during the war working on a farm. Historical records, however, identified him by name and say he was assigned to a notorious SS paramilitary force between 1942 and 1945 at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp.

Some of the records were unearthed only recently.

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In 2018, concentration camp records by the Red Army were examined in Moscow, which is how Schutz's name was first discovered.

The Sachsenhausen camp held about 200,000 prisoners during its existence between 1936 and its liberation by the Soviet army in 1945.

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