Publisher's Note: This post appears here courtesy of the The Daily Wire. The author of this post is Olga Benacerraf.
A German regional court handed a 101-year-old man who served as a Nazi guard a five-year prison sentence on Tuesday.
The defendant, identified by local media only as Josef S., was charged with 3,518 counts of accessory to murder related to crimes carried out in the Nazi concentration camp Sachsenhausen during World War II.
The man had previously denied involvement with the SS, the Nazi organization tasked with running intelligence operations and concentration camps, and aiding and abetting the murder of thousands of prisoners.
"I am innocent,"
the centenarian stated during his second day of the trial back in October. He went on to claim that he had worked as a farm laborer in northeastern Germany between 1942 and 1945, the period in question.
However, the Neuruppin court found that he had worked at the camp as a member of the Nazi paramilitary wing based on documents relating to an SS guard with the man's name, date, and place of birth introduced by the prosecution.
"The court has come to the conclusion that, contrary to what you claim, you worked in the concentration camp as a guard for about three years,"
said Judge Udo Lechtermann, according to the German news agency dpa. "You willingly supported this mass extermination with your activity."
The trial was held in a gymnasium in Brandenburg an der Havel, near the defendant's place of residence. His advanced age led to several interruptions caused by health complications and hospital stays, and he could only stand trial for several hours a day.
Sachsenhausen was established in 1936 as the first camp created after Adolf Hitler relegated complete control of the Nazi concentration camp system to the SS. More than 200,000 people were imprisoned in Sachsenhausen between 1936 and 1945, with tens of thousands being killed due to hunger, disease, forced industrial labor, and medical experiments.
Tuesday's verdict relies on recent German legal precedent, dating back to 2011, establishing that those who helped a Nazi camp function may be prosecuted for accessory to murder.
Since then, courts have sentenced several people using the precedent.