Teen Nazi on trial 74 years after he saw people led to gas chamber
A former Nazi guard says he saw people being locked into gas chambers and heard them screaming to be released, but insists he did not know they were being murdered.
Former SS private Bruno Dey, 93, is on trial at the Hamburg state court charged with 5230 counts of accessory to murder for killings while he was at the Stutthof concentration camp from 1944 to 1945.
Judge Anne Meier-Goering asked Dey on Friday what exactly he saw while working as a guard at camp.
Dey replied that he saw between 20 and 30 people "being led ... into the gas chamber, and that the door was locked".
"I didn't know that they were being gassed in there," he said, adding that he had "never seen anyone come out".
Prosecutors say Dey "supported the insidious and cruel killing of mainly Jewish prisoners".
For decades after the war, German courts argued that the top Nazi leadership was principally to blame for the mass murder of Jews.
Lower-ranking individuals in the Holocaust machinery were bound by a chain of command and therefore less culpable, the courts said.
That approach changed radically after a legal precedent set by the 2011 conviction of John Demjanjuk, who was found guilty as an accessory to the murder of more than 28,000 Jews while he was a guard at the Sobibor camp in Nazi-occupied Poland.
© AAP 2019