A 91-year-old woman, who has not been named due to German privacy laws, is being charged with 260,000 counts of accessory to murder. Prosecutors are claiming that while she worked as a Nazi radio operator in Auschwitz in 1944, she helped the camp to continue running and therefore assisted in the deaths of thousands of Jews that were transported there during that time.
There are no living witnesses alive, or at least that could be located, to testify against the woman and her involvement in the camp, but there is sufficient evidence to charge her, including lists of Auschwitz subjects in 1970. If deemed medically fit to withstand a trial, she will be tried in a German court for minors considering she was under 21 while she worked at the camp. However, in past cases involving Nazi workers, many have been released due to dementia.
This will not be the first case of this nature in recent times, as 94-year-old SS sergeant Oskar Groenig, also known as ‘the bookkeeper of Auschwitz’ was convicted of similar charges back in July and was given a four year prison sentence for his crimes. Also, back in 2011 John Demjanjuk was convicted for assisting in the deaths of over 28,000 people in a Poland Sobibor camp, a case that set the precedent for the two cases mentioned.
According to Schleswig-Holstein prosecutors’ spokesman Heinz Doellel, there does not seem to be any indication that the woman is unfit for trial, but whether or not the court will proceed with the case will not be determined until next year.