A 93-year-old former Nazi focus camp guard apologised to Holocaust victims at a Hamburg courtroom on Monday, forward of the decision in a high-profile trial over his complicity in World Warfare II atrocities.
“Immediately I want to apologise to those that went via the hell of this insanity, in addition to to their relations. One thing like this must not ever occur once more,” mentioned Bruno Dey from the dock.
In what could possibly be one of many final such instances of surviving Nazi guards, Dey stands accused of complicity within the homicide of 5 230 individuals when he labored as an SS tower guard on the Stutthof camp close to what was then Danzig, now Gdansk in Poland.
The courtroom is predicted to situation its verdict on Thursday.
Prosecutors have sought a jail sentence of three years.
However in his abstract on Monday, Dey’s defence lawyer Stefan Waterkamp requested the courtroom for an acquittal or a suspended sentence, saying his shopper “wouldn’t survive” jail.
Dey himself has denied any guilt for what occurred on the camp, and mentioned that the trial had “value a whole lot of energy”.
He mentioned in his closing assertion earlier than the courtroom delivers the decision:
I want to stress once more that I might by no means have voluntarily signed as much as the SS or another unit – particularly not in a focus camp.
“If I had seen a chance to take away myself from service, I might have completed so.”
He added that he solely grew to become conscious of the “extent of the atrocities” upon listening to witness testimonies and studies.
But one Stutthof survivor dismissed Dey’s feedback on Monday.
“I am speechless. I do not need his apology, I do not want it,” Marek Dunin-Wasowicz, a 93-year-old camp survivor instructed AFP through phone from his house in Warsaw.
Dey is standing trial at a juvenile courtroom as a result of he was aged between 17 and 18 on the time.
Waterkamp, his lawyer, identified that such a younger man may hardly have been anticipated to interrupt ranks, and that the teenaged Dey “noticed no escape”.
He added that as a tower guard, Dey wouldn’t have identified the extent of the “sadism” and “inhumane situations” of the camp.
Waterkamp mentioned that the Nazi crimes had been “incomprehensible” and that the witness testimonies had “severely shaken” his shopper.
The Nazis arrange the Stutthof camp in 1939, initially utilizing it to detain Polish political prisoners.
However it ended up holding 110 000 detainees, together with many Jewish individuals. Some 65 000 individuals perished within the camp.
Dey, who now lives in Hamburg, grew to become a baker after the conflict.
Married with two daughters, he supplemented his earnings by working as a truck driver, earlier than later taking up a job in constructing upkeep.
He got here into prosecutors’ sights after a landmark 2011 ruling towards former Sobibor camp guard John Demjanjuk on the premise that he was a part of the Nazi killing machine.
Since then, Germany has raced to placed on trial surviving SS personnel on these grounds fairly than for murders or atrocities straight linked to the person accused.
One other former guard on the Stutthof camp, now 95, was charged final week with complicity within the homicide of a number of hundred individuals.
The district courtroom in Wuppertal should decide with the assistance of specialists if the accused in that case is match for trial.