German court declares ‘the medic of Auschwitz’ fit for trial 

There is no expiration date for the pursuit of justice. An ex-Nazi SS medic will stand trial for crimes he committed over 70 years ago. 

By: AP and World Israel News Staff

A German appeals court ruled that a 95-year-old former SS sergeant who served as a medic in the Auschwitz death camp is fit for trial, reversing a lower court’s previous decision.

The Rostock state court said Tuesday it concluded after hearing more expert testimony that the ex-SS guard, identified as Hubert Z., could stand trial, though possibly with shortened sessions and other safeguards for his health.

The suspect is accused of having served as a medic in an SS hospital at Auschwitz in 1944.

Schwerin prosecutors charged him with 3,681 counts of accessory to murder earlier this year, arguing that by serving as a medic he helped the extermination camp in Nazi-occupied Poland function.

A lower court in Neubrandenburg ruled in June he was unfit for trial, but prosecutors appealed. No trial dates have been set.

German authorities have ruled that person can be tried for accessory to murder even though they did not actively murder victims.

Former SS sergeant Oskar Groening, 94, who served at the Auschwitz death camp, was convicted in July on 300,000 counts of accessory to murder and given a four-year sentence.

German authorities are currently pursuing two cases against suspected former Nazi war criminals.

One case being tried in Detmold accuses Reinhold H. of accessory to murder of 170,000 victims in Auschwitz. In the second trial, held in Kiel, a 91-year-woman is being persecuted for helping to murder 260,000 victims. In both cases the defendants are claiming they are not fit to stand trial.