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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 August 2007, 13:27 GMT 14:27 UK
Nazi war criminal dies in Germany
By Tristana Moore
BBC News, Berlin

Heinz Barth during his trial in Berlin in 1983
Barth lived under a false identity in East Germany for years
Heinz Barth, a Nazi war criminal convicted for World War II atrocities, has died in Germany. He was 86.

Barth's SS division killed 642 people on 10 June 1944 at Oradour-sur-Glane, near Limoges, France.

In 1942, Barth served as an officer in a Nazi armoured regiment responsible for the deaths of 91 people in what was then Czechoslovakia.

In 1983, Barth was sentenced to life imprisonment in East Germany. In 1997, he was released on health grounds.

'Murderous rifleman'

Barth - who died at Gransee, north of Berlin - took part in one of the most notorious Nazi atrocities in Oradour-sur-Glane.

In 1944, 642 people - including several hundred children - were killed by SS troops in the village.

The men were rounded up and shot dead in barns while women and children were locked into the village church, which was set on fire.

Barth was described as a "murderous rifleman" during his trial, mainly for his role in the massacre at Oradour.

After the war, Barth returned to East Germany, where he lived under a false identity.

He worked as a shop manager in the town of Gransee, north of Berlin, until he was tracked down by the authorities.

He received a disability pension, saying he had a lost a leg during the war.

The case provoked outrage from survivors of concentration camps. The mayor of Oradour, Raymond Frugier, said he "will never be able to forget the atrocities which Barth committed".

His death has gone largely unnoticed in Germany.

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