Page last updated at 14:34 GMT, Tuesday, 17 November 2009

'Ex-Nazi' charged with 58 murders

Map locator

German prosecutors have charged a 90-year-old alleged former Nazi SS member with the killing of 58 Jewish forced labourers, officials say.

The man is accused of murdering the Hungarian workers in Deutsch Schuetzen, a village in eastern Austria, at the end of World War II.

The court has identified the suspect only as a "retiree from Duisburg".

The victims' remains were found in a mass grave in 1995 by the Austrian Jewish association.

The German state court was told that on 29 March 1945, the accused and accomplices brought at least 57 Jewish forced labourers to a forest "where they had to give up their valuables and kneel by a grave".

"The accused and other SS members then cruelly shot the Jewish forced labourers from behind," a prosecution spokesman said.

Forced march

The 90-year-old man is also accused of shooting another Jew who could no longer walk during a forced march on the same day or the day after, the court was told.

The victims' mass grave is now marked by a plaque.

Prosecutors began investigating the case last year when they were alerted by an Austrian university student who had been researching the massacre.

Prosecutor Andreas Brendel told the Associated Press news agency that three former members of the Hitler Youth had provided testimony in Austria.

A fourth former Hitler Youth member, now living in Canada, is being interviewed this week, he said.

A court in Duisburg now has to decide whether the trial of the man can go ahead. The defendant has two weeks to present evidence or to appeal against the case proceeding.

Print Sponsor

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific