A 93-year-old man has been charged in a German court with 170,000 counts of accessory to murder on allegations he served as an SS guard at the Auschwitz death camp in occupied Poland, The Associated Press (AP) reported on Monday.
The defendant, whose name was not disclosed in line with privacy laws, allegedly served in Auschwitz from January 1942 to June 1944, the Detmold state court said in a statement quoted by the news agency.
He is alleged to have been assigned to the Auschwitz I camp, but also to have helped supervise new prisoners, largely Jews, as they arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau, the part of the camp complex where most of its 1.1 million victims were killed.
Defense attorney Johannes Salmen was quoted by AP as having said his client has acknowledged being at Auschwitz I, but denies being assigned to Birkenau or being involved in killings.
In recent years, Germany has begun a crackdown on Nazi war criminals. The crackdown began following the 2011 Munich trial of John Demjanjuk, a Nazi war criminal charged of assisting in the murder of 28,060 people at the Sobibor death camp and sentenced to five years. The former Nazi died in 2012.
Two weeks ago it was announced that a 93-year-old former Auschwitz death camp officer will go on trial in Germany in April on charges of at least 300,000 counts of accessory to murder.