Trial of 95-year old Auschwitz medic begins

NEUBRANDENBURG, Germany, Sept. 12 (UPI) — The mass murder trial for the 95-year-old medic at Auschwitz began Monday after three delays.

The trial of Hubert Zafke had been postponed for health reasons by Judge Klaus Kabisch. Zafke’s defense has argued he suffers from high blood pressure and suicidal thoughts.

Zafke, who was given a medical check before the pre-trial hearing, was wheeled into Neubrandenburg state court and held a wooden cane.

He is accused of killing 3,681 people at the Auschwitz concentration camp over the course of one month, from Aug. 15, 1944 to Sept. 14,1944.

According to the indictment, Zafke served in the medical unit at Auschwitz for several weeks in the summer of 1944, when he was 23.

Zafke has denied the charges, saying he only treated wounded soldiers and members of the SS while at Auschwitz.

Prosecutors say Zafke knew the camp’s function was “an industrial-scale mass murder site.”

The last surviving Nazis are all now in their nineties.

In June, a German court sentenced former Auschwitz guard Reinhold Hanning, 94, to five years in jail as an accessory to the murder of at least 170,000 people.

On Friday, a state court in the northern city of Kiel ruled that a 92-year-old woman, Helma M., was unfit to stand trial for allegedly being accessory to 260,000 counts of murder. She was the SS radio operator at Auschwitz.

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