German prosecutors have charged a former guard at the Majdanek death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland with accessory to the murder of at least 17,000 Jews.
The 96-year-old Frankfurt man—whose name was not released due to German privacy regulations—allegedly served as a member of the Nazi SS’s Death’s Head division as a perimeter guard at the death camp between August 1943 and January 1944.
“According to the known evidence, the suspect, as well as all other SS members of the camp, knew of the cruel and organized mass murder,” the German prosecutors said in a statement, The Associated Press reported.
“He also knew that these people, facing their fate innocently and defenselessly, were killed for inhuman reasons based on race,” they added.
The prosecution said it is prioritizing the investigation of the man’s involvement in the so-called “Operation Erntefest” of Nov. 3, 1943, in which at least 17,000 Jewish prisoners at the camp as well as others were shot in ditches. The man “contributed in his role as a perimeter guard and as a tower guard, and thus knowingly and deliberately aided” the killings, the prosecutors said.
No trial date has been set yet.