Murder cases against 96-yr-old Auschwitz Nazi to be dismissed
German prosecutors said a case against 96-year-old former Nazi SS medic Hubert Zafke should be thrown out. Medical examinations of Zafke, who suffers from dementia, revealed that he's "unfit to stand trial." Zafke stands accused of assisting in the murder of 3,681 people at the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp. Zafke had denied the charges, saying he only treated wounded soldiers.
The unexplainable horrors of Auschwitz
An estimated 1.1 million people died at Auschwitz, the site of the largest mass murder in a single location in history. It housed five chambers where the lethal Zyklon B was used to murder men, women, and children as part of the Nazi's genocidal "Final Solution." Only a few hundred out of the over 7,000 personnel who served at Auschwitz ever faced prosecution.
Why was Zafke charged?
Zafke served for several weeks at the Auschwitz death camp's medical unit. He faced 3,681 counts of being an accessory to murder of the Jews who arrived at Auschwitz in 1944. Prosecutors allege Zafke played a role in filling gas into gas chambers. The said he "knew of and willingly supported the industrially organized mass killing people in an insidious and cruel manner."
Zafke served at Auschwitz when Anne Frank was transported there
Teenage Jewish girl Anne Frank, who gained fame posthumously after the publication of her heartbreaking diary, arrived at Auschwitz while Zafke served there. Frank died in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in 1945. Zafke hasn't been charged with her death.
Hafke served four-year prison sentence in Poland after war
After World War-II, Hafke was given a four-year prison sentence by a Polish court and he was released in 1951. German prosecutors first questioned him in 2014 over his term at Auschwitz, but he initially denied ever working there. He later acknowledged it but claimed he was unaware of the gas chambers and crematoria at the concentration camp until after the war ended.
Zafke's suffers from severe dementia, has suicidal thoughts
Zafke's trial in Neubrandenburg was postponed three times since it began in February 2016 over concerns regarding his health. A prosecutor said Zafke suffers from severe dementia making him unable to "reasonably assess his interests or coherently follow or give testimony." Zafke's advocate said he suffers from suicidal thoughts. By law, prosecutors are required to submit a motion to dismiss the case.