Former Nazi SS guard, 94, goes on trial in deaths of hundreds of prisoners at Stutthof camp

(JTA) – A former Nazi SS guard, now 94, went on trial Tuesday for being complicit in the mass murders of several hundred prisoners at the Stutthof Nazi concentration camp.

Johann Rehbogen, who uses a wheelchair and is in declining health, was younger than 21 when he worked at the camp between 1942 and 1944 and thus is being tried in a juvenile court in the western German city of Münster.

The trial is scheduled to last until January and will only convene twice a week on non-consecutive days due to Rehbogen’s age and health.

More than 60,000 people were killed at Stutthof during World War II.

Rehbogen has told investigators that he was not aware of the killings, which took place in gas chambers, with shots of poison to the heart, shootings and exposure, and did not participate in them.

Prosecutors say that he knew about the murders at the Stutthof and that the guards were essential to the killings.

The juvenile court has not identified Rehbogen by name. His name was made public by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

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In Jerusalem, Angela Merkel emphasizes Germany’s obligation to fight anti-Semitism

German Chancellor Angela Merkel meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Oct. 3, 2018. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Oct. 3, 2018. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Oct. 3, 2018. (Kobi Gideon/GPO)

JERUSALEM (JTA) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel emphasized her country’s special obligation to combat anti-Semitism during a speech at the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem on Thursday, calling the Nazi genocide an “unprecedented” crime.

“Nearly 80 years ago, on the pogrom night of Nov. 9, the Jewish people in Germany faced unprecedented hate and violence,” she said in reference to the Kristallnacht pogrom. “But what followed were the unprecedented crimes of the Shoah and its break with civilization. From this comes the everlasting responsibility of Germany to remember this crime and to oppose anti-Semitism, xenophobia, hatred and violence.” [Read more…]

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Syrian man arrested in Berlin for alleged chemical weapons plot targeting Israel

(JTA) – A Syrian man who was recently arrested in Germany belonged to a cell plotting to use chemical weapons in attacks on Israeli targets, a German tabloid reported.

The 21-year-old terror suspect was arrested last Thursday by Germany’s SEK unit in a Berlin cafe according to the report Friday in Bild. He was wanted in connection with an April 14 assault in the German capital, police said at the time of his arrest. [Read more…]

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel to receive honorary doctorate from Haifa U

German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, June 12, 2017. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, June 12, 2017. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, June 12, 2017. (Sean Gallup/Getty Images)

(JTA) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel will receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Haifa.

The university said it was awarding the honorary degree in recognition of her leadership grounded in principles of equality, freedom and human rights; for serving as a model to women around the world; in appreciation of her warm friendship and robust ties between The Federal Republic of Germany and the State of Israel.” [Read more…]

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Former SS guard, 94, to go on trial over deaths of hundreds of prisoners at Stutthof camp

(JTA) – A former SS guard, now 94, will go on trial on charges of complicity in the mass murders of several hundred prisoners at the Stutthof Nazi concentration camp.

The regional court of Muenster in western Germany on Friday ordered the unnamed man to be tried before a juvenile court beginning on November 6. He was not yet 21 at the time of the murders. [Read more…]

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