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90-year-old man charged over Nazi massacre

Prosecutors say a 90-year-old man was involved in the deaths of dozens of jewish forced laborers.
Prosecutors say a 90-year-old man was involved in the deaths of dozens of jewish forced laborers.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Man from northern Germany charged with 58 counts of killing Jewish laborers
  • Killings took place just weeks from the end of World War II
  • Man is accused of being part of an SS group that carried out executions

Berlin, Germany (CNN) -- A 90-year-old man from northern Germany has been charged with 58 counts of murder for the killings of Jewish forced laborers in the final days of World War Two.

The man, who was not named, was a member of the feared SS serving in what is now Austria when he allegedly carried out the crimes, the state court in Duisburg, western Germany, said Tuesday.

A state office responsible for the prosecution of Nazi war crimes filed the charges.

On March 29, 1945, the man brought at least 57 Jewish forced laborers in several groups to a wooded area where they were forced to give up their valuables and kneel in a ditch, the court said.

"The accused and other SS members then shot the Jewish forced laborers cruelly from the back," the court said.

That day or the next, the court said, the man made other Jewish forced laborers who were "exhausted and no longer able to walk" to march near the town of Jabing, which was then in Germany and is now part of modern-day Austria.

He then "insidiously" shot them from the back, it added.

"The accusation is that the accused let himself be led by the National Socialist (Nazi) ideology, corresponding to an extremely hostile and inhumane attitude toward the victims, who he viewed as inferior," the court said.

The court said it must now decide whether to open proceedings against the man, who has two weeks in which to raise any objections.