96-year-old accused of being Nazi camp guard is deemed 'unfit' for trial

The court allege there is "strong evidence" that Harry S. guarded the transportation of hundreds of prisoners who were murdered in gas chambers.

Berlin (CNN)A 96-year-old man accused of being an SS guard at the Stutthof camp in Nazi-occupied Poland has been deemed "unfit to stand trial."

The man, named only as "Harry S.," is alleged to have been stationed at the concentration camp -- where it is estimated 65,000 people were murdered during the Holocaust.
The court in Wuppertal, Germany, had been due to try him of having "aided and abetted [the] murder [of] several hundred [people]," court judge and spokesman Christian Lange told CNN.
    But owing to his inability to "conduct the defense in an understandable and comprehensible manner" the trial will no longer take place, Lange said. The court has decided, however, that he must "bear the expenses incurred by him in the proceedings himself."
      Harry S. is accused of having served as a guard at the Nazi concentration camp, near the Polish city now called Gdansk, between June 1944 and May 1945.
        While there the court allege there is "strong evidence" that he guarded the transportation of 598 prisoners to Auschwitz-Birkenau, where 596 were murdered in gas chambers.
        The identity of the victims was not disclosed but historically prisoners of the camp included many Jews as well as non-Jewish Poles.
          Lange told CNN that Harry S. is alleged to have been part of a group of 11 men who guarded transport of prisoners to Auschwitz.
          He was thought to either be stationed inside the Stutthof camp or inside the camp's watch towers, where his duty was also to guard security, Lange added.
          In February, a former secretary from the Stutthof camp was charged with complicity in the murders of 10,000 people, in what was a rare case involving an alleged female concentration camp staff member.
          Prosecutors did not name the woman but said she was is accused of "having assisted those responsible at the camp in the systematic killing of Jewish prisoners, Polish partisans and Soviet Russian prisoners of war in her function as a stenographer and secretary to the camp commander."
          In 2018, then 94-year-old Johann Rehbogen was charged with having been an SS guard at the Stutthof concentration camp as a teenager in 1942.
          The court accused him of aiding and abetting in the murder of hundreds of prisoners, including with the use of poison gas.
            Rehbogen, who appeared in court in a wheelchair, denied knowing the extent of the atrocities committed there in a statement read at court by his attorney. The trial was suspended after Rehbogen was hospitalized with health problems, reported AFP.
            The alleged victims included at least 100 Polish prisoners killed with the use of poison gas Zyklon B, 77 Soviet war prisoners killed in the summer of 1944, more than 140 mainly Jewish women and children killed by "an injection of petrol and phenol into their hearts," and several hundred Jewish prisoners executed because they were deemed "unfit for work."