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Ex-Nazi Apologizes for Auschwitz Crimes in Front of Court

© Sputnik / Valeriy Melnikov / Go to the mediabank70th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation by Red Army
70th anniversary of Auschwitz liberation by Red Army - Sputnik International
A 94-year-old former Auschwitz guard Reinhold Hanning made apologies to victims of the Nazi regime after 12 days of trial in the German court, media reported.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The trial against Hanning is seen as part of a new surge of court cases against former officers at Nazi concentration camps. In 2011 a German court found John Demjanjuk guilty of complicity in murder of 28,060 Jewish people during his time as a guard at the Sobibor camp, even though no direct involvement in the killings was proven during the trial.

© AFP 2023 / Yad Vashem ArchivesAuschwitz Concentration Camp
Auschwitz Concentration Camp - Sputnik International
Auschwitz Concentration Camp

“I deeply regret having been part of a criminal organization responsible for the deaths of so many innocent people and destruction of countless families,” he said as quoted by The Guardian newspaper.

Hanning is reportedly charged for having played a role in the killing of some 170,000 people imprisoned at Auschwitz camp where he worked as a guard between January 1943 and June 1944. The defending lawyer read out loud his statement tracing back engagement in the SS since early years as a member of the Hitler Youth and admitting his awareness of what was going on around in the concentration camp.

“People were being shot, gassed and burned. I could see corpses being moving around and off the site, yes, one was aware of that. I noticed the smell of burning. I knew that corpses were being burned,” Hanning confessed.

Yet many survivors of Nazi atrocities were dissatisfied with his announcement.

“That is not enough for me … It may be the case that he is a different person now, but there is no apology for what happened then”, former Auschwitz prisoner Leon Schwarzbaum, 95, said.

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