Nazi concentration camp guard Josef Schutz has died at the age of 102

The oldest person convicted of crimes committed during the Holocaust has died at the age of 102.
Josef Schütz was convicted last June of aiding and abetting the killing of thousands of prisoners in Sachsenhausen near Berlin between 1942 and 1945. He was sentenced to five years, but remained a free man awaiting the outcome of an appeal to federal court. Schütz always denied being an SS guard in a Nazi concentration camp.

He was convicted of aiding and abetting the murder of 3,518 people. He was also involved in the execution of Soviet prisoners of war and the murder of others with Zyklon B gas. During World War II, tens of thousands of people died in Sachsenhausen from starvation, forced labor, medical experiments, and murder by the SS.

More than 200,000 people were imprisoned there, including political prisoners, Jews, Roma, and Sinti (Gypsies). During his trial in a German courtroom, Sheetz showed no signs of remorse, saying “I don’t know why I’m sitting here in a trash can. I really had nothing to do with it.”

Despite the discovery of his name and birth information in documents from SS guards, he insisted that he was not in the camp and instead worked as a farm laborer. “You voluntarily supported this genocide with your profession,” said the judge at the time.

Germany is working to bring former Nazi war criminals to justice following the landmark 2011 conviction of former SS guard John Demjanjuk. This verdict prompted a search for those still alive. Four years later, Oskar Gröning, the so-called “Accountant of Auschwitz,” was sentenced to four years in prison.

Like Schütz, he did not spend a single day in prison due to a series of appeals and died in 2018. And in December, 97-year-old Irmgard Furchner, a former concentration camp secretary, became the first woman in decades to be tried for a Nazi crime.

She was convicted as an accessory to the murder of over 10,500 people at the Stutthof concentration camp near Danzig (now Gdansk, Poland).

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