Former Nazi guard expected to break silence at German trial

By REUTERS
April 29, 2016 03:00

 
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A 94-year-old former Auschwitz guard on trial in Germany over accusations that he was an accessory to the murder of at least 170,000 people is on Friday expected to have a statement read out by his lawyers in court.

Holocaust survivors, who detailed their horrific experience at the trial which opened in February, have pleaded with Reinhold Hanning to break his silence.

Hanning showed no emotion on the second day of his trial on Feb. 12 as three survivors spoke of the smell of burnt bodies and piles of corpses at Nazi Germany's Auschwitz death camp.

He was heard only once in court in the western town of Detmold when asked how he was doing by Judge Anke Grudda.

"Fine," he replied.

Accused by the prosecutor's office in Dortmund as well as by 40 joint plaintiffs from Hungary, Israel, Canada, Britain, the United States and Germany, Hanning is said to have joined the SS forces voluntarily at the age of 18 in 1940.

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