Germany charges former Nazi guard in death camp murders

GERMAN prosecutors have charged a 90-year-old former Nazi death camp guard with helping to murder 430,000 Jews in World War II.

Samuel Kunz, who confessed to working at the Belzec extermination camp in German-occupied Poland from 1942 to 1943, was informed of the charges last week, a spokesman for prosecutors in the western city of Dortmund said.

Kunz was also charged with the deaths of another 10 Jews in two separate incidents also at Belzec, spokesman Christoph Goeke said.

Kunz, whose apartment was raided by police in January, denied being personally involved in killing people, prosecutors said at the time of the raid.

He has been called as a witness in another Nazi war crimes trial of alleged death camp guard John Demjanjuk, also 90.

The Ukrainian-born former US auto worker was deported to Munich from the United States last May.

Since the Nuremberg trials after the war, where several top Nazi henchmen were sentenced to death, German authorities have examined more than 25,000 cases but the vast majority never came to court.

But now, with many of the suspected war criminals in their nineties, there has been a flurry of arrests and court cases dealing with war-time atrocities, in what Nazi-hunters say is a welcome change of policy in Berlin.

The most high-profile case is that of Demjanjuk, whose trial began last November on charges of assisting in the murder of 27,900 people while allegedly a guard at the Sobibor death camp. He denies the charges.

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