A German court in Hamburg on Thursday July 23, 2020 convicted Bruno Dey, a German national for his involvement in one of the Nai-era crimes during World War II at a Nazi concentration camp in which 5,232 prisoners many of whom were Jews were murdered.
Dey, 93, was involved in the August 1944 and April 1945 killings in today’s Poland formerly called Gdansk near the location of the Stutthof concentration camp.
It was reported that about 65,000 people, including many Jews were murdered at the camp. Many were shot in the back of the head and many with the lethal Zyklon B gas, according to the persecutors.
Dey, who was an SS guard and just 17 or 18 years old at the time admitted to his presence at the camp but not to being guilty of the crime.
“I don’t bear any guilt for what happened back then.
I didn’t contribute anything to it, other than standing guard. But I was forced to do it, it was an order,” he said.
His defense argued that Dey was assigned to the camp against his wish as he could not join the frontline service due to his heart condition then.
Contrary to the defense claim, the prosecutors insisted that his involvement played a crucial role in carrying out operation “Final Solution” order that primarily used gassing, starvation or denial of medical care to exterminate Jews.
Due to his age as at the time of committing the crime, his sentence has largely being according to youth sentencing guidelines and prosecutors had demanded he be served three years in prison.
While giving his final testimony to the court this week, Dey apologized for his action and the pain it had caused the victims, according to a German media report.
“I would like to apologize to all the people who have gone through this hell of insanity and to their relatives and survivors,” he said.
In his testimony before the court in May, Dey said he didn’t want to remember his days at the camp that he had always wanted to put the past behind him.
“I don’t want to keep going over the past.”