Wiesenthal Center Welcomes Opening of Trial of Sachsenhausen Guard Josef Schuetz in Brandenburg, Germany

October 7, 2021

Brandenburg-The Simon Wiesenthal Center welcomed the opening today in Brandenburg of the trial of Josef Schuetz, who served as a guard for more than three years at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin. The Center played an important role in assisting the prosecution by finding survivors of the camp as well as individuals who lost first-degree relatives in Sachsenhausen during the time that Schuetz served there. (Such individuals are able to join the prosecution as co-plaintiffs.) The Center's chief Nazi-hunter Holocaust historian Dr. Efraim Zuroff was responsible for this effort and he represented the Center at today's proceedings. 

In a statement issued today by the Center, Dr. Zuroff emphasized the importance of belated justice in Germany and especially of individuals serving in lesser-known concentration camps. 

According to Zuroff:

"The passage of time in no way diminishes the guilt of the killers, nor should old age afford protection for those who committed such heinous crimes. The defendant in this case volunteered for SS service and travelled from his birthplace in Lithuania to join the SS, and persisted in these efforts after their initial refusal to accept him. His refusal to speak to the court about his experiences in the camp is further proof of his lack of remorse."

Dr. Zuroff will be accompanying two witnesses from Israel to testify in the trial early next month. 

For additional information please contact the Israel Office of the Wiesenthal Center: Tel: 972-2-563-1274 or Tel: 972-50-721-4156, follow the Center on Facebook, or @simonwiesenthal and @EZuroff for news updates sent directly to your Twitter feed.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center is one of the largest international Jewish human rights organizations with over 400,000 member families in the United States. It is an NGO at international agencies including the United Nations, UNESCO, the OSCE, the OAS, the Council of Europe and the Latin American Parliament (Parlatino).

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