On January 18, Germany authorities said that a 95-year-old former medic at the Auschwitz concentration camp, Hubert Zafke, will face trial on February 29 on at least 3,681 counts of accessory to murder.
Zafke was a medical orderly at Auschwitz from August 15, 1944 to September 14, 1944. During Zafke’s time as an orderly at Auschwitz, 14 trains carrying prisoners, including Anne Frank, arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau where many would later be killed in the gas chambers.
Prior to the proceedings, which are scheduled to begin on February 29, prosecutors said that Zafke was “aware of the purpose of the Birkenau camp as an extermination camp” in addition to its structure.
Given his awareness, the accused lent support to the organisation of the camp and was thereby both involved in and advanced the extermination,” said prosecutors in an earlier statement as they charged Zafke for complicity in the “cruel and insidious killings of at least 3,681” people.
The trial, which will take place in the northeastern town of Neubrandenburg, comes after an appeals court overturned an earlier ruling that Zafke was unfit to stand trial.
However, the court did acknowledge that Zafke had “cognitive impairments and low physical capacity” and ordered regular breaks during the hearings, in addition to medical care.
According to German media, Zafke was suffering from dementia.
Zafke had previously spent four years in a Polish prison for crimes he committed during a different period at Auschwitz during World War II.