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German court to try former Auschwitz medic

A 95-year-old former medic at the Auschwitz death camp will go on trial in Germany next month. The defendant will be facing at least 3,681 counts of being an accessory to murder.

Prosecutors say the man - identified only as Hubert Z. under German privacy laws - was a medical orderly at the camp from August 15, 1944 to September 14, 1944.

During this time, 14 trains carrying prisoners arrived at Auschwitz-Birkenau, where many would eventually be murdered in the gas chambers.

"Given his awareness, the accused lent support to the organization of the camp and was thereby both involved in and advanced the extermination," said prosecutors in an earlier statement.

The trial in the northeastern German town of Neubrandenburg comes after an appeals court overturned an earlier ruling that the elderly man - who reportedly suffers from dementia - was unfit to stand trial.

The trial is due to begin on February 29 and to run through March, although the sessions would be determined by Z.'s health condition.

Trials accelerated in war generation's final days

Deutschland Prozess Oskar Gröning in Lüneburg Urteil

Oskar Gröning, 94, was also at the Auschwitz death camp

In July the so-called bookkeeper of Auschwitz, Oskar Gröning, was sentenced to four years in prison for being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 people.

German prosecutors have been under pressure to bring the last surviving Third Reich war criminals to justice.

The new head of the Central Office for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes, Jens Rommel, said earlier this month that German authorities would continue looking for Nazi war criminals for the foreseeable future, despite the 70 years that have elapsed since the end of World War II.

jar/tj (AFP, dpa)

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