93-year-old ex-concentration camp guard convicted of being accessory to murder of 5,232 at Stutthof

Mr Dey's trial is likely to be one of the last criminal cases concerning involvement in the Holocaust


A German court has convicted Bruno Dey, a 93-year-old former SS guard, of being an accessory to murder of at least 5,232 people at Stutthof concentration camp.

Bruno Dey, who served as a guard between August 1944 and April 1945, was tried at a juvenile court in Hamburg as he had was seventeen when he was sent to Stutthof.

Handing down a two-year suspended sentence, in what is likely to be one of the last criminal cases involving the Holocaust, Presiding Judge Anne Meier-Göring stated that: “it was wrong what you did, it was a terrible injustice, and it was deserving of punishment. You should not have taken part in Stutthof.”

Mr Dey’s work at Stutthof, a short distance east of today’s Gdańsk, included manning the watchtowers surrounding the camp. He arrived at Stutthof as a Wehrmacht regular and joined the SS only in September 1944.

Stutthof, where guards began using gas in June 1944, was liberated by the Soviets in May 1945. It is thought that more than 65,000 died there, from gas, execution and malnutrition.

The court accepted the prosecutor representing Stutthof victims Lars Mahnke’s argument that that Mr Dey should have “climbed down from his watchtower, handed over his rifle and said: I cannot do this anymore.”

In his statements to the court, Mr Dey said that he had been “shaken” by the witness’ accounts and apologised to those that had suffered.

He denied knowledge of the “extent of the atrocities” and the specific methods used to murder at Stutthof.

The Holocaust Educational Trust welcomed the court’s sentence. Chief Executive Karen Pollock said: “The passage of time is no barrier to justice when it comes to the heinous crimes of the Holocaust.

"The Holocaust was a unique episode in our history where six million men, women and children were systematically murdered simply because they were Jewish. Many who survived were the only survivors of their families, towns and communities. Stutthof was infamous for its cruelty and suffering, with survivors calling it “hell on earth”.

"Tragically, the victims of the Holocaust did not have the luxury of growing old or having families, as this perpetrator did." 

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