An unidentified 94-year-old Serbian man accused of being an SS prison guard at the Auschwitz concentration camp during World War II has reportedly been charged with being an accessory to murder in Germany. The accused has, however, been charged as a juvenile offender due to his being aged only 19 at the time that he allegedly took part in the atrocities.
Approximately 13,000 detainees at the camp are estimated to have been murdered in gas chambers while the accused was working there between late 1942 and early 1943.
The lawyer of the accused has reportedly argued that his client was unaware of what was being done at the camps and could not be held responsible.
In recent years many former prison guards at Nazi concentration camps have faced trial for aiding and abetting the crimes of the Holocaust. Many however, aged well into their 80s and 90s have died before being convicted or sentenced.
After the Second World War, the Nuremberg Trials at which senior Nazi war criminals were put on trial, determined that the excuse of "following orders" was not a valid legal defence even for low-level officials and bureaucrats who enabled the Nazi military and internment systems to function effectively.