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Ex-Nazi camp guard, 88, charged in youth court

Last Updated: Thursday, July 29, 2010 / 12:32 PM ET : CBC News

A former guard at the Belzec death camp who is accused of participating in the killings of more than 430,000 Jews during the Second World War has been charged in youth court.

Samuel Kunz, 88, was charged in German youth court, a state court in Bonn said, because he was 20 when he is alleged to have started working at the camp in occupied Poland in January 1942. German law says people between 18 and 21 can be tried as minors or adults.

A judge will have to decide which court Kunz will be tried in, court spokesman Matthias Nordmeyer said.

Kunz was indicted last week.

He is the third-most wanted Nazi on a list maintained by the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

The court documents released Thursday allege that Kunz was involved in all aspects of the camp, including getting prisoners from trains to gas chambers, and, ultimately, throwing their corpses into mass graves.

Kunz is also accused of "personal excesses" in the shooting deaths of 10 Jews.

"In July 1943, the defendant is accused of having shot two persons who had escaped from a train going to the death camp and had been captured by guards," the court statement said.

He is alleged to have killed eight other prisoners who had been wounded by other guards between May and June 1943.

"The defendant then took the weapon from the other guard to shoot the wounded victims to death," said the court statement.

Interest arose in Kunz from the case of John Demjanjuk, who is currently on trial in Munich for allegedly being a guard at the Sobibor camp in Poland.

Prosecutors said Kunz and Demjanjuk trained at the Trawniki SS camp.

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