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SS sergeant on trial over Auschwitz

By PA Reporter

A 94-year-old former SS sergeant alleged to have served at Auschwitz has gone on trial in Germany charged with 170,000 counts of accessory to murder.

Reinhold Hanning entered no plea to the court in Detmold, in the west of the country.

He showed no reaction as the first witness, Leon Schwarzbaum, a 94-year-old Auschwitz survivor, read moving evidence about his experiences at the camp.

Mr Schwarzbaum said: "Mr Hanning, we are about the same age and we will soon be before the highest court. Speak here about what you and your comrades did."

The trial is one of four expected this year against two other former SS men and one woman alleged to have served in Auschwitz.

Hanning admitted to investigators when first questioned that he had served in the Auschwitz I part of the camp in Nazi-occupied Poland, but denied serving at the Auschwitz II-Birkenau section, where most of the victims were killed by the Germans.

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