A 92-year-old former SS private is set to go on trial on 5,230 counts of being an accessory to murder.
Bruno Dey is not accused of any specific killing, but is charged with helping the Nazi’s Stutthof concentration camp function and stopping prisoners escape.
Hamburg state court spokesman Kai Wantzen said the defendant knew people were being killed during his time at the camp from 1944 to 1945.
“Surveillance was necessary for the concentration camp to function, and the camp was made to kill people,” he said.
More than 60,000 people were murdered at the Nazi camp, which is now part of the Polish city Gdansk.
Dey was 17 and 18-years-old at the time and will be tried in juvenile court later this year.
The 92-year-old faces a possible six months to 10 years in prison if convicted, however there may be some concessions due to his advanced age.
German authorities have been pursuing cases against former camp guards in recent years, but have found prosecutions difficult due to the defendant’s ages.
Fellow Stutthof guard Johann Rehbogen went on trial in November, but proceedings collapsed when the 94-year-old was hospitalised with heart and kidney problems.
In Frankfurt a court refused to put a 97-year-old death camp guard on trial after ruling he was too ill.
Recent prosecutions have relied on a new legal reasoning, first used successfully in 2011, that being a camp guard is enough to be deemed an accessory to murder.