Accused Nazi war criminal ruled unfit for trial


(JTA) — An accused Nazi war criminal is unfit to stand trial, a German court ruled.

Hans Lipschis, 94, who allegedly was an SS guard at Auschwitz, suffers from dementia and will not understand what transpires at his trial, the court in Ellwangen in southwest Germany ruled on Friday, according to reports. The court has refused to open the trial.

“The chamber is of the opinion that the 94-year-old is incapable of standing trial,” the decision from the court said, Reuters reported. “It bases this judgment on its own personal impression and the opinion of a psychiatrist.”

Lipschis is living in a nursing home, The Associated Press reported. He has said he was a cook at Auschwitz; prosecutors believe he was a guard.

The Lithuania native, who reportedly moved to Chicago in 1956, was stripped of his American citizenship and deported in 1982 after U.S. immigration authorities determined that he had lied about his Nazi past in order to gain entry into the country.

His arrest in Germany last May followed the release of information to German courts on about 50 former Auschwitz guards.

Lipschis had been No. 4 on the Simon Wiesenthal Center list of most wanted Nazi criminals and was charged with being an accessory to 10,510 counts of murder.

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