German court tosses case against ex-SS soldier in ’44 massacre


(JTA) — A German court dismissed a case against a Cologne man for his alleged involvement in the June 1944 massacre of hundreds of civilians in France.

On Tuesday, a Cologne state court tossed the case against the 89-year-old defendant, named only as Werner C., saying there was not enough evidence to connect him to the massacre, The Associated Press reported.

The prosecutor in the western German city of Dortmund charged Werner with gunning down 25 civilians in Oradour-sur-Glane along with other members of his SS tank infantry unit called Der Fuehrer. In all, 642 village residents were murdered. More than half were women and children locked into a church that was set ablaze.

The defendant reportedly also was charged as an accessory in the massacre by cordoning off and guarding the church or by bringing flammable material inside.

Werner has said he was in the village at the time but did not take part in the killings.

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