Doubts cast on testimony of witness in trial of Nazi camp guard

The testimony of a key witness in the trial of a 93-year-old man accused of complicity in the Holocaust is to be re-examined after an expose in Germany’s Der Spiegel news magazine cast doubt on the reliability of his story.

Moshe Peter Loth, 76, testified on November 12 that he had been imprisoned in the Stutthof concentration camp as a baby with his Jewish mother.

He said he had been the victim of medical experiments and had also had to live as an outcast after the war. At the end of his testimony, he declared that he forgave the accused and embraced him, in tears.

According to research by Der Spiegel, however, there are no indications that Loth has Jewish heritage.

According to the magazine’s research, Loth’s mother spent four weeks as an “educational detainee” in Stutthof while she was pregnant, but he was not born in the camp and there was no evidence she was imprisoned again after his birth.

Judge Anne Meier-Goering said on Monday that the court would take another close look at Loth’s documents. Those involved in the trial will be given the documents provided by Loth’s lawyer for inspection and invited to comment on them, she said.

If the magazine report is true, Loth could lose his status as a joint plaintiff in the case.

The defendant is accused of accessory to murder in 5,230 cases during his stint as a concentration camp guard in Stutthof between August 9, 1944 and April 26, 1945. Prosecutors say he “supported the insidious and cruel killing of mainly Jewish prisoners.”

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