Hamburg (dpa) – Arriving at the Stutthof concentration camp in August 1944 was a “shocking experience,” a former Norwegian prisoner said in testimony read out on Friday as part of the trial in Germany of a 93-year-old former guard at the camp.
Johan Solberg, who is now 97 years old, said in his statement that he saw carts with bodies being pushed to a crematorium. A man yanked gold teeth out of the deceased’s mouths.
Solberg had to watch 11 executions in the Nazi camp near Gdansk in Poland, he said in the statement, which was written up by his son. A translated version was read out by the presiding judge in the Hamburg trial.
“The execution of two Russian boys on [December 28] left the biggest impression on me,” he said. The two adolescents were hanged next to a Christmas tree.
The accused, a German national who was 17 or 18 at the time, is charged with being an accessory to murder in 5,230 cases during his stint as a camp guard between August 1944 and April 1945.
Prosecutors say he “supported the insidious and cruel killing of mainly Jewish prisoners.”
Solberg, who is said to be the last Norwegian survivor from the Stutthof camp, was imprisoned in 1944 as a member of the Norwegian resistance movement. He was brought over the Baltic Sea to the concentration camp with around 50 other prisoners from Norway.
Jews were treated the worst in the camp, according to Solberg, who said he saw about 100 of them being brought to the gas chamber daily over several weeks.
“No one ever returned,” he said.
His son told the court that Solberg is ill, but completely coherent.