Former SS officer Julies Viel, 83, was sentenced to 12 years in jail by a court
in Ravensburg, Germany this
Tuesday for the murder of seven Jewish prisoners during World War II.
The prisoners were shot as they dug trenches in 1945 near Theresienstadt concentration camp.
The prosecution initially wanted life sentence
for Viel. According to the defense, Viel was
stationed in Vienna at the time.
Viel became a prominent journalist and was
awarded a government order of merit in 1983.
He currently suffers from cancer and believes
that he will die in jail.
Viel was arrested after a Canadian professor
Adalbert Lallier confessed that he had witnessed
the killings as an SS recruit officer. The prosecution denied this,
claiming that Lallier was lying in order to
hide his own Nazi past. Lallier may face the
withdrawal of his Canadian citizenship because
of his involvement in the Nazi Party.
This trial will probably be Germany's last major Nazi war crimes trial. Remaining
former Nazis are either dead or too ill to face prosecution.