A 95-year-old former paramedic who served at the Nazi concentration camp Auschwitz was charged in a German court on Monday with being an accessory to the murder of at least 3,681 people in a trial that is likely to be one of Germany's last linked to the Holocaust.
Hubert Zafke worked as a paramedic in Auschwitz from August 15 to September 14 in 1944.
Although the former paramedic is not accused of having been directly involved in any killings, the prosecution's office says he was aware of the camp's function as a facility for mass murder.
By joining its organisational structure, he consciously participated and even accelerated the deaths of thousands of people, the prosecutors say.
The trial, at a regional court in the north-eastern town of Neubrandenburg, was adjourned until next Monday after the state prosecutor and joint plaintiffs, including Auschwitz survivors, challenged the impartiality of the presiding judge.
Germany has been holding trials of suspects of Nazi crimes, using accessory to murder charges to convict Sobibor death camp guard John Demjanjuk in 2011 and 94-year-old former Auschwitz guard Reinhold Hanning earlier this year.
A German court in June branded Hanning a "willing and efficient henchman" in the Holocaust, convicting him of being an accessory to the murder of at least 170,000 people and sentencing him to five years in prison.
Last year, 94-year-old Oskar Groening, known as the 'bookkeeper of Auschwitz', was sentenced to four years in prison after he was convicted of being an accessory to the murder of 300,000 people in Auschwitz.