UK & World News
US Man, 89, Held On Nazi Death Camp Charges
A retired Philadelphia toolmaker has appeared in court accused of taking part in the killing of hundreds of thousands of Jewish men, women and children during his time as an Auschwitz death camp guard.
Johann 'Hans' Breyer was ordered to be held without bail as he appeared in a federal court on Wednesday, a day after he was arrested by US authorities.
In a case that has been building for years, authorities charged him with 158 counts of aiding and abetting the deaths of 216,000 Jews.
Breyer, who walked with a cane, reportedly waved to his wife, Shirley, during the hour-long hearing in Philadelphia. His two grandsons also attended.
The defendant, who faces possible extradition to Germany, has mild dementia and heart issues and has suffered strokes in the past, his lawyer said.
Breyer - who immigrated to the US in 1952 - appeared confused at times during Wednesday's court appearance, according to the New York Times.
But a law enforcement officer testified that the accused seemed fully cognisant when arrested on Tuesday outside his home in northeast Philadelphia.
Breyer acknowledged in 2012 that he was an SS guard at Auschwitz in occupied Poland during World War II.
But he said he was stationed outside the death camp part and had nothing to do with the slaughter.
His extradition hearing has been set for August 21.