Former Auschwitz guard dies days before opening of trial

A 93-year-old German who worked as a guard at the Auschwitz death camp has died days before his trial was due to open.

Ernst T., whose full name wasn't given in keeping with German privacy rules, allegedly played a part in the deportation of prisoners from Nazi transit camps in Berlin, Drancy in occupied France, and Westerbork in the occupied Netherlands.

Prosecutors say at least 1,075 prisoners were gassed to death shortly after arriving at Auschwitz. The suspect allegedly was a member of the SS-Totenkopfsturmbann group and served as a guard in Auschwitz from Nov 1, 1942 to June 25, 1943.

The man was to go on trial next Wednesday at a court in Hanau, near Frankfurt, on charges of accessory to murder. The court confirmed his death Thursday.