German prosecutors have charged an 88-year-old former member of Hitler's elite Waffen SS (storm troopers) with taking part in a World War II massacre of hundreds of French villagers -- nearly 70 years after one of the most infamous Nazi atrocities -- the VOA (Voice of America) News website reports today (January 9, 2014).
In the methodical June 1944 slaughter, SS soldiers took the small village of Oradour-sur-Glane in central France by surprise and killed nearly all its inhabitants within a few hours. They killed 642 men, women, and children.
The men were herded into barns and shot dead, while the women and children were burned alive in the village church.
"The prosecution charges an 88-year-old pensioner from Cologne with [joining in] the destruction of Oradour-sur-Glane in France," said Achim Hengstenberg, court spokesman in the western German city. The accused -- who has not been named -- denies the charges.