A court in Germany has found a 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard guilty of participating in the murder of thousands during World War II, sentencing him to five years behind bars.

The centenarian, later identified by local media as Josef Schuetz, had continuously denied allegations that he worked as a Schutzstaffel (SS) Guard at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin.

The Sachsenhausen concentration camp was built in 1936 through forced labor by prisoners from other camps in the Emsland region in Germany. It housed over 200,000 internees during the Holocaust, specifically between 1936 and 1945. These included the political foes of the Nazi Party, homosexuals, Jews, and other minority groups deemed inferior by the regime.

Tens of thousands perished in Sachsenhausen due to disease, hunger, medical experiments, mistreatment, and genocidal acts by the German SS. In the autumn of 1941, camp guards facilitated the slaughter of some 13,000 prisoners composed of Soviet prisoners of war and Jews.

During the trials, which began last October, Schuetz claimed to have been a civilian, working as a farm laborer at Pasewalk in northeastern Germany during the period. However, this conflicted with historical documents that bore his name and birth information.

“I don’t know why I’m sitting here in the sin bin. I really had nothing to do with it,” Schuetz said in his closing statement the day before the verdict was announced.