The trial opened back in October 2019 and because of Dey's age, court sessions were limited to two, two-hour sessions per week, with additional precautions taken to keep the case going amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, per the Associated Press.
In a closing statement earlier this week, Dey apologized for his role in the Nazi's regime, sharing that it must never be repeated.
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"The witness testimony and the expert assessments made me realize the full scope of the horrors and suffering," he told the court, according to the Times. "Today I would like to apologize for those who went through the hell of this insanity. Something like this must never happen again."
More than 40 co-plaintiffs from around the globe testified against the former SS guard during the trial, according to CNN, who also cites that it is estimated around 65,000 people were murdered during the Holocaust in the Stutthof concentration camp.
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Holocaust survivors and those representing them criticized Dey's sentence, many of them calling it too lenient.
"It is unsatisfactory and much too late," said Christoph Heubner of the International Auschwitz Committee, who followed the trial, per the Times. "What is so upsetting for survivors is that this defendant failed to use the many postwar years of his life to reflect on what he saw and heard."
The publication added that Stefan Waterkamp, Dey's attorney, argued for his client to be acquitted, stating that he did not become a guard by choice and that trying to resist his appointed duties would have put him in danger.
"How could an 18-year-old step out of line in a situation like this?" Waterkamp said as part of his closing argument.
Judge Anne Meier-Goering, who presided over the case, said the lesson of the trial must be to "honor human dignity at all costs — even when the price is your own safety."
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