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Florida man who hugged Nazi camp guard in court withdraws as plaintiff amid survivor controversy

(JTA) — A Florida man who has presented himself as a child Holocaust survivor has withdrawn as a plaintiff in a trial against a former Nazi concentration camp guard.

Moshe Peter Loth made headlines in November when he hugged defendant Bruno Dey during his trial in Hamburg, Germany.

Loth has told journalists over the years that his grandmother and mother were both imprisoned in the Stutthof camp where Dey worked, turned in by his own grandfather, whom he described as a Nazi. Loth also claimed to have received information from the Red Cross that he was born in the camp.

But information provided to the Jewish Telegraphic Agency by four major Holocaust archives showed that the woman Loth identified as his mother — Helene Anna Flood — was released from the camp one month after she was taken there and several months before Loth was born.

Loth wrote in a statement to the court dated Saturday that he would withdraw from the case, the German magazine Der Spiegel reported.

“Please accept my most sincere apologies for having caused any problems,” Loth wrote in the statement. The court, he wrote, “must work for justice.”

He also told Spiegel that he realizes he should have had his reconciliation with Dey “in private.”

Dey, 93, is charged as an accessory in the murders of 5,230 people at the Stutthof concentration camp near what is today Gdansk, Poland.