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Auschwitz Guard Arrested

Discussion in 'Concentration, Death Camps and Crimes Against Huma' started by GRW, May 6, 2013.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    "German authorities have today arrested a 93-year-old alleged former Auschwitz guard on suspicion of accessory to murder.
    Hans Lipschis, who once lived in the United States, was taken into custody today after prosecutors concluded there was 'compelling evidence' he was involved in crimes at Auschwitz while there from 1941 to 1945.
    Lipschis admits he served with the Nazi SS in the notorious death camp but claims he was only a cook. About 1.5 million people, primarily Jews, were killed at the camp.

    [SIZE=1.2em]Lipschis was deported from the U.S. in 1983 for lying about his Nazi past when he immigrated to Chicago in the 1950s after the war. [/SIZE]
    Stuttgart prosecutors say a doctor confirmed his health remains good enough for him to be kept in detention.
    He is expected to be the first person brought to court after investigations were launched by German officials several weeks ago into the Auschwitz guards who escaped scot free after WW2.
    [SIZE=1.2em]Lipschis, who was born in Lithuania in 1919 and was granted 'ethnic German' status in 1943, is accused of working at Auschwitz-Birkenau as a member of the S.S. from 1941 to 1945. [/SIZE]
    He is suspected of participating in murder and genocide.
    Lipschis’ name was added a few weeks ago to a list of wanted Nazi criminals published by Dr Efraim Zuroff, director of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre's office in Israel. "

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2320319/German-police-arrest-Auschwitz-guard-93-accessory-murder.html#ixzz2SYyU3Ijm
     
  2. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Odd how all these people were in non-important positions. Where were all the guards? Arrest them all.
     
  3. O.M.A.

    O.M.A. Active Member

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    Jeez, working 4 whole years in any capacity at Auschwitz means he must have been involved in some way.
     
  4. Clementine

    Clementine Member

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    I made the mistake of reading some of the comments.

    Forgive and forget? Why is that those who suffer are always asked to forgive and forget? What's wrong with the guilty paying for their actions? Why should the victims be the only ones who pay?

    If all this man has left is six months, then let him pay it, if he is guilty. He's lived in freedom and relative happiness for 93 years. Six months in prison, where he will probably be treated much more humanely than any of the "prisoners" were treated at Auschwitz, is a very small price to pay but let him pay it. There should be no statute of limitations or leniency for evil.
     
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  5. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    Yep, we have no right to talk for the ones affected...when they have passed and only then can we left behind look at forgive and forget...its not up to us to forgive..and certainly not acceptable for anyone to forget...

    I had and have a particular problem with a crop of politico's that came out with that sort of thing for Japanese Emperors visit to uk over the years..Telling the vets to forgive and forget from a prime ministeral chair is not acceptable. Nor on comments sections of forums etc if you or your were not affected...Its up to them not me.
     
  6. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    Mixed feelings about this, after all these years, we are basically punishing a very different person from the one that committed the crime. And for the small fry the "obeying orders" argument is a very grey area from a moral standpoint, IMO just moral cowardice is not a punishable crime when the consequences to you or your family can be pretty heavy as was under the Nazis.
    Another thing that sounds wrong is that what we have here is a well funded and fanatical group going after the small fry for crimes commited 50 years ago, if we extend that elsewhere the consequences for society are really bad, most political groups and individuals have some skeletons in the cupboard and society should generally look forward not backwards. If we apply that standard to "ethnic cleansing" and what happened in 1945 or to the Armenians , Kurds, Tutsi, etc. we have created the ground for WW3.
    But then genocyde as an industrial project is something we never want to see again so it may make sense to do it .... as I said very mixed feelings.
     
  7. urqh

    urqh Tea drinking surrender monkey

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    My view, is anyone...involved in genocide at any time in history...has questions to answer. No one is lynching them. They will get a trial.
     
  8. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    I'm not quite sure who you are referring to there, since it was the German government and a German newspaper that found and arrested him. From the article:

    "German authorities have today arrested a 93-year-old alleged former Auschwitz guard on suspicion of accessory to murder."

    "He is expected to be the first person brought to court after investigations were launched by German officials several weeks ago into the Auschwitz guards who escaped scot free after WW2."

    "A German newspaper tracked Lipschis down to a retirement home near Stuttgart where he denied the charges."


    While the German government may be considered "fanatical" by some, I don't believe they qualify as "well funded" given the current economic situation. ;)
     
  9. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    My refererence was to the Simon Wiesenthal Center, "fanatical" is not inended as derogatory but there is little doubt that organisation has a much higher commitment than the average prosecutor. A "normal" justice system would have "let sleeping dogs lie" long ago, as not worth the effort. If you move that kind of dedication to a context different from the holocaust the results are scary, there are thousands of war crimes, a number of "non industrial" genocides, and dozens of "ethnic cleansing" in XX century history. I'm also suspicious when there is so much attention to minor events long past gone, it's often to distract public opinion about current issues where we actually can prevent suffering, not just enact revenge/justice.
     
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  10. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Of course, I was being a bit coy in saying I didn't know to whom you were referring. The article barely mentions the SWC and clearly indicates, that they didn't even add Lipschis to their list until after the German officials launched their investigation.

    In the USA, there is one crime for which there is no time limitation on the authorities from filing charges: Murder. That is because human life is considered to be sacred, or if you prefer, of greatest value. Property can be replaced, but human beings cannot. I don't see why genocide should be treated any differently. What is scary and abnormal to me is a world and a justice system in which human life is not valued. Unrepentant and unpunished murderers are not "sleeping dogs". They are criminals who should be brought to justice.

    I take strong exception to the suggestion that Auschwitz and the Holocaust are as "minor events long past gone". Beyond that, I will refrain from further comment lest this thread end up in the Stump or worse.

    We will just have to agree that we do not see eye to eye on this, TOS.
     
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  11. Clementine

    Clementine Member

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    I would concur that the Simon Wiesenthal Center has a higher level of committment than the average prosecutor. The average prosecutor is bogged down by many cases of varying levels of crime. I am not a prosecutor, but would assume that they must do what they can with the case at hand and then move on and put most of them behind them.

    I do hear what you are saying, TiredOldSolder, and understand the concern. But there are some acts that are so heinous, so intentional, so horrific, that they go beyond forgiveness, in my opinion anyway. And it's necessary to show that collectively we cannot accept such actions, ever.

    Public attention is short, and I am sure the SWC feels the need to be vigilant and dedicated, because otherwise what happened to the Jews and the millions of other people in the concentration camps would be pushed by the wayside, the story would be distorted, and it would be forgotten. I think we would feel the same if "our" people, our meaning whatever category we would choose to define ourselves, by our gender, nationality, religion, family, etc., were subject to an attempt to erraticate us.

    And, to add to what TD said about human life, we can get over the loss of property, maybe not easily, but we can get more "stuff." You never move on from a loss of life, you might move forward because you have no choice, but there is always that gaping hole, you can't replace that person, and the people who love that person have to live with that for the rest of their lives, they continue being punished for the actions of another for the rest of their lives, and the victim is cheated out of their life. So I think it is only fair the person who cheated them, if it was done intentionally and not in self-defense, should be accountable for the rest of theirs.

    Obviously there are strong opinions on this subject, and like TD, I'll just have to agree to disagree.
     
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  12. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I agree with both Tommy and Clementine. These people are criminals who sought to cloak their deeds in "normalcy". They justified their activities with all manner of devices. The lives of nearly 13 million were lost, not because of any natural phenomenon, but as a matter of state policy. Most people turned a blind eye to what was going on around them, but anyone involved in the camps knew for certain what was happening. They were part and parcel involved in those deaths. For that, they need to be sought out and tried, so that humanity knows there is justice in the world and you can't hide from it. TOS, we'll disagree on this, so we should let it go. Sorry you don't agree, but that's how it goes.
     
  13. TiredOldSoldier

    TiredOldSoldier Ace

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    I did say I had mixed feelings on this, I have little doubt he knew what was happening, or that he is guily of at least moral cowardice. Clementine has a big point when she says "some acts that are so heinous, so intentional, so horrific, that they go beyond forgiveness", keeping the dossier open after 68 years is the right thing to do in absolute terms.

    But I bevlieve we, as humans, are only really capable of working in relative terms, "justice" to me means "treating similar things the same way and different thing differently" as that is the best we can do within the framework of human fallibility.

    In "relative terms" , while I leave it to the judges to look through the evidence the fact his name never came up before make me think he was small fry, and small fry under the nazis had to "obey or else ...", on the other hand other individuals directly responsible of dozens or hundreds of "non holcaust" illegal killings during WW2, or in more recent events, and who IMO have a much greater personal responsability as they either ordered the killings or could have affected events at no risk to themselves, will never go on trial or benefitted from post war blanket pardons.


    I was tempted to let this go, but I hope the above explains how I come to my position, for the rest I agree to disagree, this is definetly one subject where I have no claim to "owning the truth".

    @TD-Tommy I made a big mistake, by "minor event" I really meant "minor participants", but I won't correct it as it would make the whole subsequent posts incomprehensible .
     
  14. TD-Tommy776

    TD-Tommy776 Man of Constant Sorrow

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    Thanks for clarifying that, TOS. That does put your response in a different light. However, there are points on which we will still disagree, and that's okay. It's more important that we have a clear understanding of our respective points of view than it is for one to convince the other that they are wrong.

    I do sympathize with your concern that there are more recent crimes that have not been pursued. However, the greater problem is not the SWC, but rather public indifference. If you ask the average person on the street the more recent genocidal-like crimes in Rawanda or Sudan, they will likely say they are very concerned, then go home and watch American Idol or update their status on Facebook.
     
  15. tslothrop

    tslothrop New Member

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    Minutes ago I posted the following comment in a different, much older forum, on the postwar treatment of German POWs held by the Soviets. The thread on this forum, however, is not only newer, but perhaps also partially relevant. On the other hand, in this context it's important for me to reiterate what I stated below: that no moral equivalence to Nazi death camps is in any way implied.
    _________________________________

    Painful as it is, a reasonable extension of this topic might be a discussion of the mass deaths alleged to have occurred in US and French (especially US) detention camps in occupied Germany at the end of the war. According to two troubling books by Canadian writer James Bacque ("Other Losses" and "Crimes and Mercies") upwards of 1 million disarmed Wehrmacht soldiers died of starvation, sickness and exposure to the elements prior to repatriation of the survivors back into the general German population.

    In citing Braque's work, I don't mean to imply that, even if it's true as described, the history he uncovered is comparable to the scale and programmatic evil of Dachau, Belsen, et al. (FWIW, I don't sense that Bacque sees any such equivalence, either.) If anything, a closer comparison would be to Andersonville in the US Civil War. Still, Bacque's first book (according to him) so disturbed an at-first skeptical Stephen Ambrose that, when the latter finally came around to crediting Bacque's evidence, he found it devastating.
     
  16. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Not really.

    "In short, Mr. Bacque is wrong on every major charge and nearly all his minor ones. Eisenhower was not a Hitler, he did not run death camps, German prisoners did not die by the hundreds of thousands, there was a severe food shortage in 1945, there was nothing sinister or secret about the "disarmed enemy forces" designation or about the column "other losses." Mr. Bacque's "missing million" were old men and young boys in the militia."
    http://www.nizkor.org/hweb/people/b/bacque-james/ambrose-001.html
     
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  17. tslothrop

    tslothrop New Member

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    The_Historian:
    I'm certainly not arguing Bacque's case, but for anyone interested in the pursuit curve, he did respond, in a limited way, to that 1991 Ambrose article in the NY Times in his preface to the 2007 revised edition of "Crimes and Mercies". However, it was striking how much detail Ambrose had offered in the Times review (which was essentially a recantation of what he'd previously said in a 1988 letter to Bacque, wherein he'd called "Other Losses" "an appalling story that can no longer be suppressed") compared to the way Bacque's preface ignored all but one of Ambrose's specific points of rebuttal.

    If there's a bottom line here, it may be that with Ambrose no longer alive to represent himself, the decent thing is to let the matter drop, at least insofar as the Bacque-Ambrose dispute goes. And the same should perhaps be said even re the larger question: I have a thoughtful, highly educated German friend who, when Bacque's books were brought to his attention, chose not to spend time pondering the veracity (or lack thereof) of their contents. None of it would have happened if it hadn't been for Hitler, was his view. So whatever did or didn't happen, the Germans brought it on themselves, so why don't we all move on? Maybe he's right.
     
  18. Tristan Scott

    Tristan Scott Member

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    Sure, we have and will continue to move on, but that doesn't mean that when someone is charged as an accessory to the murder of 9,500 people, that we should not apprehend that person an prosecute him.
     
  19. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    I agree Tristan. I don't care what Braque or Ambrose had to say. Yes, we should move on, but the guilty need to be punished. That is especially true when talking about Nazi death camps. I still get chills when I read of the casualness with which these merchants of death carried out their trade.So many of them dissociated themselves from what they did from what they were. For a deeper consideration of this, read Gitta Sereny's Into That Darkness.
     
  20. tslothrop

    tslothrop New Member

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    Lou (and perhaps Tristan, too?):
    With due respect, perhaps I failed to make it clear that the Baque-Ambrose dispute didn't concern the culpability of the Nazis; nor has anyone i know (including the German citizen I mentioned) believe we should "move on" in any way that advocates forsaking the continued pursuit of whatever justice may still be obtainable (in the temporal world) at this distance in time from the Holocaust.

    What makes Baque's assertions so disturbing and controversial is that they deal with what he alleges amounted to "death camps" operated by the US and France at the close of WWII, in which over a million disarmed Wehrmacht soldiers perished from what (according to Baque's data) could most accurately be described as "malign neglect."
     

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