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Ex-Auschwitz SS guard charged in Germany

Discussion in 'WWII Today' started by Otto, Apr 17, 2018.

  1. Otto

    Otto Gearing up. Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    via: BBC.com
    date: 16 Apr, 2018
    Ex-Auschwitz SS guard charged in Germany

    German prosecutors have charged a 94-year-old former SS guard with aiding and abetting mass murder at the Nazis' Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp.
    The case against the yet-to-be-named German man has gone to a court in Mannheim, western Germany.
    It is alleged that when he was 19 when, in December 1942-January 1943, he assisted in the murder of some 13,335 people.

    I'm not sure how I feel about these sorts of prosecution at this late stage. The prosecutors must know the defendant will likely pass prior to any verdict. I get the arguments that justice should never rest, but maybe this is a few decades too late to matter?
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
  2. green slime

    green slime Member

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    I concur with your sentiment.
     
  3. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I'm not sure I'd say too late to matter but something that definitely should have been resolved decades ago rather than now. Can't change the past though.
     
  4. Chewy_Barry

    Chewy_Barry Member

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    The deaths of 13,335 people is never too late to matter. Feeling sympathy for this sort of atrociousness is unjustified considering he had no sympathy for the people he killed.
     
  5. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    I am pretty sure that for other crimes that require prison time, they let pensioners that old off or under house arrest. I wonder if they would do the same here? If they find him guilty, it will just be written down and they wouldn't imprison him (or execute, as I am sure many were immediately after WW2).
     
  6. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Do we know he held no sympathy for them? He is accused of association (aiding and abetting) to the holocaust, not actually directly involved. There was a change in German law through a peculiar precedent, allowing the persecution of people in supporting roles (telephone operators, accountants, etc) to the camps.

    The German state had ample time to prosecute criminals earlier, while many were still alive, and living in Germany. Holding a 19 year-old responsible 75 years after the fact, when literally thousands of "outstanding" Germans that were complicit, where allowed to go on living their lives to completion smacks of a state trying to prove it did "something," well after the time to dosomething was appropriate. As it stands, it appears his crime was outliving nearly everyone else... How many of the medical doctors were ever tried for their part? The camps involved hundreds of doctors... How many of the judiciary that deliberately usurped the law and permitted these heinous crimes, were charged? How well did German society bury it's head in the sand in the 50s and 60s, only to leap up in indignation in the last two decades, when all but minor peons in their dotage live? All the influential people in German society that were responsible are dead. Coincidence?
     
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  7. Ken The Kanuck

    Ken The Kanuck Member

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    I doubt that he is expected to do any time, but his legacy will be better known and that is his punishment. Regarding GS's post "2 wrongs do not make a right".

    KTK
     
  8. green slime

    green slime Member

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    You're very right KTK. Sorry if it came across that way.
     
  9. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    He vas only following orders! Screw him. Prison time or not, let him live his last years in terror of dying in a cage. He made choices, he took actions, and those things have consequences even if they are seven decades after the fact.

    .
     
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  10. green slime

    green slime Member

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    What were his actions?
     
  11. chibobber

    chibobber Member

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    More his inactions.
     
  12. KJ Jr

    KJ Jr Well-Known Member

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    I agree. It all comes to down to the principle. Regardless of the passing in time, sooner or later, it will come out that you were complicit in these crimes. Whether you pulled the trigger or not, you were culpable in some way. Even if he sits on the couch for the rest of his days, the truth will be out and the public and God will be his judge.
     
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  13. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    He joined the SS.

    .
     
  14. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    In the latter years of the war some were drafted into the SS.
     
  15. Mussolini

    Mussolini Gaming Guru WW2|ORG Editor

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    If some one is at fault for inaction, then shouldn't most of the WW2 population of Germany be thrown in jail? All the neighboring townsfolk etc, all the people witness to the treatment of the Jews who did nothing....thats a pretty broad brush stroke.
     
  16. Chewy_Barry

    Chewy_Barry Member

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    I 100% absolutely agree, the SS committed such heinous that they should never be forgotten, not even 70 years later.
     
  17. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    Yes, but... He could have volunteered for a combat division. That in fact was how the camps kept many of the guards in their places, simply because the alternative was combat. He made a choice, choices have consequences.

    .
     
  18. green slime

    green slime Member

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    Are we sure that all were given the choice?
     
  19. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I was under the impression that they cycled through the combat divisions and the various other "functions". Not sure why I was under that impression though. Near the wars end though I would think anyone that volunteered for combat duty would be accepted. I haven't read how long he was a camp guard though. Apparently many couldn't take that for any length of time so if you find someone that was there for a while that's a bad sign.
     
  20. Ken The Kanuck

    Ken The Kanuck Member

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    I agree with you Mussolini.

    If inaction is a crime then we have a lot to answer for, the plight of the Jews could of been lessened if the Allies had allowed them to immigrate.

    KTK
     

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