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(The New York Times)   50 former Nazi prison guards may be tried for war crimes. This is not a repeat of 1946   (nytimes.com) divider line 151
    More: Interesting, Auschwitz, Nazis, loves, Simon Wiesenthal Center, occupied Poland, death camps, John Demjanjuk, Holocaust  
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5573 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Apr 2013 at 7:45 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-04-11 08:30:40 AM
Aside from the fact that t is pretty near impossible for anyone to get a fair trial this long after the crime; what we have here are a bunch of government employees that are at risk of losing their jobs when they run out of people to prosecute..
 
2013-04-11 08:31:31 AM
This kind of Justice is about more than the arrests and convictions themselves, it is about the principle that when you participate in something that terrible, you cannot escape the consequences of your actions. The holocaust is something that has left a scar on German society that is going to take A LONG TIME to heal. People have only started to really talk about what happened during this time relatively recently. These prosecutions stem from the guilt felt here, and the understanding that nothing that we do here will every completely erase what was done beyond pursuing these people until they are dead.
 
lmb
2013-04-11 08:31:48 AM

ReapTheChaos: It's been 70 damn years, some people need to learn how to let shiat go.


Why? Because they're old now? Eff them! Just because these men are old and frail doesn't mean they shouldn't stand trial for being accomplices to some of the worst crimes in human history.
 
2013-04-11 08:32:02 AM

Enemabag Jones: pag1107
What part of "Never Again" are folks not understanding? I don't care if you were the latrine orderly, you were there and you are forever tainted.

Then isn't any German that didn't take up arms in against the brownshirts and hitler's party responsible for everyone of those deaths?

/That is the logic.


Yes, yes they are - but what are we going to do to them is the question. I am pretty sure any of them with a consciousness have beaten themselves (internally) to crap over the 70+ years. Get over it (not directed at you Enem.)

They will be dead soon and facing whatever there is to face for the actions or inactions soon enough .. I am pretty sure there are more present and current dangers we should be dealing with ... looking at you you rapist murdering arseholes,
 
2013-04-11 08:34:59 AM

Public Savant: Bungles: TV's Vinnie: What'll Israel do when it needs another PR boost and all the Nazis are dead by then?

Sins of the Father.

Try their children.

+1

/Made me chuckle


Yeah that was worth a giggle.
 
2013-04-11 08:35:54 AM

jbtilley: right down to the guy who cuts hair at Fort Blanda.


Don't even get me started on that butcher.
 
2013-04-11 08:37:01 AM
Even on Fark I honestly never thought I'd see the day where the majority would become apologists for those who willingly went along with the torture and murder of millions of people.
 
2013-04-11 08:37:15 AM
How about Russia persecutes the people who ran concentration camps for German civilians after WWII.  It's estimated over 300,000 German civilians died in concentration camps after the war, and there are no monuments to those people.  It's like they don't count.
To say nothing of all of the murders and rapes Soviet troops committed after WWII.  I'd like to see some justice done for those victims.
I know it will never happen, because these people aren't the designated victims.
 
2013-04-11 08:38:41 AM

n0nthing: Even on Fark I honestly never thought I'd see the day where the majority would become apologists for those who willingly went along with the torture and murder of millions of people.


"Willingly"
 
2013-04-11 08:39:21 AM
Let's ask some Holocaust survivors if they should just let bygones be bygones.
 
2013-04-11 08:41:40 AM

n0nthing: Even on Fark I honestly never thought I'd see the day where the majority would become apologists for those who willingly went along with the torture and murder of millions of people.


As a general rule I tend to give a bit of understanding to 16 year olds.

That said they shouldn't get away unscathed!

I suspect none of the surviving wankers or wimps have spent the last 70 years unscathed. We are talking of peeps who were there, not necessarily sadistic bastards you murdered people and if they really did, then wait a decade or two and let divine justice deal with them (you do believe in G*d right?)
 
2013-04-11 08:41:41 AM

n0nthing: Even on Fark I honestly never thought I'd see the day where the majority would become apologists for those who willingly went along with the torture and murder of millions of people.


Yea I never thought I'd see it too, but here we are
 
lmb
2013-04-11 08:42:00 AM
Going after these guys isn't enough. I wish they'd go after the Vatican for their part in helping top Nazi officers obtain false identifications and giving them an escape route to South America.
 
2013-04-11 08:43:31 AM
Hey. The Germans are just taking orders. From the Wiesental institute.
 
2013-04-11 08:44:46 AM

lmb: Going after these guys isn't enough. I wish they'd go after the Vatican for their part in helping top Nazi officers obtain false identifications and giving them an escape route to South America.


See that is exactly where I have a problem - most of the peeps they want to go after where nothings in the big picture ... and yet the Vatican still gets a vote on the UN.

The sooner that pretend country is absorbed into Italy the better (for the ill informed look up the specific details of when that place became a state and who implemented it ... also is there still a 1% opt out tax in Germany that goes towards it?)
 
2013-04-11 08:45:09 AM

doglover: HotWingConspiracy: Mr. Demjanjuk was found guilty even though he was not directly linked to any specific crime. Instead the court, in Munich, ruled that his work as a guard at the camp automatically made him an accessory to any murders carried out there. It convicted him of being an accessory to the murder of all 28,060 people who died at the camp during his tenure as a guard there.

Riiiiight. Really scraping the bottom of the barrel here.

I feel like a ghoul for asking but what was his defense layer's name?


He also sttod trial in Israel (they accused him of being a spscific and particularly brutal guard) and was aquitted.
 
2013-04-11 08:45:39 AM
HotWingConspiracy:
"Willingly"

Granted the options may not have been very pretty, but they all had a choice.
 
2013-04-11 08:46:00 AM
One of the most amazing things when I spoke with a neighbor who was a survivor of one of the polish camps, she was sweet nice and kind but when that guy from ohio was suspected of being a criminal she was on the guilty till proven innocent side of things, and said even if he was just a guard or a janitor he did not do enough to stop and left, even if we was from another country conscripted into service.  It was a type of pain/hate that I hope I never have to understand

I hate the idea that a guard if not otherwise specified can be charged with war crimes, like pawns on a chess board, what other options did they generally have then go where assigned and do their job, unless they went above and beyond the call of duty to kill torture and their is proof
 
2013-04-11 08:46:17 AM
Didn't we have a recently stepped down Pope who was a Nazi?
 
2013-04-11 08:47:02 AM
And if we wish to hunt down these people for their crimes, how about we hunt down the original terrorists in British Palestine ... pretty sure there is a member of parliament or two that should really have faced a firing squad.
 
2013-04-11 08:48:13 AM

Tat'dGreaser: n0nthing: Even on Fark I honestly never thought I'd see the day where the majority would become apologists for those who willingly went along with the torture and murder of millions of people.

Yea I never thought I'd see it too, but here we are


You guys realize these people were in a conquered country and were often conscripted to do this?

Israel doesn't even go after cases like this.

I am looking for the article but I seem to remember when Germany went after Demjanjuk there was a lot of press about german low level guards who they turned a blind eye to.  Even if you think peopel like this are worth prosecuting I am going to have questions about how evenly the prosecution is going after people.
 
2013-04-11 08:48:35 AM
I just can't wait for everyone involved in that to be dead.
 
2013-04-11 08:48:47 AM

n0nthing: HotWingConspiracy:
"Willingly"

Granted the options may not have been very pretty, but they all had a choice.


"Stand here and let the trucks in and out, or die."

You're full of shiat if you say you'd take the "die" option. So easy for you to judge from your cushy chair.
 
2013-04-11 08:50:19 AM

lmb: ReapTheChaos: It's been 70 damn years, some people need to learn how to let shiat go.

Why? Because they're old now? Eff them! Just because these men are old and frail doesn't mean they shouldn't stand trial for being accomplices to some of the worst crimes in human history.


They were prison guards, if they're still alive that means they were most likely teenagers at the time, which in turn means they were nothing but low ranking privates, what the hell were they supposed to do to stop anything? The "Following orders is no excuse" line can only be carried so far. If they're going to go after some kid who stood guard at the camp then you may as well go after every German citizen. After all, they all knew it was going on anyway, or did they think all their Jewish neighbors were being hauled off to a tropical resort somewhere?

Aside from that, how many witnesses could be alive to even testify against them anymore? There is no way they could receive a fair trial this late in the game.
 
2013-04-11 08:50:57 AM

boozel: Especially when the targets probably wouldn't even make it through the trial. Bonus points for the trial probably ending up more like a kangaroo court than an actual trial.


THIS

These guys are seriously old. Probably hardly mobile. They're going to put up all sorts of defence against coming, and in the process, probably many will die before even getting to trial. Then they'll be tried, sent to prison, but as they're seriously old, will be in a place not too different to where they currently live. If they've got a terminal illness, they won't be imprisoned on compassionate grounds.

But there's another thing - you really can't compare being an accesory to murder, when living in a fascist state at war that thinks murder of certain people is OK, with accessory to peacetime murder. I know there's the whole thing about "following orders is no excuse", but it's also easy, sitting in our relatively free society to be an Internet Tough Guy about that, rather than considering what the consequences for people would have been.

Oh, and let me know when the Red Army soldiers that raped women and murdered people on the way to Berlin, something that Stalin simply dealt with as "didn't happen", get tried.
 
2013-04-11 08:54:40 AM
More flag burning nonsense while the world tumbles into the abyss.
 
2013-04-11 08:56:11 AM

HotWingConspiracy: n0nthing: HotWingConspiracy:
"Willingly"

Granted the options may not have been very pretty, but they all had a choice.

"Stand here and let the trucks in and out, or die."

You're full of shiat if you say you'd take the "die" option. So easy for you to judge from your cushy chair.


/shrug.  Most of us are lucky enough to never have to make the kind of decision that truly defines us as a person even at the cost of our own lives or those of our family's.  I'd like to think that I would take the high road in such a situation, but maybe I wouldn't in order to protect my life or (as is more likely) the lives of those I love.  However, if I did choose to be complicit in such atrocities I would more than deserve to be punished.
 
2013-04-11 08:58:47 AM
We let WAY more Japanese bad guys from WWII off the hook.
 
2013-04-11 08:59:09 AM
Let's punish 90+ y/o men for things they did in their 20s as Privates who really had no choose in the matter. Better yet why not charge any German who was alive during the war that wasn't part of the resistance to the Nazis becuase they were helping the Nazi war machine march forward and that prevented the Allies from liberating the camps and ending the war sooner.  While we are at it, the Japanese royal family is still free. Why not turn them and any former Japanese soldier over to the Phillipines or China for war crimes.
 
2013-04-11 09:00:14 AM

farkeruk: Oh, and let me know when the Red Army soldiers that raped women and murdered people on the way to Berlin, something that Stalin simply dealt with as "didn't happen", get tried.


Only losers commit war crimes.

But yeah, if a prison guard was conscripted at 16 in 1945 they're be 84 ish years old. Anyone who had any real rank or power in the Nazi organization is probably long dead. At this point it's nothing more than a dog and pony show.
 
2013-04-11 09:01:48 AM

ReapTheChaos: It's been 70 damn years, some people need to learn how to let shiat go.


ZAZ: We should kill anybody with German blood to make sure we get them all. Until we get the execution apparatus constructed they can wear a distinctive mark (as if their blond hair wouldn't tell the story of their evil background).


There were soldiers of honor, the  Wehrmacht, the Heer, and was full of honorable men.  These are not those men.
 
2013-04-11 09:04:42 AM

Marcintosh: There were soldiers of honor, the  Wehrmacht, the Heer, and was full of honorable men.  These are not those men.


Not only that, but many people don't realize that the SS were not the regular Wehrmacht, and not the Heer. To the general person, they were one in the same, which is a horrible idea. They were their own army. You were drafted into the Wehrmacht as a German. You volunteered to join the SS. You volunteered to be a part of the Einsatzgruppen.

Those who were in the SS were not there because they were forced at gunpoint. They were gladly part of the group
 
2013-04-11 09:05:06 AM

pag1107: What part of "Never Again" are folks not understanding?  I don't care if you were the latrine orderly, you were there and you are forever tainted.


I was in Iraq. I worked in a prison facility. I quite literally was the latrine orderly and janitor. Should someday I have to worry about being accused of war crimes for what others did there?

What's important to note is how much POWER the person had. In terms of power to influence what was happening there, the guards had just as much power as the prisoners: none.
 
2013-04-11 09:05:23 AM

n0nthing: HotWingConspiracy: n0nthing: HotWingConspiracy:
"Willingly"

Granted the options may not have been very pretty, but they all had a choice.

"Stand here and let the trucks in and out, or die."

You're full of shiat if you say you'd take the "die" option. So easy for you to judge from your cushy chair.

/shrug.  Most of us are lucky enough to never have to make the kind of decision that truly defines us as a person even at the cost of our own lives or those of our family's.  I'd like to think that I would take the high road in such a situation, but maybe I wouldn't in order to protect my life or (as is more likely) the lives of those I love.  However, if I did choose to be complicit in such atrocities I would more than deserve to be punished.


So due to a stroke of bad luck, you should face trial seven decades later for crimes you weren't directly involved in, based on no evidence aside from your name on a ledger somewhere. Odd sense of justice.
 
2013-04-11 09:06:29 AM

Marcintosh: ReapTheChaos: It's been 70 damn years, some people need to learn how to let shiat go.

ZAZ: We should kill anybody with German blood to make sure we get them all. Until we get the execution apparatus constructed they can wear a distinctive mark (as if their blond hair wouldn't tell the story of their evil background).

There were soldiers of honor, the  Wehrmacht, the Heer, and was full of honorable men.  These are not those men.


True - I always respected Rommel (one of my earliest school papers was on him) and he did what a strong person should and died for it (too bad he and his mates failed at it :(
 
2013-04-11 09:07:07 AM

Rude Turnip: Convicting someone in their 80s for these crimes is not the same thing as convicting a much younger person for common street crime. It should be obvious that they are not being convicted on that basis. I think these convictions are solely meant to send a message to historians and future generations that the crimes they were involved in were so heinous that humanity will neither forgive nor forget, and will in fact pursue the wrongdoers to their deathbeds if necessary.


Even if that means commiting a terrible wrong ourselves?  FTFA:

Mr. Demjanjuk was found guilty even though he was not directly linked to any specific crime. Instead the court, in Munich, ruled that his work as a guard at the camp automatically made him an accessory to any murders carried out there. It convicted him of being an accessory to the murder of all 28,060 people who died at the camp during his tenure as a guard there.

So a person who was a teenager at the time and may have done little more than sit at a guard tower is convicted of murdering 28,000 people and will be sent to jail as a likely sick, extremely old man because it looks good in the history books?  If we were talking about people who were proven to have taken part in executions or torture, I'd be fine with it but this is ridiculous.
 
2013-04-11 09:07:09 AM

HotWingConspiracy: So due to a stroke of bad luck, you should face trial seven decades later for crimes you weren't directly involved in, based on no evidence aside from your name on a ledger somewhere. Odd sense of justice.


Murder has no statute of limitations.

The fact that you participate in it when you're 20 makes no difference when you're 70 and someone decides to reopen the cold case.
 
2013-04-11 09:07:36 AM

Securitywyrm: pag1107: What part of "Never Again" are folks not understanding?  I don't care if you were the latrine orderly, you were there and you are forever tainted.

I was in Iraq. I worked in a prison facility. I quite literally was the latrine orderly and janitor. Should someday I have to worry about being accused of war crimes for what others did there?

What's important to note is how much POWER the person had. In terms of power to influence what was happening there, the guards had just as much power as the prisoners: none.


You could have quit?!
 
2013-04-11 09:07:56 AM

lmb: ReapTheChaos: It's been 70 damn years, some people need to learn how to let shiat go.

Why? Because they're old now? Eff them! Just because these men are old and frail doesn't mean they shouldn't stand trial for being accomplices to some of the worst crimes in human history.


Could you define 'accomplice' please? Because it seems you'd also count the young boys who were raped by priests as 'accomplices' to the molestation in the church. You'd also have to count the jews who worked in war factories as 'accomplices' to the war effort, oh and every american citizen as 'accomplices' for re-electing George Bush in regards to the crimes in Iraq.
 
2013-04-11 09:08:48 AM

Baron Harkonnen: How about Russia persecutes the people who ran concentration camps for German civilians after WWII.  It's estimated over 300,000 German civilians died in concentration camps after the war, and there are no monuments to those people.  It's like they don't count.
To say nothing of all of the murders and rapes Soviet troops committed after WWII.  I'd like to see some justice done for those victims.
I know it will never happen, because these people aren't the designated victims.


Don't forget how in WWII it was okay for GIs to bring back the skulls of japaneese soldiers as trophies.
 
2013-04-11 09:11:11 AM

hardinparamedic: HotWingConspiracy: So due to a stroke of bad luck, you should face trial seven decades later for crimes you weren't directly involved in, based on no evidence aside from your name on a ledger somewhere. Odd sense of justice.

Murder has no statute of limitations.

The fact that you participate in it when you're 20 makes no difference when you're 70 and someone decides to reopen the cold case.


Are you missing the part where the court decided it doesn't matter if you murdered anyone or not?
 
2013-04-11 09:11:53 AM
HotWingConspiracy:

So due to a stroke of bad luck, you should face trial seven decades later for crimes you weren't directly involved in, based on no evidence aside from your name on a ledger somewhere. Odd sense of justice.

I'd be more inclined to say that those who were imprisoned, tortured, and killed were the ones who hit the patch of bad luck.  Is your argument really along the lines of, "Hey man I was just keeping watch while all these other dudes performed genocide.  I was just a kid, it was my first job, they told me I had to...I'm innocent!"
 
2013-04-11 09:13:54 AM

Langdon_777: Securitywyrm: pag1107: What part of "Never Again" are folks not understanding?  I don't care if you were the latrine orderly, you were there and you are forever tainted.

I was in Iraq. I worked in a prison facility. I quite literally was the latrine orderly and janitor. Should someday I have to worry about being accused of war crimes for what others did there?

What's important to note is how much POWER the person had. In terms of power to influence what was happening there, the guards had just as much power as the prisoners: none.

You could have quit?!


Oh really? I didn't know an enlisted soldier can just walk up to their supervisor and say "I quit." Four years in the U.S. Army, so many of us so miserable that there was little fear of death because there was so little love of life... if only we knew we could just quit! (end sarcasm)
 
2013-04-11 09:15:17 AM

n0nthing: HotWingConspiracy:

So due to a stroke of bad luck, you should face trial seven decades later for crimes you weren't directly involved in, based on no evidence aside from your name on a ledger somewhere. Odd sense of justice.

I'd be more inclined to say that those who were imprisoned, tortured, and killed were the ones who hit the patch of bad luck.  Is your argument really along the lines of, "Hey man I was just keeping watch while all these other dudes performed genocide.  I was just a kid, it was my first job, they told me I had to, and if I didn't they'd kill me...I'm innocent!"


Lemme fix that for you.
 
2013-04-11 09:16:49 AM

Securitywyrm: Langdon_777: Securitywyrm: pag1107: What part of "Never Again" are folks not understanding?  I don't care if you were the latrine orderly, you were there and you are forever tainted.

I was in Iraq. I worked in a prison facility. I quite literally was the latrine orderly and janitor. Should someday I have to worry about being accused of war crimes for what others did there?

What's important to note is how much POWER the person had. In terms of power to influence what was happening there, the guards had just as much power as the prisoners: none.

You could have quit?!

Oh really? I didn't know an enlisted soldier can just walk up to their supervisor and say "I quit." Four years in the U.S. Army, so many of us so miserable that there was little fear of death because there was so little love of life... if only we knew we could just quit! (end sarcasm)


The Nuremberg Doctrines state that an enlisted soldier, following the orders of a superior officer, is just as responsible as the one giving that order if they know it is unlawful and they follow it.

Not that you ever did it, but pointing out that "following orders" is not a defense in the least for participating in atrocities.

HotWingConspiracy: Are you missing the part where the court decided it doesn't matter if you murdered anyone or not?


What is "accessory" for 500, Alex.

i36.tinypic.com
 
2013-04-11 09:17:31 AM

n0nthing: HotWingConspiracy:

So due to a stroke of bad luck, you should face trial seven decades later for crimes you weren't directly involved in, based on no evidence aside from your name on a ledger somewhere. Odd sense of justice.

I'd be more inclined to say that those who were imprisoned, tortured, and killed were the ones who hit the patch of bad luck.


Why not say everyone involved outside of the aggressors had it pretty bad?

Is your argument really along the lines of, "Hey man I was just keeping watch while all these other dudes performed genocide.  I was just a kid, it was my first job, they told me I had to...I'm innocent!"

So now you want to gloss over the obvious result of refusing.
 
2013-04-11 09:18:17 AM
I know that this is anecdotal and may not be typical, but back in the 70s I was working in a factory that had purchased a German built machine.  A factory rep from Germany came over to install it.  He spoke decent English and, on breaks, would sit with a bunch of us for lunch and to smoke in the break room.  There was the usual banter and jokes.  Then, after he had been there a couple of days, he started talking about how he had been assigned to one of the POW camps as a guard after he was injured on the Eastern Front.  Apparently one of the few to make it back before things got really nasty.  He allowed as how Allied soldiers were pretty lucky because they got treated a lot better than "those damned Jews."  He also allowed as how he thought that a lot more Germans knew what was going on in the concentration camps than were willing to admit it.  For his part, he thought the Jews had pretty much gotten what they deserved.  When he started in on how good life was under the Nazis, he was interrupted by a big fellow who worked there and had been a German citizen (not Jewish) who was opposed to Hitler and was put into one of the concentration camps but managed to escape and make his way into Switzerland.  The unspeakable cruelty he had suffered at the hands of his own countrymen made him somewhat less than tolerant of a guy bragging about his role in the war.  I'm still not sure why the bunch of us pulled John off the guy.  Probably didn't want to have to figure out what to do with the body.  The German machine installer never came into the break room after that.

But the point is that there was at least one former Nazi who knew what was going on and, more than 30 years after the war, was totally unapologetic.  I don't know if the little bastard is still alive or if he is listed in the 50, but I would not be opposed to trying him and anyone like him.  I believe in forgiveness but forgiveness cannot occur without confession and apology.  This guy was proud.  No forgiveness is possible.

I know: purely anecdotal; this guy may have been completely atypical of every other guard.  Or, he may have been more typical than we would like to believe.
 
2013-04-11 09:18:34 AM

Securitywyrm: n0nthing: HotWingConspiracy:

So due to a stroke of bad luck, you should face trial seven decades later for crimes you weren't directly involved in, based on no evidence aside from your name on a ledger somewhere. Odd sense of justice.

I'd be more inclined to say that those who were imprisoned, tortured, and killed were the ones who hit the patch of bad luck.  Is your argument really along the lines of, "Hey man I was just keeping watch while all these other dudes performed genocide.  I was just a kid, it was my first job, they told me I had to, and if I didn't they'd kill me...I'm innocent!"

Lemme fix that for you.


Consider it fixed, what difference does it make?
 
2013-04-11 09:19:08 AM

Securitywyrm: Langdon_777: Securitywyrm: pag1107: What part of "Never Again" are folks not understanding?  I don't care if you were the latrine orderly, you were there and you are forever tainted.

I was in Iraq. I worked in a prison facility. I quite literally was the latrine orderly and janitor. Should someday I have to worry about being accused of war crimes for what others did there?

What's important to note is how much POWER the person had. In terms of power to influence what was happening there, the guards had just as much power as the prisoners: none.

You could have quit?!

Oh really? I didn't know an enlisted soldier can just walk up to their supervisor and say "I quit." Four years in the U.S. Army, so many of us so miserable that there was little fear of death because there was so little love of life... if only we knew we could just quit! (end sarcasm)


Actually you can.

Just gotta face the consequences. Here in my country they would just kick you out, back to civy life. In yours they would probably lock you up in solitary for a decade or two but those are the breaks.

If you had mentioned you like sucking cock (at that time) you would have been kicked out ... easy.
 
2013-04-11 09:19:26 AM

hardinparamedic: What is "accessory" for 500, Alex.


Right the issue is people like Demjanjuk  weren't actually accessory to anything. The court had to lower the bar to get it to work.

Again, even the Israelis passed on him.
 
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