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95-year-old alleged SS camp guard faces charges in Germany

TU Curmudgeon

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From ABC News

95-year-old alleged SS camp guard faces charges in Germany

A 95-year-old man has been charged with more than 36,000 counts of being an accessory to murder on allegations that he served as a guard at the Nazis' Mauthausen concentration camp, Berlin prosecutors said Friday.

Hans Werner H., whose last name wasn't released because of privacy regulations, is accused of serving as an SS guard in the camp in northern Austria from mid-1944 to early 1945.

During that time, 36,223 people were killed at Mauthausen, primarily by gassing, but also by lethal injection, shootings, starvation or exposure, prosecutor Martin Steltner said.

The suspect isn't accused of a specific killing, but prosecutors argue that as a guard he helped the camp function. Overall, about 95,000 people are believed to have died in the Mauthausen camp system including 14,000 Jews, but also Soviet prisoners of war, Spaniards who had fought against Gen. Francisco Franco, and others.

COMMENT:-

This is an absolutely shocking development.

I mean it isn't as if the people who were killed were American, and it isn't as if the killings had taken place in the US, and it isn't as if this was an isolated incident, and it isn't as if it was actually illegal for what happened to those non-Americans to happen, so why did Mr. Trump turn an American citizen over to a foreign court?

You don't suppose it might have anything to do with the fact that the American citizen didn't have the ability to buy multiple billions of dollars worth of American weapons to be used against other non-Americans, do you?

PS - The fact that NOT turning this person over to the Germans for trial would have resulted in a VERY serious decline in contributions to Mr. Trump's re-election fund as well as a VERY serious decline in revenue for Mr. Trump's hotels is simply something we don't mention in polite company - right?
 

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MovingPictures

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Hopefully, he'll live what few miserable years he has left in the dirtiest of jail cells, and then gets a one way express train to hell.
 

Peter King

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Finally Germany is prosecuting the Nazi animals who have killed indiscriminately during WW2. Sadly Germany is way too late with their prosecution of those swines. Many Nazi scum have died of old age in freedom even though many had been convicted in the countries where they committed their crimes and the effing Germans refused to extradite them or prosecute them themselves.

So it is nice to see the Nazi murderer getting hauled in front of a judge but too little and way too late.
 

Cardinal

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Finally Germany is prosecuting the Nazi animals who have killed indiscriminately during WW2. Sadly Germany is way too late with their prosecution of those swines. Many Nazi scum have died of old age in freedom even though many had been convicted in the countries where they committed their crimes and the effing Germans refused to extradite them or prosecute them themselves.

So it is nice to see the Nazi murderer getting hauled in front of a judge but too little and way too late.

Pardon my ignorance, but I've been under the impression that SS officers and concentration camp guards have been regularly brought to justice when their identities have been revealed. Throughout my entire life this has been happening.
 

Rexedgar

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Pardon my ignorance, but I've been under the impression that SS officers and concentration camp guards have been regularly brought to justice when their identities have been revealed. Throughout my entire life this has been happening.

Only if they weren’t rocket scientists.......


See Operation: Paper Clip
 

Cardinal

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Only if they weren’t rocket scientists.......


See Operation: Paper Clip

Yes, rocket scientists weren't in the front lines of the Holocaust. There's a reason why we prioritize the prosecution of SS officers and camp guards over, say, German infantry and factory workers making ammunition.
 

calamity

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From ABC News

95-year-old alleged SS camp guard faces charges in Germany

A 95-year-old man has been charged with more than 36,000 counts of being an accessory to murder on allegations that he served as a guard at the Nazis' Mauthausen concentration camp, Berlin prosecutors said Friday.

Hans Werner H., whose last name wasn't released because of privacy regulations, is accused of serving as an SS guard in the camp in northern Austria from mid-1944 to early 1945.

During that time, 36,223 people were killed at Mauthausen, primarily by gassing, but also by lethal injection, shootings, starvation or exposure, prosecutor Martin Steltner said.

The suspect isn't accused of a specific killing, but prosecutors argue that as a guard he helped the camp function. Overall, about 95,000 people are believed to have died in the Mauthausen camp system including 14,000 Jews, but also Soviet prisoners of war, Spaniards who had fought against Gen. Francisco Franco, and others.

COMMENT:-

This is an absolutely shocking development.

I mean it isn't as if the people who were killed were American, and it isn't as if the killings had taken place in the US, and it isn't as if this was an isolated incident, and it isn't as if it was actually illegal for what happened to those non-Americans to happen, so why did Mr. Trump turn an American citizen over to a foreign court?

You don't suppose it might have anything to do with the fact that the American citizen didn't have the ability to buy multiple billions of dollars worth of American weapons to be used against other non-Americans, do you?

PS - The fact that NOT turning this person over to the Germans for trial would have resulted in a VERY serious decline in contributions to Mr. Trump's re-election fund as well as a VERY serious decline in revenue for Mr. Trump's hotels is simply something we don't mention in polite company - right?

I'm probably the last person here who would ever defend Trump. So, I won't. But, I can say that lying on your citizenship application, especially about one's role as a Nazi guard at a concentration camp, is definitely a citizenship-revoking offense.

Now, do I think they should be prosecuting a 95 year old dude, who was nothing but a "guard" in a camp when he was 20? Probably not. Lord knows, this guy had very little choice in the matter. But, it is what it is.
 

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Yes, rocket scientists weren't in the front lines of the Holocaust. There's a reason why we prioritize the prosecution of SS officers and camp guards over, say, German infantry and factory workers making ammunition.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wernher_von_Braun

SS Officers with nothing to offer the western powers.......

Von Braun joined the SS horseback riding school on 1 November 1933 as an SS-Anwärter. He left the following year.:63 In 1940, he joined the SS[24]:47[25] and was given the rank of Untersturmführer in the Allgemeine SS and issued membership number 185,068.:121 In 1947, he gave the U.S. War Department this explanation:

In spring 1940, one SS-Standartenfuehrer (SS-colonel) Mueller from Greifswald, a bigger town in the vicinity of Peenemünde, looked me up in my office ... and told me that Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler had sent him with the order to urge me to join the SS. I told him I was so busy with my rocket work that I had no time to spare for any political activity. He then told me, that ... the SS would cost me no time at all. I would be awarded the rank of a[n] "Untersturmfuehrer" (lieutenant) and it were [sic] a very definite desire of Himmler that I attend his invitation to join.

I asked Mueller to give me some time for reflection. He agreed.

Realizing that the matter was of highly political significance for the relation between the SS and the Army, I called immediately on my military superior, Dr. Dornberger. He informed me that the SS had for a long time been trying to get their "finger in the pie" of the rocket work. I asked him what to do. He replied on the spot that if I wanted to continue our mutual work, I had no alternative but to join.



You really think Werner von Braun had no idea who was the labor behind the Nazi rocket program?

https://www.ushmm.org/research/publ...p-the-story-of-the-nazi-slave-labor-camp-that
 

justabubba

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Yes, rocket scientists weren't in the front lines of the Holocaust. There's a reason why we prioritize the prosecution of SS officers and camp guards over, say, German infantry and factory workers making ammunition.

von braun acknowledged that he had created a new method of warfare with his V2
he knew the rocket plants were served by slaves
he was a lieutenant in the SS
yet he receives national medals from the US for his contributions
while a 95 year old who was 20 when assigned to guard a concentration camp is extradited for following orders
i miss seeing the equity
 

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wernher_von_Braun

SS Officers with nothing to offer the western powers.......

Von Braun joined the SS horseback riding school on 1 November 1933 as an SS-Anwärter. He left the following year.:63 In 1940, he joined the SS[24]:47[25] and was given the rank of Untersturmführer in the Allgemeine SS and issued membership number 185,068.:121 In 1947, he gave the U.S. War Department this explanation:

In spring 1940, one SS-Standartenfuehrer (SS-colonel) Mueller from Greifswald, a bigger town in the vicinity of Peenemünde, looked me up in my office ... and told me that Reichsfuehrer SS Himmler had sent him with the order to urge me to join the SS. I told him I was so busy with my rocket work that I had no time to spare for any political activity. He then told me, that ... the SS would cost me no time at all. I would be awarded the rank of a[n] "Untersturmfuehrer" (lieutenant) and it were [sic] a very definite desire of Himmler that I attend his invitation to join.

I asked Mueller to give me some time for reflection. He agreed.

Realizing that the matter was of highly political significance for the relation between the SS and the Army, I called immediately on my military superior, Dr. Dornberger. He informed me that the SS had for a long time been trying to get their "finger in the pie" of the rocket work. I asked him what to do. He replied on the spot that if I wanted to continue our mutual work, I had no alternative but to join.



You really think Werner von Braun had no idea who was the labor behind the Nazi rocket program?

https://www.ushmm.org/research/publ...p-the-story-of-the-nazi-slave-labor-camp-that

von braun acknowledged that he had created a new method of warfare with his V2
he knew the rocket plants were served by slaves
he was a lieutenant in the SS
yet he receives national medals from the US for his contributions
while a 95 year old who was 20 when assigned to guard a concentration camp is extradited for following orders
i miss seeing the equity

Rebuttal accepted. That said, the prosecution of SS officers and camp guards is not a unique thing.
 

Sam_Troy

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From ABC News

95-year-old alleged SS camp guard faces charges in Germany

A 95-year-old man has been charged with more than 36,000 counts of being an accessory to murder on allegations that he served as a guard at the Nazis' Mauthausen concentration camp, Berlin prosecutors said Friday.

Hans Werner H., whose last name wasn't released because of privacy regulations, is accused of serving as an SS guard in the camp in northern Austria from mid-1944 to early 1945.

During that time, 36,223 people were killed at Mauthausen, primarily by gassing, but also by lethal injection, shootings, starvation or exposure, prosecutor Martin Steltner said.

The suspect isn't accused of a specific killing, but prosecutors argue that as a guard he helped the camp function. Overall, about 95,000 people are believed to have died in the Mauthausen camp system including 14,000 Jews, but also Soviet prisoners of war, Spaniards who had fought against Gen. Francisco Franco, and others.

COMMENT:-

This is an absolutely shocking development.

I mean it isn't as if the people who were killed were American, and it isn't as if the killings had taken place in the US, and it isn't as if this was an isolated incident, and it isn't as if it was actually illegal for what happened to those non-Americans to happen, so why did Mr. Trump turn an American citizen over to a foreign court?

You don't suppose it might have anything to do with the fact that the American citizen didn't have the ability to buy multiple billions of dollars worth of American weapons to be used against other non-Americans, do you?

PS - The fact that NOT turning this person over to the Germans for trial would have resulted in a VERY serious decline in contributions to Mr. Trump's re-election fund as well as a VERY serious decline in revenue for Mr. Trump's hotels is simply something we don't mention in polite company - right?

Hmmmm!
 

Buzz62

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Hopefully, he'll live what few miserable years he has left in the dirtiest of jail cells, and then gets a one way express train to hell.

the guy is 95 for gawd's sake.
I find your comment childish and plain old sick.
 

MovingPictures

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the guy is 95 for gawd's sake.
**** him.

He helped murder innocent Jewish men, women, and children, so he can rot slowly into compost.
I find your comment childish and plain old sick.
I find you to be very sick to defend a Nazi war criminal.
 

Peter King

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Pardon my ignorance, but I've been under the impression that SS officers and concentration camp guards have been regularly brought to justice when their identities have been revealed. Throughout my entire life this has been happening.

Sadly you are wrong. Germany failed to prosecute them for decades. For example, Heinrich Boere, a Dutch/German war criminal who had been convicted to death in 1949 in a Dutch court in absentia, had been living in Germany, totally free for decades before being tried in about 2010, convicted to life in prison for his crimes but died after 3 years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heinrich_Boere

Klaas Carel Faber (20 January 1922 – 24 May 2012) was a convicted Dutch-German war criminal. He was the son of Pieter and Carolina Josephine Henriëtte (née Bakker) Faber, and the brother of Pieter Johan Faber, who was executed for war crimes in 1948. Faber was on the Simon Wiesenthal Center's list of most wanted Nazi war criminals. Faber died in Germany in May 2012, having never been extradited.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Klaas_Carel_Faber


Der Spiegel (the Mirror) wrote in 2014:

In February, German prosecutors conducted a wave of raids targeting former SS concentration camp guards. It was hoped the proceedings could help make up for decades of inaction. Instead, they will likely mark the latest chapter in the German judiciary's shameful approach to the Holocaust.

The judiciary's pursuit of those involved in the Holocaust stood in sharp contrast to the scope of the crime. According to historian Andreas Eichmüller, of the 6,500 members of the SS who served in Auschwitz and survived the war, only 29 were convicted in West Germany and reunified Germany, while about 20 were convicted in East Germany.

The failure of the German judiciary has long been viewed as part of the "second guilt" for which writer and Holocaust survivor Ralph Giordano reproached the Germans in 1987. It stems, he wrote, from the fact that Germans repressed the Hitler years for too long and denied their own guilt.

The German Judiciary Failed Approach to Auschwitz and Holocaust - SPIEGEL ONLINE

You can read above article, it is 4 pages long and shows years of inaction or failed actions from the German courts, some of them still ruled by Nazi time judges.

One of those getting off with well, a slap on the wrist (time served when he was jailed in Poland) was Johann Kremer, a former SS camp doctor, who had ordered the killing of sick and exhausted inmates of the concentration camp. The article states:

In 1960, Johann Kremer, a former SS concentration camp doctor, walked out of the Münster Regional Court a free man, even though he had ordered the killing of sick and exhausted inmates. Kremer, who needed organs for his medical research, noted in his diary on Oct. 10, 1942: "Extracted and fixed fresh live material from liver, spleen and pancreas."

But the court ruled that because the former SS Obersturmführer had lacked a "personal interest in the crime," he was merely an accessory and not a perpetrator. When Kremer received a 10-year prison sentence instead of a life sentence, it was probably not a coincidence that this was precisely the amount of time he had already served in Poland.

The so-called accessory construct was based on the wishful thinking that only Hitler and his entourage had been responsible for the Holocaust. All others, the legendary Hessian chief prosecutor Fritz Bauer said derisively, viewed themselves as "raped, terrorized followers or depersonalized and dehumanized creatures compelled to do things that were completely alien to their nature."

The man harvested organs from people he ordered killed and still was let go with time served rather than being sent to jail for life. That had been the attitude of Germany for decades, no need to prosecute the Nazi scum still living among them because they were either mere accessory rather than perpetrator or they would not be extradited to countries who wanted to prosecute them for crimes committed in their countries because they had become German citizens due to the SS duty and Germany refused to extradite German citizens and they also refused to prosecute them.

Several Dutch war criminals were easily found in Germany decades ago but Germany refused to extradite them or prosecute them, to the anger of the Dutch people and the Dutch government. That was the attitude in Germany for a very long time. Sadly.
 

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**** him.

He helped murder innocent Jewish men, women, and children, so he can rot slowly into compost.
he was a young soldier serving his nation as an enlisted man following orders. orders, which if not followed, would not have allowed him to see 95 years

I find you to be very sick to defend a Nazi war criminal.
if you want to subject the nazi bastards who issued the orders and oversaw the murders of jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and mentally deficient, then i am with you. but not when prosecuting someone who as a young man of 20 followed orders to guard a post
for all you or i know, this fellow may have been benevolent to those he guarded
 

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he was a young soldier serving his nation as an enlisted man following orders. orders, which if not followed, would not have allowed him to see 95 years


if you want to subject the nazi bastards who issued the orders and oversaw the murders of jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and mentally deficient, then i am with you. but not when prosecuting someone who as a young man of 20 followed orders to guard a post
for all you or i know, this fellow may have been benevolent to those he guarded
I agree with your post. This guy was merely following orders being a guard at his post. This was just a show trial to keep the narrative of the Holocaust™ alive.
 

justabubba

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I agree with your post. This guy was merely following orders being a guard at his post. This was just a show trial to keep the narrative of the Holocaust™ alive.

when it comes to matters of ethics, you are the one person i fear will share my view
 

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he was a young soldier serving his nation as an enlisted man following orders. orders, which if not followed, would not have allowed him to see 95 years


if you want to subject the nazi bastards who issued the orders and oversaw the murders of jews, gypsies, homosexuals, and mentally deficient, then i am with you. but not when prosecuting someone who as a young man of 20 followed orders to guard a post
for all you or i know, this fellow may have been benevolent to those he guarded
The "just following orders" excuse was a card played all throughout the trails of many Nazi war criminals in Nuremberg, and it's no better now.

He may not have participated directly, but he knew damn well what was going on, and he's an accessory the same as the others morally.

It's no different than driving the get away car in a murder.
 

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von braun acknowledged that he had created a new method of warfare with his V2
he knew the rocket plants were served by slaves
he was a lieutenant in the SS
yet he receives national medals from the US for his contributions
while a 95 year old who was 20 when assigned to guard a concentration camp is extradited for following orders
i miss seeing the equity

Of course there is inequity. Rocket science and development was the cutting edge technology at the end of WWII. So yes a top scientist in the field is going to be treated differently than a rank and file concentration camp guard. Just as a POW with the rank of General would be treated differently than a POW with the rank of Private. Each can have it's distinct advantages and disadvantages and it's not always clear which will end up getting the shorter end of the stick. The soldier following the orders may face prison time. The man who gave the orders may face execution.

Von Braun joined the Nazi Party because it was strongly 'suggested' that he should. He joined the SS at a time when the SS was looking to get finger in the rocket program pie ordered one of Von Braun's superiors to 'urge' him to join the SS. Von Braun had tried to dodge it by saying he had no time he could devote to political activities. His superiors advised him that it wouldn't cost him any time and that he would be awarded the rank of lieutenant because it was Himmler's personal desire that he join the SS and it's never a good idea for one to not indulge Mr Himmler's desires.

Yes he was aware of the Jewish slave labor at factories. But he felt powerless to stop it and he knew that if he protested it too much he could become one of them. And if knowledge of what was happening to the Jews is to be the standard of assigning guilt then you would have to include nearly entire German population in that guilt. The holocaust was murder on such a massive industrialized scale that it couldn't have happened without the complicity of nearly very German citizen in one form or another. They knew that terrible things were being done to the Jews.

Von Braun was under constant surveillance by the SS and he was actually arrested once for expressing "defeatist" sentiments as he was overheard lamenting to fellow scientists at an engineers house about not working on creating a spaceship and that he felt that the war wasn't going well. So things aren't always as quite clear-cut as they might seem.
 

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the guy is 95 for gawd's sake.
I find your comment childish and plain old sick.

The guy actively aided and abetted in the murder of millions of innocent people.

Why should anyone care that he's old?
 

justabubba

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The "just following orders" excuse was a card played all throughout the trails of many Nazi war criminals in Nuremberg, and it's no better now.

He may not have participated directly, but he knew damn well what was going on, and he's an accessory the same as the others morally.

It's no different than driving the get away car in a murder.

tell us what that young soldier's options were
 

Hawkeye10

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Dont we have better things to do?

There does not seem to me to be any shortage of useful things that need doing.
 

justabubba

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Dont we have better things to do?

There does not seem to me to be any shortage of useful things that need doing.

share your list of things which we should be doing instead
 

Felis Leo

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Hang the old f*ck and bury him next to Rudolf Höss. For those who think that punishing a man in his nineties is a terrible affront to justice, I must ask: What was your thought as to what was should have been done with the presently-elderly Catholic priests who raped children decades ago, in the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s? Just defrock them but otherwise let them live out their days peacefully in their dotage? I do not think the reach of justice ends simply because someone managed to remain uncaught for long enough and unprosecuted long enough for their crimes and starts collecting their state pension check. If anything, that is even an even greater reason to excise these living cancers from our society.
 
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