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30 Former Auschwitz Guards Face New Murder Trials

on Sun, 09/15/2013 - 16:03

Last month we noted that the infamous war criminal Laszlo Csatary managed to escape justice and die at age 98 while awaiting trial for his crimes. However, this month things are looking up for those who support the rule of law. On September 3rd, German prosecutors announced that they are seeking to put 30 former Auschwitz death camp guards on trial for murder.

The 30 suspects all live in Germany, and their files have been referred to individual state level prosecutors who will decide whether to put them on trial. This late movement to bring some small measure of justice to those directly responsible for perpetrating the Holocaust is finally bearing fruit due to a new legal precedent established by the 2011 conviction of former prison camp guard John Demjanjuk. His conviction arose from the legal theory that though there was no direct evidence he killed anyone himself, nevertheless, in knowingly serving at a Nazi death camp he was complicit in all the deaths that took place there. For all you Law and Order TV show fans here in the U.S. in essence what happened is that the prosecutors charged Demjanjuk with accessory to murder, and the judge agreed. Of course, this is how prosecutions are supposed to work.

Instead, for approximately 70 years now, the "I was just following orders" excuse has been in large part accepted; allowing quite literally thousands of the worst criminals in history to escape judgement and live out their worthless lives in peace.  This is ridiculous. Anyone with a basic understanding of the law (regardless of whose law - prosecutions the world over at their most basic level largely follow a similar process) would know that decades ago prosecutors should have been arresting and charging thousands of people such as Csatary and Demjanjuk. From there they could have let these perps take a plea deal whereby say instead of facing more serious murder charges they get to cop to accessory to murder if they roll over on their bosses - i.e. the Standartenführer's, Oberführer's, Brigadeführer's, Gruppenführer's, Obergruppenführer's and on up that were really setting policy and directing the low level losers now finally facing accountability for participating in the genocide of millions of Slavs, Jews, and so on.

Given what we are taught in school and the values internalized as we are socialized into our respective cultures it's always interesting to step back and see how the world really works. For instance, at how easy it is to participate in truly immense crimes and then get away with it. Of course in today's day and age it is not always primitive thugs like Demjankjuk getting away with the worst crimes, instead it is; massive white collar fraud so pervasive as to not only have been largely decriminalized if you are say - working on Wall Street - but part and parcel of your business model if you are one of the world's top banks; to class warfare being actively waged against the middle class on a level not seen since the dark days prior to World War II; to politicians being openly and legally bought and paid for (hello Citizens United); to unchecked cronyism insulating national elites across the world from ongoing gratuitous decisions (austerity anyone) wrecking the world's greatest economies and millions of lives. But then again, hey, at least it's not Nazi's and genocidal mass murder that we are still dealing with; so I guess we have made some improvements. And now with that digression back to our regular and far less depressing programming...any tank enthusiasts out there want to debate the merits of the Panther vs. the Panzer IV as Germany's main battle tank during 1943-1944 Ukrainian defensive operations?

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