Dozens of Nazi Guards May Be Tried

Could lead to a new crop of Nazi trials 70 years after the end of World War II

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The special prosecutors’ office that investigates Nazi war crimes in Germany recommended charges Tuesday against dozens of alleged former guards at the Auschwitz concentration camp.

If pursued, they would lead to a new crop of Nazi trials 70 years after the end of World War II, the Associated Press reports.

An investigation of about 50 suspected former Auschwitz guards presented enough evidence for state prosecutors to pursue charges of accessory to murder against 30 of them in Germany, said Kurt Schrimm, the head of the Ludwigsburg federal prosecutors’ office. The prosecutors’ offices in Germany’s individual states will determine whether the elderly suspects — both men and women — are fit to stand trial.

Under a new legal argument being made by prosecutors, anyone who was involved in the operation of a death camp could be considered accessory to murder. Ukranian-born John Demajanjuk was the first person convicted in Germany in 2011 solely on the basis of serving as a camp guard without any evidence of involvement in specific killings.

About 1.5 million people, including 960,000 Jews, were killed at the Auschwitz camp complex alone between 1940 and 1945, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

[AP]

66 comments
Jason Stout
Jason Stout

Just taking orders is NEVER an excuse for acting unethically.

Mohammad Shafiq Khan
Mohammad Shafiq Khan

Watch what America is doing with Muslims of the world. Leaked Documents: U.S. Framed Syria in Chemical Weapons Attack Watch what. http://www.ForbiddenKnowledgeTV.com/page/24370.html Now see the rationality of America & United Nations. The monk responsible for killing of Muslims in Myanmar is free and is openly campaigning for genocide of Muslims. Muslims have no police protection in Myanmar and Myanmar government is just not answerable to international community according to America & United Nations. Read & see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23846632 and http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-23874521 But America is free to attack Syria against international laws as no self defense is involved or authorization of United Nations is needed.

Elísio Borges
Elísio Borges

actually you distorted the facts a little, David Fadul. This experiments wasn't used to test whether Nazi guards were really just following orders or not, as it was not done with Nazi specifically. It was made to study the psychological consequences to a person's behavior of becoming a prisoner or a prisoner guard and used psychology students, who were randomly tasked to be or a prison guard or a prisoner. The results were the guards becoming too violent and agressive, indeed, but also that the prisoners became much more rebels and unwilling to obey the guards (which could be a possible reason for the guards to start enforcing the rules with violence); that way, you can only prove that the guards MAYBE weren't simply following orders, but as this behavioral exchanges extends themselves to all kinds of prison guards and prisoners, you're assuming that every prison guard of every POW camp and penitenciary must be condemned for abusing power.

David Fadul
David Fadul

There was a study where half the study group were made guards and half were made prisoners. This study was used to see if the Nazi guards in the holocaust were really "just following orders." The guards were told to use the least amount of force possible to control the prisoners. The final product was that they had to stop the experiment early because the guards had become too violent and aggressive. They concluded that they guards were not simply "following orders." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment

Christine McAusland
Christine McAusland

End prophesy period post 2012, it's technology and you have incomplete records on party funding 2013, Titus 2:13. israel is a massive fossil fuel field particularly offshore and the "leader" used a lent cross in the 40's. I'd of got my people out of there, we're all posting on a cyber wall.

Andrew Gaczol
Andrew Gaczol

Why just Nazis?Justice never caught up with all the Russian NKVD/Red army who massacred the Poles in the Katyn Forest. Why aren't people going after them? Why is it only Nazi crimes that people obsess with?

Bon Tiangson
Bon Tiangson

Susunod Japanese WWII soldiers 'cause of their atrocities Kenneth Santos

MarshallWalkerStrong
MarshallWalkerStrong

This is so stupid, to refer to it as a "crop" is just sick. It was 70 years ago and the German people have done their part to make up. Stop dreading on the past and move forward

GreenManSteele
GreenManSteele

What's the point of all this? 

Is it so we can remember the 6000bazillions and how we should support Israel's and its bitch USA's warmongering decisions?

Otetsudai Shimashouka
Otetsudai Shimashouka

Jews do not believe in forgive and forget - watch for the crosses to dot the courts entrance

jonjeske
jonjeske

History is written by the winners. WW2 War propaganda still being used today.... will these nazis get a fair trail or will it be as big a sham as the Nuremberg trails?

Monica Bohlman
Monica Bohlman

So they are not going to get away with murder after all. Let justice be served.

Tristan Adora Cyre
Tristan Adora Cyre

What exactly is this going to accomplish other than opening old wounds? These guys are all ancient now and more than likely already have spent there lives eaten up by guilt.

Christopher Nelson
Christopher Nelson

I think this is a waste of time and energy, not to mention money. 70 years later? Prosecuted for taking orders in a time of very different circumstances? This is just a matter of principle at this point.

Billie Beights
Billie Beights

They did unthinkable things and now they will face judgment .

Alex Bennett
Alex Bennett

Some would argue many Germans had no choice other than to fight for the Nazi Party: do or die. But some Germans did rebel and and died for what was morally right. These old men on trial will have killed as Nazis and have gone on to live to the grand age of 80+. Did their victims? Send them down for not standing up.

Robert Bisson
Robert Bisson

What a waste. I'd rather see elite banking families going on trial.

Diane M Bazail
Diane M Bazail

I don't need to read the article, NAZI is more than enough. Its time to do the DO savages. Plus, I don't give a crap how old and decrepit they are because atrocities don't have a statue of limitation.

Eleanor Connell
Eleanor Connell

@Mario Horta Hitlers 'reasons' for getting rid of the jews are well documented in 'Mein Kampf'.

James Smart
James Smart

The Earth was mechanised after the comet smashed into the rock we now call Earth, it drove to the centre and become the core wrapping its tail around the Earth rock to create atmosphere blanket and the kinetic energy of the comet core made the planet Earth spin...and then the rock blast was drawn together to make the moon...maybe...Also we are a result of a recovery species , our pre-ancient ancestors ended this planets entire species catalogue once before in an apocalyptic event...We are creations of the DNA/seed life Arcs that came back into our atmosphere... Iceberg water from North and South poles should be collected put together and drunk...20%N80%S water what would the water do, as apposed to 50%S/50%N...

Sean Harris
Sean Harris

Not at all pointless. Your actions will not go unanswered is the message of deterrence here - justice will catch up with you sooner OR LATER.

Barbara Jo Wenger
Barbara Jo Wenger

Tis a good thing. A trial may bring out the mindset and further insight into those times.

Urszula Kiwara
Urszula Kiwara

Yes they do:-) There are blogs and podcasts and press liaisons and statements and websites and and and…If you can read German you are in for a treat:-) As far as TIME articles go, this is probably one of most uninformative to come out today, lacking any background, reasoning, expert opinions etc.

Heather J Ischo
Heather J Ischo

Um, probably for the story. Duh. Last time I checked Germany's judicial system doesn't write it's own articles.

Marlyss Whitaker
Marlyss Whitaker

wow...one of the ugly parts of history....that war was very ugly, so, I have the strong opinion that yes, they need to be tried even though they are old now...it's the point that matters. That kind of inhumane logic should not be a part of a country nor it's leaders.

Mario Horta
Mario Horta

Well, I want to know ; why Hitler want to get rid of jews.???? Do yuo really know??

Andy Pratt
Andy Pratt

Choice is all that separates individuals from their worst sides. It is not god.

Urszula Kiwara
Urszula Kiwara

Why are you thanking TIME? Last time I checked they had very little to do with the judicial system of Germany.

Eleanor Connell
Eleanor Connell

Its a little bit pointless now they will all be in their ninetees now ?

Justin Spector
Justin Spector

I think 70 years has passed and these guards most likely in their 90s now might as well live out the rest of their lives the same way they lived most of it. Not to mention how do you condemn someone who was taking orders?

Lila Young
Lila Young

Thank you so much TIME...let's hope so.....

Victoria Luckie
Victoria Luckie

Yes but there is not making a stand and there is the choice of knowingly aiding it, denouncing people, being needlessly cruel or profiting from it etc. I guess the only way to find out is to ask them for their side and to testify, and possibly record and broadcast the result on state media - even if identities were hidden so that new generations could understand.

Urszula Kiwara
Urszula Kiwara

I don't think they should be prosecuted. A new trial involving the guards would have to take in account all the circumstances of the individual case, such as: was there any possibility for the person being prosecuted to refuse to work at the camp etc. I think 70 years is too much time to be able to reconstruct the setting of any alleged crime correctly.

KumarSlr
KumarSlr

@Tristan Adora Cyre  you are absolutely right.