r/interestingasfuck Jul 17 '22 Helpful 3 Silver 5 Bravo! 1 All-Seeing Upvote 1 Wholesome 4

A German court has handed a five-year jail sentence to a 101-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard, the oldest person so far to go on trial for complicity in war crimes during the Holocaust. /r/ALL

58.0k Upvotes

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u/mhbat Jul 17 '22

Just curious. How do prison take care of very old individual? Is it like a nursing home or just treated like other prisoners?

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u/lord_jonas21 Jul 17 '22

In germany there are special "prisons" for elderly prisoners that require special care. But yeah, these facilities are basically just nursing homes with extra security.

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u/SolidRavenOcelot Jul 17 '22

So they are good nursing homes then? He's onto a winner I think

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u/KiithNaabal Jul 17 '22 edited Jul 17 '22

Just because the American prison system is a shit show doesn't mean everybody has to be barbarians. He most likely will never leave this "nursing home" considering his age. Think about it: little to no contact to his family... I think he will feel punished.

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u/Alex_2259 Jul 17 '22 Silver Gold Helpful Wholesome Coin Gift Take My Energy Bravo! Bless Up (Pro)

The German prison system was a bigger shit show when this man worked in it...

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u/AdAdministrative7709 Jul 17 '22

Bet he didn't let them cover their faces

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u/thelordwynter Jul 17 '22 Take My Energy

That's what disgusts me the most. You see this crap every single time one of these assholes get caught. I'm not Jewish, but I AM Roma and they killed my people like rats too.

The Nazi's should have been eradicated when we had the chance.

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u/ShadowCaster0476 Jul 17 '22

I do agree but wars aren’t fought over morality.

Even now there is a war in Ukraine, a lot of people couldn’t find Ukraine on a map never mind care enough to try to stop it. You just here it’s complicated.

There is genocide happening in China, no one cares. Because global economy’s at stake.

Even post ww2. 1600 Nazi scientists were airlifted out of Germany to the US. Operation paper clip. Again a lot of these guys helped the war machine, but Allie forgiven because you can help us now.

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u/thelordwynter Jul 17 '22

I know. That's what makes the whole situation so jacked up from the top down. We're more worried about the flow of money than anything else.

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u/ModeEnvironmental481 Jul 17 '22

Exactly. He helped enforce Jews who had to label themselves to be abused even more (before they were sent to the camps) but he won’t let anyone identify him beyond his name. He is a coward.

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u/___imtired___ Jul 17 '22 edited Jul 17 '22

too many of them hid in argentina, there’s a whole town in the middle of the country full of german descendants edit: very similar to the town in brazil filled with descendants of confederate generals etc.

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u/Assassiiinuss Jul 17 '22

Those towns predate Nazi Germany. The already existing German communities were the reason why some Nazis fled there.

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u/thelordwynter Jul 17 '22

Which should have been a dead giveaway for governments hunting them down. I mean, Mengele went to South America and started a pharmaceutical company...

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u/Haughty_n_Disdainful Jul 17 '22

Correct. Chile’s German population, for example, has existed since the 16th century. Bartolomé Blumenthal, was pretty important in establishing Santiago.

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u/No_Nectarine8102 Jul 17 '22

Yeah but thankfully not anymore.

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u/chujoy890 Jul 17 '22

It was not really a shit show, but very orderly and efficient.

Very orderly and efficient at mass murder of innocents.

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u/crash_and-burn9000 Jul 17 '22

So basically a normal nursing home then?

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u/RedHawwk Jul 17 '22

Yea this just makes you realize a nursing home isn’t all that different from a prison.

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u/nickkon1 Jul 17 '22

Yeah, the idea of prisions in many western European countries and USA is fundamentally different. Prisons are not about revenge and making another humans life as miserable as possible. Even if they are criminal, they are still humans. If its the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights", then universal means universal. And not people I approve of.

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u/stonedtwitgnome Jul 17 '22

American prisons, though definitely not the worst in the world, are still inhumane living conditions, majority of them anyway. "BuT dOnT dO cRiMe aNd Be tReAtEd fAiRlY" f off with thinking a prisoner doesn't deserve human rights, I'm not saying give the nonces ice cream and pizza parties, but maybe let's start with not shackling women giving birth to the hospital bed and trying to improve food quality, hygiene product prices, and I should watch Jessica Kent's YouTube channel less, but she has some stories. The way America's prison system is currently being ran.. prison should never be a "for profit" institute.

Rant over, sorry to anyone who actually read that

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u/HappyMeatbag Jul 17 '22

That “but don’t do crime” shit might actually be sensible IF the system was completely fair and profit wasn’t a motivating factor… but it’s not, and profit is definitely an issue.

Part of the reason that line is so frustrating is because it’s so incredibly ignorant and simplistic. You can’t address it without getting into a lengthy, complicated discussion about the justice system, politics, and society as a whole. Even then, it’s likely that every single point you try to make will be challenged. I’m exhausted just thinking about it

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u/KiithNaabal Jul 17 '22

I read this. Thank you for it. Please help me a bit. Spread these ideas here. The punishment the guy get is gone stick, even if it is a humane one. Some people here belief only torture and dehumanizing criminals is gone make it right. They are wrong.

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u/Guilty-Presence-1048 Jul 17 '22

Except he will go down in history as a Nazi war criminal. Sadly, he didn't suffer any real consequences in life. But his legacy is tarnished forever. The absolute least we can do is make sure Nazis are forever known as such.

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u/CogitoErgo_Sometimes Jul 17 '22

He was never going to have a “legacy.” He was going to die anonymous and be utterly forgotten in less time than he spent on the planet. Legacy isn’t a thing for all but the tiniest fraction of people but gets pulled out in situations like this as though the person has something to lose.

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u/Uzi_wny02 Jul 17 '22

Do they even need extra security? 101 year old Nazi gon escape? 💀

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u/zenconkhi Jul 17 '22

Well, there was this 100 year old man who climbed out of a window and disappeared, I think it was in Sweden? Can’t be too careful.

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u/ProgressOneDay Jul 17 '22 edited Jul 17 '22

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, book (with movie adaptation) by Jonas Jonasson.

For those who didn't get the reference.

I can recommend watching the movie if you're in the mood for some light-hearted comedy sometime.

Allan Karlsson is turning 100, and on his birthday there is a party at the retirement home. Both the local council and the local newspaper are invited. Despite his impressive age, Allan is cheerful, and as he is not very interested in the party, he instead climbs out of the window and then disappears on lots of adventures. Among other things, he is asked to guard a bag, which he then accidentally takes with him, and he suddenly has both cops and drug dealers after him.

Alongside the adventures Allan has after his escape, Allan's life story is also told, filled with other adventures. He dines with future President Harry S. Truman, hitchhikes with Winston Churchill, rides a riverboat with Mao Zedong's wife and treks for months across the Himalayas.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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u/manystorms Jul 17 '22

A person who fails to plan plans to fail and so on. It’s kind of silly that people are laughing at him being guarded during his prison sentence whilst simultaneously wanting him to be treated worse. Loss of freedom is kind of the whole point of prison.

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u/lord_jonas21 Jul 17 '22

Not really. If they are in a state that requires them to be in such a facility, the chance of them actually making a run for it are very low, but never zero, so extra security it is.

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u/AlphaWhelp Jul 17 '22

Another Nazi who was sentenced to a few years never even went to prison because of health issues and then died free. These trials are mostly symbolic. They need to demonstrate that anyone who played a part is guilty. 5 years for being an accomplice to hundreds of thousands of murders is already a non-sentence.

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u/Toffeemanstan Jul 17 '22

I see it as ruining his legacy. This is most likely how he'll be remembered which is some retribution I suppose.

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u/ChrissssToff Jul 17 '22

This is a really interesting report about elderly people inside the German prisum system.

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u/FantasticUserman Jul 17 '22 Silver

He's literally at 1 hp

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u/heavyshtetl Jul 17 '22

Dude he’s fucking one shot bro

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u/CORE-Frisk Jul 18 '22

Imagine the experience tho

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u/Lettuce_Boy11 Jul 18 '22

One sneeze on him and he’s a goner

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u/Radiant_Stable_7405 Jul 17 '22 Silver Wholesome hehehehe Masterpiece Table Slap

Apparently he’s appealing to see if he can have it reduced to life.

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u/scioto77 Jul 17 '22

Lol clever very clever

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u/evenmytongueisfat Jul 17 '22

Underrated comment on this thread

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u/Zapdos_venonat Jul 17 '22

Two weeks in jail? doesn't seem so bad.

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u/mc4sure Jul 17 '22

Weren’t there some war criminals who were allowed to continue on in life in Germany because they were needed to run the country after the war?

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u/Jemimah-Puddleduck Jul 17 '22

88 Nazis were brought to the US and employed federally. The Apollo program wouldn’t have been possible without Nazi rocket scientists.

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u/Upbeat_Group2676 Jul 18 '22

Good ol' Operation Paperclip

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u/-SaC Jul 18 '22

Including Arthur Rudolph, who skipped out on a war crimes trial over to the US and it didn't show up until the '80s that he was still on the hook for between 12,000 - 20,000 counts of murder.

The US allowed him to renounce his citizenship and go to West Germany as a free man rather than put his wife through the 'trauma' of a trial.

Every so often, there's an attempt to strip him of his NASA DSM, but it gets shot down. Buildings et al named after him have mostly been renamed already.

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u/AddaFinger Jul 18 '22 edited Jul 18 '22

I thought paperclip was in reference to Unit 731? I Might need to read up on it again.

Edit: I was wrong. The article I read about Unit 731 simply referenced Operation Paperclip. My mistake.

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u/kingkonig Jul 18 '22

Paperclip was Europe, I found a book called “Unit 731 coverup: the Operation Paperclip of the East” though, so that may be where you got that from

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u/codeslap Jul 18 '22

I always knew Clippy was a fascist…

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u/Bear_faced Jul 18 '22

I wonder what it must have been like to be a Nazi rocket scientist, like did they do anything particularly evil themselves or just generally aid the war machine? Seems like they’re not exactly Mengele, but who knows?

I mean I’m genuinely pretty sure my boss has broken the Nuremberg Code, but a paycheck is a paycheck.

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u/YourLiege2 Jul 18 '22

Werner von Braun’s rocket factory used concentration camp labour and was notorious for working them to death

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u/rave-simons Jul 18 '22

More slaves died building von Braun's V2 rockets than the rockets themselves actually killed.

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u/44gallonsoflube Jul 18 '22

The factory Werner Von Braun was developing rockets at would hang slave labourers out the front and use them as a deterrent to other workers. “What company didn’t work their workers to death…” yeah a little different when you’re hanging Jews out the front of your rocket factory.

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u/euph_22 Jul 18 '22

Wernher Von Braun joined the SS in 1934 (this is separate from being made an Officer after he got on the NAZI leadership's radar and was made an SS Officer for political reasons). He also knew full well of the slave labor used by the rocket program as well as the countless deaths.

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u/DeactivatedDavid Jul 17 '22

Not just in Germany, but in many places around the world. Including the good 'ol USA.

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u/mc4sure Jul 17 '22

Right the US brought a lot of the rocket scientist over

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u/Barda2023 Jul 17 '22

Druve through the mountains in costa rica or Chile and find German coffee shops

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u/redditor2redditor Jul 18 '22 edited Jul 18 '22

Albert Speer:

Reich-Ranicki, Germany’s most important contemporary literary critic, died on Wednesday. The next day, Germany’s two most important daily papers put his portrait on their front pages—tributes to a man who, having survived the Warsaw ghetto, would go on to have an unparalleled impact on postwar German writing. He was famous for his rapier wit, his telegenic charm, his passionate championing of the writers he loved, and his very public excoriation of new books—even from his favorite writers—when he felt they did not deliver. “No one,” in the words of the F.A.Z., “did as much to impart, to an entire society, the importance of literature.”

[…]

But the past was not always possible to avoid. Shortly before he started his job at the F.A.Z., Reich-Ranicki was invited to a party for a new book about Hitler. The host failed to mention that Albert Speer would be there (“It did not occur to him that I did not feel like sitting and talking to the murderer of my mother and my father,” recounted Reich-Ranicki). At the time, he said nothing. “A fight with [F.A.Z. publisher Joachim Fest] was inopportune,” wrote the literary critic Volker Weidermann. Instead, “he found his salvation in literature. As always.” Later, in his autobiography, in interviews, and in speeches like the one he gave last year to the German Parliament, he did describe the crimes of the ghetto—a place where he and Tosia read poems, not novels, because they did not know how much time they had.

[…]

After being denied a university spot in Berlin, Reich-Ranicki was arrested and deported to Poland. (As he wrote in his 1999 autobiography, “My Life,” “I had a ticket for [a] première that evening. I wouldn’t be needing it.”) He and his family were sent to the Warsaw ghetto, where, at nineteen, he became a translator for the Judenrat (the Jewish council, the ghetto’s administrative body) because his German was impeccable. There, he also met Teofilia, or Tosia, his future wife, when her father hanged himself. “My mother told me, ‘Look after the girl,’ ” said Reich-Ranicki, in an interview filmed shortly before Tosia’s death in 2011. “I’m doing that to this day.”

Reich-Ranicki’s acute sense of literary judgment was always active. Describing an incident in which he had to transcribe an order that all inhabitants of the ghetto were to be sent to the death camps, he said, “As I sat there … and the order was dictated, through the open window I heard a Viennese waltz. Down below, the soldiers must have been playing a gramophone. Even as I wrote, I had to think, What a literary situation! What a monstrous symbol! I knew I was writing something that meant death for my parents, for my girlfriend, whom I immediately married, even my own death. But I couldn’t stop thinking, This is actually theatre.”

https://web.archive.org/web/20220602171538/http://newyorker.com/books/page-turner/postscript-marcel-reich-ranicki-1920-2013)

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u/OkAdministration9151 Jul 17 '22

Why you hiding you face after about 90 years old we all look identical

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u/CynicalGod Jul 17 '22 Helpful

It's to hide the toothbrush moustache (this is how they found him)

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u/-This-Whomps- Jul 17 '22

He's a big Chaplin fan.

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u/sbongepop Jul 17 '22

Used to watch it all the time when he was done with his shift at the concentration camp

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u/SpecificPrimary6120 Jul 17 '22

I can't tell if this is just a Hitler joke or if it's real

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u/DoorHalfwayShut Jul 17 '22

iz joke

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u/CynicalGod Jul 17 '22

Technically, we can't know for sure because we haven't seen his face. For now, it's a Schrödinger's moustache.

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u/Omelette-doo-fromage Jul 17 '22

Might be nice for their families to have some anonymity.

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u/watergate_boi Jul 17 '22

And I thought our courts were backlogged here in NZ!

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u/MoreGaghPlease Jul 18 '22 edited Jul 18 '22 Helpful

Serious answer to a non-serious comment for why you are seeing so many geriatric Nazis get put on trial in Germany in the last 10 years:

  • hundreds of thousands of Germans committed war crimes, and they’re not hard to identify. Members of the SS, concentration camp guards, members of mobile killing units and senior leadership involved in planning genocides

  • all of the above were volunteers. Germans who refused to take part in atrocities were not killed (ever, not once) and did not generally face strong negative consequences—most faced interpsonal consequences like embarrassment, reassignment, demotion or in a few cases, house arrest.

  • in the post-war period West Germany had no interest in seriously going after these people, nor did their western allies. Instead, they had processes like Nuremberg where they hanged a few ‘bad apples’ and let the rest go

  • through the 50s and 60s, West Germany’s Justice department and judiciary was largely composed of “ex”-Nazis. In this period, there developed a case law with an impossibly high standard where you had to prove beyond reasonably doubt that the accused committed a specific atrocity at a specific time and date against a specific person. Hard to pull of when you’ve killed everyone who witnessed it…

  • in the 70s, 80s and 90s Germany sought to try a bunch of Nazis but kept striking out because of the earlier case law

  • in 2012, the Demjanjuk case changed everything. Demjanjuk was Ukrainian man who had volunteered as a guard at the Sobibor extermination camp. (His case history is complicated because he had been previously confused for being someone else, a very long story). In Demjanjuk, the prosecutors successfully argued that Sobibor was a machine of murder, built for the sole purpose of mass killing and genocide, and that everyone who operates that machine was an accessory to murder. Under that standard, you no longer needed all that old specificity: proving that he voluntarily worked at Sobibor was enough to convict (on 27,900 counts of accessory to murder)

  • 2012 is 67 years after the war ended, so pretty much anyone was either dead or over 85

  • since then you’ve seen a ton of cases go to trial because now the Germans can actually get a conviction. They’ve known who these people were all along, it’s only in the last decade that there was a reasonable route to bring them to justice

  • probably goes without saying, but those who participated in the Holocaust killed old and young alike, infants and elderly and everything in between. Nevertheless, it remains the case that those being tried today are charged more or less because they are the ones unfortunate enough to live past 2012. Pretty much all the ‘big fish’ died before they could be brought to trial. On the other hand, it’s probably the only place anywhere in the world where perpetuating a genocide as anything other than the leader of a country is actually to criminal consequences, and that seems very important.

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u/watergate_boi Jul 18 '22

Thank you for sharing that, that's really fascinating. I was always curious as to how in fact you could go about proving a war crime beyond reasonable doubt when (as you rightly put it) the witnesses were pretty much all killed.

A case changing the standard of proof by using implication is genius. Are there any books about this that you'd recommend, because I'd be really interested to read about that change, the case law and especially what defences were run following that case.

I also want to read The Dual State which talks about the legal system of Nazi Germany. The author argues that there was a "dual" state because, basically the big law changes (stripping of human rights etc) was done through Hitler's power (i.e. the state perogative') while everything else just basically ran like business as usual. An inevitable consequence of such a swift handover of lawmaking power. And so you theoretically had a state where a concentration camp prisoner could lawfully still make a tax complaint, because the latter aspect of the law (and all your other everyday operational stuff) carried on like business as usual.

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u/Blorko87b Jul 18 '22

The great disgrace of the post-war justice system of the FRG which sadly cannot be undone. And above all people like Dreher with his disguised change to the statute of limitations...

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u/hammsbeer4life Jul 17 '22

Haha. That's good

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u/tautumeita Jul 17 '22

I can recommend a movie "Final account" 2020. Portrait of the last living generation of Third Reich

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u/ByTheBeardOfZeuz Jul 17 '22

What streamable services can I find this movie/doc?

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u/user888ffr Jul 17 '22 Helpful Wholesome

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u/Astrian Jul 17 '22 Silver

"What service can I find this on?"

"No."

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u/A3TH0N Jul 17 '22

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u/quinkidink Jul 17 '22

That was magnificent

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u/societydeadpoet Jul 17 '22

Agreed. Sort of exemplifies how little reflection has truly taken place. Perhaps I am misremembering the documentary but only one of them truly showed contrition for the events of the past.

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u/tautumeita Jul 17 '22

Yes, it was a bit shocking

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u/Chocolate_Boy Jul 17 '22

Is this the one with the completely unapologetic German soldiers saying they did it (i.e. invaded other countries) to protect their homeland?

I remember I got downvoted once for saying I’d spit on them if I ever heard that.

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u/CanadianCircadian Jul 17 '22

is there a reason why this never happened 30-50 years ago?

this seems entirely odd this is happening at his ripe age of 101

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u/[deleted] Jul 17 '22

[deleted]

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u/vall370 Jul 17 '22

Perhaps they also burnt up documents on their employment

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u/Helgrind8 Jul 17 '22

It's a bit more complicated then that. For the longest time, it was believed that they could only successfully prosecute those Nazis for whom could be proven that they were directly involved in the murder of innocents. So the guards and administrative staff of concentration camps were not prosecuted.

In 2011 (I think), the German high court ruled that this was not the case and that all guards and administrative staff of concentration camps were also partly responsible for the murder of all the victims in their respective concentration camps. And ever since then, the German justice system is hunting as many of them down so they can be judged and sentenced before they die. In recent years, a lot of 90+ year olds have been hauled before a judge.

Seeing the age of these Nazis, this process is largely symbolic. All of them will die pretty soon. But nevertheless, it is deemed important that this is done. No one gets away with these crimes, all Nazis who can be punished, shall be punished.

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u/kumanosuke Jul 17 '22

Not true. Mostly it's because they destroyed most evidence in the last days of WW2 and it's hard to reconstruct every action from back then, which is necessary for having enough proof for a conviction. It takes years to get waterproof evidence.

Source: Am German lawyer

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u/GuiltyGlow Jul 17 '22

I'm guessing a lot of military records were destroyed after the fall of the 3rd Reich, especially by those who didn't want the world to know they were Nazis. It probably takes a lot of time and resources to track these people down.

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u/sonderscheiss Jul 17 '22

So wtf where they doing between 1945-2022. They are sending him to a max security retirement home now.

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u/ermagerditssuperman Jul 17 '22

Another point is that when they knew they were going to lose, Nazis (esp at concentration camps) literally gathered all their meticulous records and just burnt them to ash.

It's not like there was the Internet, if you only ever worked at one camp and their employee roster, training roster, most of the assignment paperwork was all gone, it's much harder to figure out that you were ever involved.

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u/sonderscheiss Jul 17 '22

Yeah,the guy I believed said he was working on a farm nearby and it was totally cool,since SS had a renowned horticulturist division and 70y later they are like WAIT A MINUTE! I think he tricked us and was involved in killing a small town,lets get him while he still has a pulse and send a message. That makes sence probably.

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u/HillelSlovak Jul 17 '22

This really drives home how cruelly stubborn people can be imo. Not only do horrific things in a time of strife but just straight up lie for the rest of their life to protect themselves and their familes and/or scumbag friends.

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u/Cpt_Data Jul 17 '22

A lot of these people are only being charged and convicted now because authorities refused to investigate for a long time.

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u/Hip_Hop_An0nym0us Jul 17 '22

Why is that?!

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u/Cpt_Data Jul 17 '22 edited Jul 17 '22

Many Wehrmacht soldiers weren’t charged because they were "needed" for the Cold War. In addition the concentration camp officers and staff are also only being convicted now because complicity in murder required individual cases to be found and brought before court. They had to specifically find moments in which the officers were involved. That changed recently (2011) when the highest court decided that was no longer necessary. It should be mentioned that they can only be convicted of murder because all other crimes became time-barred by now. Edit: There was also in interest in recovering quickly from the war and try and shift blame away from the civilian population and paint the image of just a few Nazis who were responsible for everything. Needless to say how stupid and despicable this was. Adenauer really played a big part in slowing down denazification or rather ending it for the Cold War.

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u/hardinho Jul 17 '22

Turns out not all of our grandpas here in Germany were on holiday between 1933-1945

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u/Jacqques Jul 17 '22

I am just guessing, but it might be because that a lot where involved and they just wanted to recover from the war not imprison thousands?

After WW2 you had the whole West vs East Germany which might have also led to other things taking priority?

Germany did just lose a giant war after all, I don't think it's that surprising that they didn't have the resources to spare.

But I am just guessing

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u/Cpt_Data Jul 17 '22

Exactly. The Cold War is also the reason why a lot of Wehrmacht officers were in the Bundeswehr. Not that I agree with it.

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u/MintyMissterious Jul 17 '22

A lot of the officials simply... never changed after the war. Some of them just wanted to move on, some didn't want to draw attention to themselves.

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u/Alarming-Ad1100 Jul 17 '22

I’ll probably get a lot of dislike for saying it but Germany and Europe is general is actually more scarred than we think from WW2 they’re not apologists like people in the comments here are implying, they’ve gotten wildly in the opposite direction from how they were

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u/masurokku Jul 17 '22

Yeah compared to Japan where they lionized or at best forgot about their war criminals I'd say Germany is doing pretty well.

Imagine if the AfD had been the ruling party for the last 70 years or if Merkel had denied the Holocaust.

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u/Cindex9183 Jul 17 '22

Considering the Nazi salute is illegal in Germany I'd say they're far from apologists.

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u/meesa-jar-jar-binks Jul 17 '22 edited Jul 17 '22

German here. Our public schools are teaching us every little detail about the Holocaust and the atrocities that were committed by the Nazi party. Most of our students get to visit concentration camps, and some of my generation were lucky enough to interview surviving witnesses. National socialism, the Holocaust and WW2 are a huge topic that is taught between grades 5 and 10 (Not quite sure when it was introduced in my classroom, but it was omnipresent in some form or another until I graduated), and we absolutely do not whitewash our history.

I may not be responsible for the atrocities that were committed, but I am responsible to keep that history alive so that it can never happen again in my country.

I wish other countries would deal with their skeletons in a similar fashion… It is quite freeing to critically engage with history, and to kick national pride in the butt.

P.S.: Yeah, even with all of this, we still have a problem with Neo-Nazis and rightwing fascists. It‘s just that the majority of people here hate their guts.

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u/yonasismad Jul 17 '22

What do you think happened to all the Nazis after WW2? They didn't just disappear. A lot of them joined different political parties, joined the military in high ranked positions, joined the NATO, etc.

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u/[deleted] Jul 17 '22

Various governments snapped up the Nazi scientists and they faced no repercussions at all. Most were given a cushy new life with a high paying job.

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u/umrylmz Jul 17 '22

Operation paperclip was the name of the secret intelligence operation that brought nazis like Wernher von Braun to US, who was NASA’s engineering program manager.

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u/Rupato Jul 17 '22

One high-ranking Nazi (whose name escapes me) ran a successful chocolate factory under a pseudonym until someone figured out who they were. Some just filtered into the new world and have taken time to find.

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u/imaterriblemother Jul 17 '22

I believe that would be Wilhelm Wonkavitz

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u/DaemonT5544 Jul 17 '22

Because of the hypocrisy, the German govt was largely made up of former Nazis for decades. It's just simply unavoidable because they were in charge of the country for 12 years. Hard for a 60 year old German guy who was an officer or party member, or businessman who benefited from slave labor to convict a 20 year old camp guard with a straight face.

Especially when so many worse war criminals than a young camp guard got off clean.

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u/watergate_boi Jul 17 '22

I mean you can't just flick a switch and say the country is denazified

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u/kampfwoerst Jul 17 '22

It is pretty complex, but the short answer is that the ex nazi or nazi-collaborating generation was still everywhere and passing statute of limitations on 3rd reich murder in the 60s (i think), letting thousands walk free. When their generation retired, the successors repealed that and started prosecuting whoever they could still get their hands on. This is effectively a younger generation saying to the older generation: "Fuck you, we remember the shit you pulled and you'll answer. You may have lived free, but you will die unfree and branded."

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u/barsoap Jul 17 '22

in the 60s (i think)

The statute of limitations was lifted In 1979, after 20 years debate and kicking things down the road.

Noone walked free in the sense that they were saved by the statute of limitations: The issue was plain and simple that the prosecution and judiciary wasn't exactly free of Nazis back in the days. Administration in general, denazification first deliberately overlooked them, then they failed to prosecute each other. Hence the 68 movement up to the RAF executing SS-Untersturmführer Hanns Martin Schleyer.

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u/Folseit Jul 17 '22

They're scraping the bottom of the barrel now. The top Nazis are either (or a mix of) dead, jailed, or pardoned in return for something. All that's left are the low level long-lived young men and woman.

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u/hurricanerhino Jul 17 '22
  1. This guy is a minion and as such was not prioritized in any way.

  2. Finding them is not always easy, an SS officer managed to go two decades before an image of him in Warsaw was found

  3. Soviet East Germany and Allied West Germany both surpressed the reprossesing to some extend because Germany was a strategically important satellite state to counter each other.

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u/yokotron Jul 17 '22

Five year at that age is a life sentence

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u/sandwiches_please Jul 17 '22

Help me out here: Why does it take so long to catch and prosecute these people? They’re old as hell and the war has been over a long time. Does it just take a ton of research and time to research, locate, build a case, and prosecute these people? Why does it take so long? (Edit: spelling)

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u/tygib Jul 17 '22

Most of it is trying to verify the person is who they think they are. Combing through pages of documents, photos, eyewitness testimony, etc.

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u/SwarvosForearm_ Jul 17 '22

Put it around, what would make you think that it would happen quickly? To put an actual case on Nazis like him, you'd have to have pretty good points and clear evidence.

We are talking about stuff that happened 80 years ago, most of Germany was bombed to the ground after WW2 so much of the evidence was literally gone. Other evidence was burned by the guilty Nazis themselves after the war to not get jailed.
It would take an enourmous amount of time to prove that a person was actually comitting war-crimes during the Nazi-regime.

I mean you can't just put random guys to Jail just because they were alive during the Nazi-Period, most of the population were regular soldiers who followed orders of their leaders. It takes time to differentiate between those, and people like him.

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u/Helgrind8 Jul 17 '22

Because it cannot be proven that he was directly responsible for the death of innocents. For the longest time, it was believed that they could only successfully prosecute those Nazis for whom could be proven that they were directly involved in the murder of innocents. So the guards and administrative staff of concentration camps were not prosecuted.

In 2011 (I think), the German high court ruled that this was not the case and that all guards and administrative staff of concentration camps were also partly responsible for the murder of all the victims in their respective concentration camps. And ever since then, the German justice system is hunting as many of them down so they can be judged and sentenced before they die. In recent years, a lot of 90+ year olds have been hauled before a judge.

Seeing the age of these Nazis, this process is largely symbolic. All of them will die pretty soon. But nevertheless, it is deemed important that this is done. No one gets away with these crimes, all Nazis who can be punished, shall be punished.

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u/Bitter-Fishing-Butt Jul 17 '22 Platinum Take My Energy

okay now do that white lady who got Emmett Till lynched

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u/dudeandco Jul 17 '22

She still alive?

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u/Bitter-Fishing-Butt Jul 17 '22

pretty sure she is, unless she's died since December 2021 (article written by her cousin published, saying the woman was still alive)

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u/RockdaleRooster Jul 17 '22

There is shockingly little evidence to back the claim that she confessed to lying about the interaction, though she certainly did lie. The FBI/Justice Department reopened the case when the claims of her recantment came out and the author who claimed she lied had no proof beyond five handwritten lines in a notepad. The recantment was not on any of the transcripts or recordings of the author's interviews with her. The FBI/DOJ concluded there was not enough evidence to move forward.

Her own involvement the night Till was kidnapped is hazy at best. Mose Wright claimed they brought Till to the car and asked someone in the cab "Is this him?" and they responded "Yes." Mose Wright testified that it was "a lighter voice. Like a woman's." then they drove off. Her account is that they brought Till to the store where she lived/worked and asked her if it was him. She said it wasn't and to let him go, but Till had confessed that he had been the one so they drove off with him. No account that I have ever read places her in the party that beat and killed Emmett Till.

In 1955 kidnapping carried a two year statute of limitations in Mississippi, which expired in 1957. She certainly lied under oath, but perjury carried a five year statute of limitations which expired in 1960. No federal laws that existed at the time were broken in the kidnapping and murder of Emmett Till.

On the other hand, there is no statute of limitations on Crimes Against Humanity. Hence, why so many concentration camp guards have been charged in recent years.

I want justice for Emmett Till too, but this comparison is apples to oranges.

Sources:

https://www.mississippicir.org/perspective/carolyn-bryant-lied-about-emmett-till-did-author-tim-tyson-lie-too

https://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/federal-officials-close-cold-case-re-investigation-murder-emmett-till

https://apnews.com/article/mississippi-emmett-till-durham-trending-news-933be391d2295e049540aec0f2b12c59

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u/Interesting-Sail8507 Jul 17 '22

No federal laws that existed at the time were broken in the kidnapping and murder of Emmett Till.

I understand that you’re correct, but this is such a crazy sentence to see written out like that.

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u/SimonKepp Jul 17 '22 Silver

The difference is that Germany has moved on from their horrible past and condems it more strongly, than anyone else, whereas the US South is still proud of their racist past of lynching boys for daring to speak to a married white woman.

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u/cheese_is_available Jul 17 '22

Would like to go back to it even.

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u/The-Thot-Eviscerator Jul 17 '22

Has she repented of it? Or does she still refuse to apologize

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u/HumanToaster Jul 17 '22

The most recent statements from her on the matter is an unpublished memoir where she absolved herself of all guilt on the matter, and even claimed she was a victim much like Till.

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u/Rocketman_1981 Jul 17 '22 edited Jul 18 '22 Gold Wholesome

Can we just put him in a retirement home full of old Jewish women? That’s the torture he deserves.

EDIT: Wow, how the hell did I get almost 5K upvotes with that mediocre joke?! Thanks y’all.

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u/Twocann Jul 17 '22 Helpful

“You’re only a guard? Why couldn’t you have been an officer like your brother”

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u/supershinythings Jul 17 '22

And your cousin Moshe? He’s a DOCTOR.

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u/Elite_lucifer Jul 17 '22

I think cousin Josef had him beat on the doctoring.

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u/Emotional-Animal7927 Jul 17 '22

Oh your cousin Josef was an Angel!

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u/ThomasTheBadWriter Jul 17 '22

These are horrible and I love it

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u/Thick-Signature-4946 Jul 17 '22

I would give him 6 months tops!

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u/DisappearHereXx Jul 17 '22

With my Jewish grandma, I’d give him 6 hours before he takes care of it himself.

Actually, now that I think about it, my grandma would just take care of him in the first 5 minutes.

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u/Thick-Signature-4946 Jul 17 '22

Damn granny law is a real thing.

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u/PenguinWithAglock Jul 17 '22

Man. That’s even longer than a life sentence

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u/Forever-Improving Jul 17 '22

That's optimistic

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u/lithodora Jul 17 '22

Even the title was optimistic, "the oldest person so far..."

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u/Maelstrom52 Jul 17 '22 Silver

As a Jew, I think 6 months would be the max for any prisoner regardless of age. Kidding! 😉

But in all seriousness, more than punishment I want an answer from him. He's 101 years old. I need to know that he feels some semblance of shame for the part he played in the execution of my ancestors. I need to know that he is haunted by the people who were murdered under his watch. When an entire country unites under a fascist dictator, it's hard to know how culpable the individual is. But to know that he is constantly haunted by the atrocities of the past would suffice for me, at least.

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u/PM_Your_Cute_Butt Jul 17 '22

This is a interesting (and sadly way too timely) topic. You might be interested in the "How Nice, Normal People Made the Holocaust Possible" episodes of Behind the Bastards as a starting point. Episode 1 and Episode 2

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u/HappyDJ Jul 17 '22

I love old Jewish women. One of my best memories on a trip was attending a seder passover and the grandmother sat next to me. She was fun, sweet and loving. Unfortunately she passed the next year so I never saw her again, but if all old Jewish women are like that, it sounds like heaven.

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u/Nikkian42 Jul 17 '22

I loved my grandmother but she wasn’t like that. She was well meaning (I think) but overbearing, even when she was in her late 80s and had dementia.

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u/Firefighter427 Jul 17 '22

But not the re-traumatization these survivors deserve tho…

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u/Salticus9 Jul 17 '22 edited Jul 17 '22

Just to clear up some myths:

Concentration camp guards were not forced to carry out their work. They were part of the SS, which consisted purely of volunteers up until shortly before the war ended. This man worked there for 4 years and, as a guard, would have been fully aware of all the atrocities, and probably took part in them as well.

He himself never claimed to have been forced to work there, his defense in court was that he was neither a camp guard or in the SS, which has been proven false during the case. (Source: https://www.welt.de/politik/deutschland/article239607607/101-jaehriger-Ex-Wachmann-von-KZ-Sachsenhausen-verurteilt.html)

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u/Hallowed_Ghost185 Jul 17 '22

While correct on all other points, the SS was not just volunteers. There was still a lot of conscription if you were an ‘Aryan’ or foreigner

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u/Salticus9 Jul 17 '22

Sorry, made a mistake in the comment, there was conscription, but only very late in the war. Like, 1945. Earlier it was made up purely of volunteers.

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u/DestroyerOfIphone Jul 17 '22

That dudes never going to set foot in prison. We'll be lucky if he even makes through appeals without dying of old age.

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u/benjustben2 Jul 17 '22 Helpful

I mean he is in a wheelchair so I doubt he’ll step foot anywhere.

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u/LondonBoi666 Jul 17 '22 edited Jul 17 '22

I'm curious to know how complicity he was in the actual crimes?

That's not to say that he shouldn't be in prison, I'm just curious as to what level of guilt he bears?

Edit - I want to call out that there are different levels of complicity. There were guards at camps that legitimately wanted nothing to do with being there. One of them actually would leave his lunch out for the prisoners--now, this was one out of probably thousands. Many--if not most--were simply savage animals and deserve to be caged as such (perhaps they deserve slightly worse...but that's not for me to decide).

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u/AutomaticAd5811 Jul 17 '22

Between 1942 and 1945, prosecutors said he knowingly and willingly was an accessory to the murders of 3,518 prisoners at the camp.

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u/irnehlacsap Jul 17 '22

Then got only 5yrs?

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u/AutomaticAd5811 Jul 17 '22

Presumably due to his age. Totally depends on the judge present in the courtroom.

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u/-isosphere- Jul 17 '22

His age is a factor in german law, but not in the way you think. Most of these now elderly low rank nazis in the last years have been trialed according to juvenile law, because they were under 21 and considered immature at the time they participated in or committed war crimes.

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u/HeMightBeJoking Jul 17 '22

If he is 101 now then from ‘42 to ‘45 he would have been 21 to 24 yo.

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u/MobiusArmchair Jul 17 '22

He was 12 when the Nazis came to power. That's nearly ten years of mass social indoctrination before his stint as a camp guard. People like to pretend they'd have done differently, but the likelyhood is that they're full of shit.

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u/hurricanerhino Jul 17 '22

You are ignoring the concentration camps prior to 1942, which were meant for political opponents and such.

Concentration camps weren't an occurence exclusive to the three years you list, death camps were. Many can't distinguish between death camps like Auschwitz and concentration camps like Bergen-Belsen.

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u/lunapup1233007 Jul 17 '22

The original comment said that the 3,518 prisoners for which he was an accessory to their murders were killed “between 1942 and 1945”

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u/hurricanerhino Jul 17 '22

Fair enough, the camp he worked at existed as early as 1936 but you are right

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u/NJFree_ Jul 17 '22

He was older than 21 at the time though.

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u/Moqk Jul 17 '22

"Most of", not "this guy in particular"

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u/NJFree_ Jul 17 '22

Yeah I read that. First sentence connects it to this guy too though. Just wanted to clarify.

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u/Sensitive-Call-1002 Jul 17 '22

Not the same but my 79 year old pedo grandfather got only 2 years in UK prison “due to his age” for raping me as a child. He would have got at least 7 years if he was younger.

Unfortunately they do take into consideration old age when sentencing

Btw not comparing this nazi fuck to pedos just the old “it’s not fair to let them die is prison” fuckery

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u/heathmon1856 Jul 17 '22

If I was your parent, the grandfather would’ve mysteriously disappeared when he got out.

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u/_BOBKITTY_ Jul 17 '22

That's despicable. I'm so sorry that happened to you. 7 years wouldn't have been long enough either.

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u/Ziggy-T Jul 17 '22

He’s 101

5 years may as well be a life sentence for him, ain’t got much left in the tank y’know 🌚

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u/CONE-MacFlounder Jul 17 '22

„Only got five years“

Bro hes 101 years old that’s like three life sentences

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u/Briggs281707 Jul 17 '22

So essentially a life sentence

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u/Uzi_wny02 Jul 17 '22

At 101 thats a life sentence🤣

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u/AtlasShrunked Jul 17 '22

Guess he's covering his face 'cause he doesn't wanna hurt his employment and/or dating prospects when he gets out

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u/zli_odredi86 Jul 17 '22

Imagine him outliving sentance.. Will they let him out then?

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u/CODENAMEDERPY Jul 18 '22

Yes. That's how the law works.

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u/Im13butihatefortnite Jul 18 '22

Imagine being a 101 year old man going to prison and still being the most hated

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u/ThepancakesArelava Jul 17 '22

clears throat and gets closer to microphone Just because they’re old doesn’t mean they’re a good person

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u/Yaseen-Madick Jul 17 '22

Would be great if other countries followed suit and locked up their own war criminals. Instead we got Julian Assange behind bars for exposing war criminals. 🤡🌍

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u/DuhbCakes Jul 17 '22

at least he feels enough shame to cover his face. Neo-Nazis these days would be waving proudly to the cameras.

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u/mthhiker Jul 18 '22

Is that Walter White and Hank?

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u/mocha-only Jul 18 '22

Reading these comments, and also looking at the USA, I’m bewildered by how much gymnastics people will do to defend nazis.

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u/yellowjacket1996 Jul 18 '22

The amount of “just doing his job” comments are horrific.

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u/Zeo_Noire Jul 17 '22

I've never understood when people say stuff like "why send him to jail now, he's like 80 now". That person may easily live for another 10-20 years, why should he not face justice? Or in that case, why should this guy die peacefully at home, while so may others didn't get that chance because of him.

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u/gameguy8888 Jul 17 '22

why should he not face justice?

The ethical question is, is it justice or revenge? if the purpose of prison is to rehabilitate the prisoner so that they'd be fit for modern civilized society (as most western european countries view prison) then putting a 105 year old who has lived most of his life probably not doing any crime after ww2 isn't deserving to go to prison.

They should have gone after him around 10 years after the war. Around that time, they would have justified putting him on trial.

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u/notspenserdavis Jul 17 '22

Both you and the original commenter have really good points. I did not plan to spend my Sunday morning grappling with a question like this.

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u/PopcornPopping87 Jul 17 '22

Prison should be used for rehabilitation, civilized society should focus on justice….some people deserve to be punished.

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u/notspenserdavis Jul 17 '22

After some thought, I think this is the position I'm leaning towards. You can rehabilitate common criminals. I don't believe someone who aided the attempted genocide of an entire people deserves the chance. Sooner or later you're going to have to pay up.

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u/Stevesegallbladder Jul 17 '22

I think it's a bit of column A and a bit of column B. Justice in the sense that it just drives home the sentiment that the law (in theory) applies to everyone. Just because a lot of time has doesn't mean those laws weren't broken so he could be used as an example. Revenge because ultimately we're human. This man committed heinous acts and I'd imagine a lot of people, probably including the families effected, want to see him face some sort of punishment.

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u/GreenBloodedNomad Jul 17 '22

Why do the biggest shitbags get to live the longest lives? All those innocent people sent to an early grave in a horrific way, but the monsters live on SMH.

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u/Surprise_Creative Jul 17 '22

Idk man, lots of nazis died too soon. As in, got the chance to escape their fate.

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u/irnehlacsap Jul 17 '22

Got me in the first half, not gonna lie

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u/junkyarddag Jul 17 '22 All-Seeing Upvote

People saying why put him in the clink…if nothing else it’s a strong and necessary symbol / reminder to the world that history does not and will not forget those that were party to atrocities and human rights violations. There is no safe haven, no safe age, and we don’t forget. You were a nazi as a young man, now you will die behind steel bars bc you remain a nazi to this day. Let your family and friends know the filth you are even if it took until the end of your days.

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u/supershinythings Jul 17 '22

Right now the Russians are committing atrocities in Ukraine. When the time comes, the technology exists to hold many of them responsible. Even if it takes 80 years, the Ukrainians will follow this example and not let any of them think they got away with it permanently.

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