Don’t Put The Geezers In Jail

Germany Reopens Hundreds of Nazi Investigations

Germany has reportedly reopened hundreds of investigations of Nazi death camp guards following the May conviction of 91-year-old John Demjanjuk, who was found guilty of 28,060 counts of accessory to murder for his role as a guard at Poland’s Sobibir camp during World War II.

The Guardian reports that German authorities believe that Demjanjuk’s conviction and five-year sentence sets a precedent for other war criminals because it was the first time that prosecutors were able to convict someone in a Nazi-era case without direct evidence that the person participated in a specific murder.

This does not make me happy. 67 years have passed since World War 2 has ended. Let’s say a German soldier was 18. I feel like realistically, that’s too young to have been a guard at a death camp, but we’re going to rock that number. Today, 85 is about as young as a man could be and have served in World War 2. In many cases, probably a little past prime.

28,060 counts of accessory to murder, really? First of all, I think it is a horrible precedent to start convicting of murders without evidence of participation. I’m not really seriously on board with the whole accessory to murder thing, either, because there *was* a draft. Sorry. No choice but to serve your country, no matter how fucked up your country might be. If you can’t prove that someone was murdering and not scrubbing toilets, you can’t send them to prison for it.

The ‘serving their country’ thing is kind of part of the bigger picture for me. Because while there are hard cold facts of Dr. Goebbels and Klaus the Barber, etc; I would say the vast majority of them were just there fighting a war no different than our soldiers. In the grand scheme of things, it was Germany as a whole that was “The Murderer” and offering up a handful of doddering old men as scapegoats just seems to be shirking responsibility.

For that matter, if you are wanting accessories to murder, you should go after the people who actively participated. Like the steel companies, the munitions factories, those that did business with the Axis countries. They actually chose to participate. These old men who were in many cases, young boys then, did not.

I feel weird defending Nazis on any level. But this is wrong.


~ by Layla on October 5, 2011.

One Response to “Don’t Put The Geezers In Jail”

  1. Great post, valid points. Imagine what my alter ego would get. 😉

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