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New Nazi cases on 'Demjanjuk principle'

The Local · 20 Aug 2012, 17:21

Published: 20 Aug 2012 17:21 GMT+02:00

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The Central Office of the Judicial Authorities for the Investigation of National Socialist Crimes said its investigation into the man was completed and had been handed to the public prosecutor in Weiden, Bavaria.

The man, who lives outside Germany, worked at the camp from at least April 1944, in closing off ramps leading to gas chambers, in guard duties around the camp, and in shifts on the watchtowers. This is enough to consider him having made a “causal contribution to the murderous crimes,” the Central Office report concluded.

The public prosecutor confirmed it had received files which it would take several weeks to check.

Head of the Central Office Kurt Schrimm said May’s conviction of Demjanjuk had been crucial to his continued work in putting together this prosecution case. “The verdict of Munich district court burst the dam,” he said.

Before that verdict courts had required proof of individuals personally taking part in a murder to convict them.

But since the conviction of Demjanjuk this is no longer the case. He was convicted of helping to murder at least 28,000 people at Sobibor death camp in Poland simply due to the fact he worked there as a guard.

Judge Ralph Alt said he was convinced that Demjanjuk was a guard at the death camp "and that as guard he took part in the murder of at least 28,000 people."

Demjanjuk was sentenced to five years in prison but was immediately released pending appeal and moved into an old people's home in the sleepy Bavarian town of Bad Feilnbach where he died in March.

The Demjanjuk ruling prompted the Central Office to re-examine the cases it had closed against surviving suspected Nazi war criminals. Schrimm said he was looking at 20 cases of people who had worked at Sobibor, Treblinka, Belzek, Kulmhof and Auschwitz.

Story continues below…

In a separate case, the public prosecutor in Stuttgart said on Monday it was soon to decide on whether to prosecute a man involved in the 1944 attack on the Tuscan village of Sant’ Anna di Stazzema in which an estimated 560 people were killed.

DPA/The Local/hc

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:11 August 20, 2012 by tdog1964
what have we come to. Are the Germans going to convict the train engineers who drove the trains to the camps . Or the cooks who fed the guards. At some point you need to say that justice was served with the people already convicted from the Nurnenburg trials to the trials of lesser men who were involved.
18:48 August 20, 2012 by Startbahn
The problem is that many of those directly and regularly involved in these murders (three. hundred. and. forty-four. thousand. men. women. and. children. in this case) were never convicted of a crime. He obviously knew his guilt well enough to run away. It is false to claim that all the guilty were dealt with at Nurenburg. Yes, mine is the same argument every time. As is yours is too, tdog. My guess is that the first-hand guilt that has gone unacknowledged for so long will continue to go unacknowledged. Dad/grandpa was in the war but didn't want to talk about it. Some, like this man, didn't want to talk about it for very good reasons.
19:32 August 20, 2012 by lucksi
Hey, maybe the US will also prosecute the guards at Gitmo or in the scores of other prisons they have where they tortured people. Or maybe for the bystanders of warcrimes in Nam ect.

Bwahaha, yeah right.
20:22 August 20, 2012 by karldehm
I agree with the other comments. Enough is enough!
21:25 August 20, 2012 by DOZ
"Are the Germans going to convict the train engineers who drove the trains to the camps ."

No tdog, just terrorize their Grandchildren. They didn't have to be Engineers, being a Conductor would suffice. The German Government should start to stand up for the distant relatives of it's German Subjects stranded in un-friendly countries.

Thanks to the Local, I have been able to answer many questions hidden from me by my Countries Government.
23:43 August 20, 2012 by peterbishop
"Common purpose " is a useful catch all for the lawyers. One could charge every member of the British Labour party with war crimes because they were part of Tony Blair's illegal war in Iraq . Likewise every member of the German armed forces including HJ members could be charged with " common purpose " even the Pope who was a former member of the HJ.

As for the present German people they need to stop self flagellating and they really need to grow up. It must be strange growing up in such an odd totalitarian society .
07:39 August 21, 2012 by grahame-s
He would have been 19 in 1944 ..... I hope no-one ever asks me to account for everything that I did when I was 19 ...

Yes - if he is identified as being directly responsible for a deliberate act then prosecute ... but just for being there?

Still, that generation will all be gone in a few years - perhaps then the authorities will start prosecuting former stasi/DDR troops who took over the camps when the war ended.

grahame s
12:33 August 21, 2012 by ajavrik
well,"just being there" for a guard in extermination camp is well (strong) said.

the europeans that do not believe in christ anymore still blame jews in what romans did in some farytale.

it means i am still guilty (100 generations since)!

without guards there could not be exterminations!

do not play stupid!

well', you do not!you are sincere!
16:43 August 21, 2012 by raandy
Demjanjuk and this "other person" were tiny cogs in a big wheel, I am sure they did not make decisions about anything to do with policy or who worked where or did what.In Demjanjuks case he himself was a prisoner of the Nazis

It would not have made any difference if they were or were not there, in the extermination of those unfortunate people.

This has turned into a witch hunt buy a few lawyers ,and politicians beating a dead horse.
13:13 April 21, 2013 by MaxxMurxx
The confusing aspect is that according to the official version or "master narrative" of history, 250.000 people were killed in Sobibor by Diesel exhaust, 25.000 until the end of 1942. German courts when convicting "Holocaust Deniers" refuse to discuss those numbers, arguing, they would be "offenkundig" (obvious).. Demjanuk then would have to have been accused of assisting 225.000 murders, by allegedly having been guard in Sobibor in 1943. The conviction of having assisted to 27.900 murders could also be the juridical procedure to revise official numbers without having to acknowledge in public that the ones having been "offenkundig" before were wrong and convicting those attempting to discuss them were acts of state injustice;.
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