This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Justice Delayed

"This verdict was critical, because this is the first case brought where the prosecution charged a person who wasn't involved in the physical side of mass murder. This paves the way for additional trials of individuals who did not literally pull the trigger but who were part of the implementation of the Final Solution."
Efraim Zuroff, Simon Wiesenthal Center

"You didn't want to stand on the sidelines. You wanted to be there."
"It is a question of courage and a personal decision. You decided on a job where the possibility of your own death was relatively minimal."
"What you, Mr. Groening, see as moral guilt is exactly what the law sees as accessory to murder."
Judge Franz Kompisch, Lueneburg state court, Germany

Oskar Gröning
Oskar Gröning told the court: ‘Before the victims, I admit to moral guilt here with regret and humility. But as to the question whether I am criminally culpable, that’s for you to decide.’ Photograph: Ronny Hartmann/EPA
"For us, it is not a big question of whether it is three, four, five, six years in prison -- that was never a topic."
"[The survivors] are just happy that this trial has been carried through to the end and that there was a verdict."
Lawyer Thomas Walther representing 51 co-plaintiffs
No rescues were undertaken at the time of the Holocaust. No Allied bombing of transport trains, no bombing of death camp crematoria, for there was the larger issue of fighting the war, of stopping the Nazi juggernaut marching through Europe in its malign conquest of an inferior Europe, to impose upon non-Germans the superior Aryan morals and values and a fascist ideology of governance.

Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, political dissenters, the infirm and the mentally delayed perished in their unspeakable droves of hopeless misery in a mechanical and efficient protocol meant to extinguish as many lives as possible, leaving no trace behind. The German penchant for record-maintenance and precise measurements of events did leave its trace of statistics representing what were once men, women and children.

The survivors of the Auschwitz death camp remembered SS guard Oskar Groening, despite the passage of time. And many of them, looking for recognition and a late justice, travelled to testify about their experience and the usefulness of this man who has been found guilty of accessory to the murder of 300,000 Jews, to the Third Reich in its prosecution of a Judenrein Europe.

This was a man who was an exemplary German reflecting the temper of the times when Jews were slandered as sub-human and a threat to world order requiring elimination and Oskar Groening volunteered to join the Nazi campaign, and diligently worked to ensure that Jews were stripped of their possessions on arrival at Auschwitz, and their valuables sent directly to party headquarters to fund Germany's pursuit of its transformation of the world order.

Justice Kompisch identified Oskar Groening as part of the "machinery of death", aiding the function of the camp and in his role of camp accountant collecting money taken from victims to be sent on to Berlin. He was well aware of the purpose of the camp. But he remained rather than be sent elsewhere where his life might presumably have been in danger on one of the front lines.

Hundreds of thousands of Jews from Hungary were brought to Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland, most of whom were immediately introduced to Zyklon B, and death. Likely appeal proceedings will be effective in ensuring that quite a period of time will elapse between this judgement and his presumed incarceration. In the interim, at the age of 94, Oskar Groening may die of natural causes long before he is ever ushered into a prison.

The many former prison guards and other war personnel in the SS who did their country proud between 1939 and 1945 who have since then lived exemplary and normal lives in Germany as good citizens may now perhaps anticipate that though they did not directly murder a Jew themselves, they may be hauled before the courts to explain precisely how they conducted themselves and explain that they simply followed orders.

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