Snarky Brides

Nazi Thoughts?

I have some down time at work and was curious to get some other thoughts on this article I came across. (Kind of a random SB poster, but knew it would get some action here vs. other boards)

http://tinyurl.com/6kpan5d

CN:

Demjanjuk was sentenced to five years in prison on 28,060 counts of accessory to murder for the number of people who were killed in the Sobibor death camp when the court said evidence shows he stood guard there in 1943.

Though scores of Nazi war criminals have been tried and convicted in Germany, in this case there was no evidence that Demjanjuk committed a specific crime.

His prosecution was based on the theory that if Demjanjuk was at the camp, he was a participant in the killing — the first time such a legal argument has been made in German courts.
Another side note, he was deported from the US two years ago.

ETA: tiny link so you can read

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Re: Nazi Thoughts?

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_nazi-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:17Discussion:0540776a-9afa-46b9-af56-8941ee48244dPost:81e54c9e-c095-4020-b8f4-1ba22271e669">Nazi Thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I have some down time at work and was curious to get some other thoughts on this article I came across. (Kind of a random SB poster, but knew it would get some action here vs. other boards) <a href="http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110512/ap_on_re_eu/eu_germany_demjanjuk" rel='nofollow'>http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110512/ap_on_re_eu/eu_germany_demjanjuk</a> CN: Demjanjuk was sentenced to five years in prison on 28,060 counts of accessory to murder for the number of people who were killed in the Sobibor death camp when the court said evidence shows he stood guard there in 1943. Though scores of Nazi war criminals have been tried and convicted in Germany, in this case there was no evidence that Demjanjuk committed a specific crime. His prosecution was based on the theory that if Demjanjuk was at the camp, he was a participant in the killing — the first time such a legal argument has been made in German courts. Another side note, he was deported from the US two years ago.
    Posted by shan87[/QUOTE]

    <div>(Had to quote to read)</div>
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  • I was just about the tiny link it.. sorry
  • Eh I have a problem with this.  Do I think it was awful that he was a guard at a concentration camp?  Yes.  Do I think that foot soldiers in the German military had a lot of choice on their assignments, hell no.  He probably had no ability to help, change his post, etc.  I do not think it is fair or a just legal argument to sentence him merely because he worked there.  If they could find testimony from someone about specific illegal acts he committed or atrocities that he specifically committed I'd feel differently.
  • No prob, it happens. :)

    It's hard because I think of all the people who joined the German army just to survive, and what if they locked them all up? Would they have room for them all?

    I'm not trying to sympathize with Nazis. No way. Maybe they should lock them all up. But I'm skeptical on how one proves, with evidence, they hated what they were doing vs. they loved what they were doing as a guard for a concentration camp. And over 60 years later? I do not envy those lawyers. How do you even begin to prove this and decide who gets punished and who slides by?

    This stuck out to me in the story:

    "Demjanjuk has always maintained he was a victim of the Nazis — first wounded as a Soviet soldier fighting German forces, then captured and held as a prisoner of war under brutal conditions before joining the Vlasov Army, a force of anti-communist Soviet POWs and others that was formed to fight with the Germans against the Soviets in the final months of the war."


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  • Also, has anyone here seen the movie The Reader with Kate Winslet? SO good. It also deals with crimes of the holocaust ending in the court room many years later.
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  • edited May 2011
    I'm curious to learn what level Germany's burden of proof is. Based on this article it seems the evidence is at the very least insufficient for a conviction. (ETA: By American Standards)
     
  • K ByteK Byte member
    1000 Comments Fourth Anniversary
    I've lived in Cleveland pretty much my whole life (well, close enough to Cleveland to get their TV stations anyway) and I'm still not sure what to think of this. He's been convicted and the convictions have been overturned by the Supreme Court and Israeli tribunals used to try former Nazis so many times that the whole issue is highly confusing. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Demjanjuk
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  • I am also curious about this ID cluster. Is it or is it not fake? I mean who the heck will ever figure it out. There was so much counterfeiting during this time. My gut reaction is everyone was just trying to survive, (minus Hitler and higher ups).
  • edited May 2011
    First, Hi Shan!

    Anyway, I agree with apro.  Was everything that happened then absolutely atrocious? of course.  But, sentancing him now just feels like scapgoating.  

    ETA: on the other hand... maybe it will help bring closure to the holocaust survivors and families?
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_nazi-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:17Discussion:0540776a-9afa-46b9-af56-8941ee48244dPost:eab9e15a-0a8d-4932-a570-f81ea912ad92">Re: Nazi Thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]First, Hi Shan! Anyway, I agree with apro.  Was everything that happened then absolutely atrocious? of course.  But, sentancing him now just feels like scapgoating.  
    Posted by Steph0871[/QUOTE]

    You and Apro said it better than I ever could.

    Ps. Steph we miss you!
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_nazi-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:17Discussion:0540776a-9afa-46b9-af56-8941ee48244dPost:36636471-8eed-4f0d-be9f-c1c5f7c40d5d">Re: Nazi Thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Nazi Thoughts? : You and Apro said it better than I ever could. Ps. Steph we miss you!
    Posted by shan87[/QUOTE]

    <div>ha. I'm fairly certain K doesn't miss me.</div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_nazi-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:17Discussion:0540776a-9afa-46b9-af56-8941ee48244dPost:70ca49cc-c464-446b-b657-98d19ca5e18d">Re: Nazi Thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Nazi Thoughts? : ha. I'm fairly certain K doesn't miss me.
    Posted by Steph0871[/QUOTE]

    Dramz?!  I like dramz.

    I agree with aprove as well.
    panther
  • annakb8annakb8 member
    2500 Comments
    There is a lot of debate over whether or not members of the Wehrmacht (army during the Third Reich) or any other Nazi organizations can be held accountable for everything the did, and whether or not they had a choice to participate. There is a very interesting book by Christopher Browning called Ordinary Men about retired police officers who were recruited to be parts of the einsatzgruppen who followed the invading army through Poland rounding up and killing Jews. They were all given an out at the beginning of the operation and none (or maybe only one person) took it. They were told what they were supposed to do and they all willingly went on with the assignment.

    Anyway, a death camp (like Sobibor, where this guy worked) is very different than a concentration camp. Staff was usually minimal and everyone working there was an active part of the extermination of the people who where shipped in on a regular basis. I highly doubt this guy was just stationed at a fence with his back turned to everything that was happening. If Germany has no statute of limitations on murder I see nothing wrong for trying and convicting him for his participation in the Holocaust.
  • Okay just to play devils advocate and stir up this article

    Does his age play a part in your decision? 
    I'll be completely honest, when I first read the title with his age in it. I thought why now? (Before considering the evidence)

    Not saying I agree but does anyone think at this point let God or afterlife handle it??
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_nazi-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:17Discussion:0540776a-9afa-46b9-af56-8941ee48244dPost:9117f80e-9733-4642-929c-192035466fa2">Re: Nazi Thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Nazi Thoughts? : Dramz?!  I like dramz. I agree with aprove as well.
    Posted by AllAboutTheBenjamin[/QUOTE]

    <div><a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_minnesota-minneapolis-st-paul_nwr-fil-insurance-vent">http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_minnesota-minneapolis-st-paul_nwr-fil-insurance-vent</a></div>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_nazi-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:17Discussion:0540776a-9afa-46b9-af56-8941ee48244dPost:fc6ee76c-2a35-4724-a03f-2e7715c8ffcc">Re: Nazi Thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Eh I have a problem with this.  Do I think it was awful that he was a guard at a concentration camp?  Yes.  Do I think that foot soldiers in the German military had a lot of choice on their assignments, hell no.  He probably had no ability to help, change his post, etc.  I do not think it is fair or a just legal argument to sentence him merely because he worked there.  If they could find testimony from someone about specific illegal acts he committed or atrocities that he specifically committed I'd feel differently.
    Posted by aprovencher21[/QUOTE]

    Yup. All of this.

    There was a man that lived just about a half mile up the road from me in my hometown that was tried, and was supposedly ordered to be deported back to Austria because he was a "Nazi" guard in Germany. He lived in a small home with his wife, helped a local farm and delivered food to local senior citizens centers in a an area known for it's high Jewish polulation.

    The trial started about 10 years ago when he was 86 and going on dialysis 3 times a week. He was so ill that he couldn't be in the courtroom. I remember driving past his house and there were a whole bunch of students from a local Jewish school protesting outside his home. I didn't know much about what was going on at the time.

    I assume he's dead now, but the house is still there. I read some articles about him and he always maintained that he was forced into being a guard, and that he never hurt anyone. In a small excerpt from the article he said this

    <p><em>On this day, the soldier from Krindija looks tired. As his wife drags out a plastic bag of medications and worries that he will not be able to afford them if he loses his Social Security and is sent back to Austria, he gazes out the window, smiling absently. When asked about the war, Gruber denies he persecuted anyone.</em></p><p><em>"Me never touched prisoners," he declares. "You had to be a big shot to do that." He insists that he had no choice when it came to serving in the Waffen SS. "If you didn't go, they shoot you," he says, adding, <strong>"For us, there was a Holocaust too. Our village was destroyed. There were a lot of people killed."</strong></em></p><p> </p>
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_nazi-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:17Discussion:0540776a-9afa-46b9-af56-8941ee48244dPost:5a8ddd62-6017-433e-b9f0-07e46d1397bd">Re: Nazi Thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Okay just to play devils advocate and stir up this article <strong>Does his age play a part in your decision?</strong>  I'll be completely honest, when I first read the title with his age in it. I thought why now? (Before considering the evidence) Not saying I agree but does anyone think at this point let God or afterlife handle it??
    Posted by shan87[/QUOTE]

    <div>No. I'm only concerned with his part in it and how he felt about it while he was doing it. If he really was the guy pointing people to their death, like Annak said, I don't care how old he is, he should be punished. </div><div>
    </div><div>Murder has an expiration date? </div><div>
    </div><div>It's so sticky. If someone is holding a gun to your head and forces you to kill someone, both people should probably go to prison? I have no idea, it's just a question that's really boggling to think about. All the people forced to kill or be killed.. should they have just killed themselves? There are no right answers, imo.</div>
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  • annakb8annakb8 member
    2500 Comments
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_nazi-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:17Discussion:0540776a-9afa-46b9-af56-8941ee48244dPost:5a8ddd62-6017-433e-b9f0-07e46d1397bd">Re: Nazi Thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Okay just to play devils advocate and stir up this article Does his age play a part in your decision?  I'll be completely honest, when I first read the title with his age in it. I thought why now? (Before considering the evidence) Not saying I agree <strong>but does anyone think at this point let God or afterlife handle it??</strong>
    Posted by shan87[/QUOTE]

    Well, Germany is a pretty secular nation so I doubt the German justice system thinks God should handle it. I think it is easy to feel bad for him because of his age, but I don't really think it should matter that the trial is being held in 2011 instead of 1946.

    Also, if I'm understanding correctly this guy was a Ukrainian who was working for the SS, of course this might not have been the case 100% of the time but those guys were usually volunteers.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_nazi-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:17Discussion:0540776a-9afa-46b9-af56-8941ee48244dPost:86620ed3-f127-4da5-ad4d-c634f07bd70d">Re: Nazi Thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Nazi Thoughts? : <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_minnesota-minneapolis-st-paul_nwr-fil-insurance-vent" rel='nofollow'>http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/local-wedding-boards_minnesota-minneapolis-st-paul_nwr-fil-insurance-vent</a>
    Posted by Steph0871[/QUOTE]

    Have my babies.
    panther
  • While I understand the difference between death and concentration camps and by being a "guard" at a death camp he most likely may have had a more active involvement in atrocities that still isn't "proof."  He could have been forced to work there and do things or who knows he could have been one of the only nice people who did small acts of kindness for the victims.  I'm not saying he did any of those things but the point is there is no evidence either way so I think it is unjust to sentence him based on things he supposedly did. 

    Also, I don't know if I feel right punishing people who may have committed acts against their will because they were genuinely concerned about what could happen to them and their family.  If I saw firsthand the depravity that the German government and military was willing to go to with the death camps I don't think I'd have the balls to defy my orders and directives. 
  • MrsMack10612MrsMack10612 The Witch City member
    Tenth Anniversary 500 Love Its 1000 Comments First Answer
    I don't think I'll ever buy the "just following orders" argument that has been alluded to and that they had no choice.  If there that many as we are led to believe that felt that way - they could have rebeled against the powers that be.  What could have been the deaths/sacrifice of a few (even in the hundreds or thousands) would have been worth saving millions.

    I agree with Anna that the camps that we specifically death camps - did not have non-active participants in the executions.

     

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_nazi-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:17Discussion:0540776a-9afa-46b9-af56-8941ee48244dPost:447c5eb3-0ed3-463e-8704-b98c4de3670f">Re: Nazi Thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Nazi Thoughts? : Well, Germany is a pretty secular nation so I doubt the German justice system thinks God should handle it. I think it is easy to feel bad for him because of his age, but I don't really think it should matter that the trial is being held in 2011 instead of 1946. Also, if I'm understanding correctly this guy was a Ukrainian who was working for the SS, of course this might not have been the case 100% of the time but those guys were usually volunteers.
    Posted by annakb8[/QUOTE]

    My point was that, some people will believe that if justice is not served on earth that it will be later. Not the justice system but individuals.
  • blush64blush64 member
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Comments
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_nazi-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:17Discussion:0540776a-9afa-46b9-af56-8941ee48244dPost:cfab3ae7-fb85-4e50-868e-da63a70a81e6">Re: Nazi Thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]There is a lot of debate over whether or not members of the Wehrmacht (army during the Third Reich) or any other Nazi organizations can be held accountable for everything the did, and whether or not they had a choice to participate. There is a very interesting book by Christopher Browning called Ordinary Men about retired police officers who were recruited to be parts of the einsatzgruppen who followed the invading army through Poland rounding up and killing Jews. They were all given an out at the beginning of the operation and none (or maybe only one person) took it. They were told what they were supposed to do and they all willingly went on with the assignment. Anyway, a death camp (like Sobibor, where this guy worked) is very different than a concentration camp. Staff was usually minimal and everyone working there was an active part of the extermination of the people who where shipped in on a regular basis. I highly doubt this guy was just stationed at a fence with his back turned to everything that was happening. If Germany has no statute of limitations on murder I see nothing wrong for trying and convicting him for his participation in the Holocaust.
    Posted by annakb8[/QUOTE]

    I agree with this.

    I may sound harsh but I would not want to let it go, no matter the age, no matter how long ago. Did people have a choice? Yes. There were many people risking their lives to help and if more people would have stood up and fought or simply refused to go along we don't know for sure what would have happened.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_nazi-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:17Discussion:0540776a-9afa-46b9-af56-8941ee48244dPost:70ca49cc-c464-446b-b657-98d19ca5e18d">Re: Nazi Thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Nazi Thoughts? : ha. I'm fairly certain K doesn't miss me.
    Posted by Steph0871[/QUOTE]

    ps. I never read that post because Auto Insurance isn't entertaining or worth reading about. I'm sorry to have missed it LoL I'm enjoying it now.
  • annakb8annakb8 member
    2500 Comments
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_nazi-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:17Discussion:0540776a-9afa-46b9-af56-8941ee48244dPost:6eeed4d8-5d53-4629-bf15-6f3d51932e80">Re: Nazi Thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]While I understand the difference between death and concentration camps and by being a "guard" at a death camp he most likely may have had a more active involvement in atrocities that still isn't "proof."  He could have been forced to work there and do things or who knows he could have been one of the only nice people who did small acts of kindness for the victims.  I'm not saying he did any of those things but the point is there is no evidence either way so I think it is unjust to sentence him based on things he supposedly did.  <strong>Also, I don't know if I feel right punishing people who may have committed acts against their will because they were genuinely concerned about what could happen to them and their family. </strong> If I saw firsthand the depravity that the German government and military was willing to go to with the death camps I don't think I'd have the balls to defy my orders and directives. 
    Posted by aprovencher21[/QUOTE]

    See, I just don't buy this argument because most people weren't pressed into this stuff. A lot of it was voluntary and there are tons of examples of German citizens and others declining to participate in various Nazi programs without any kind of retaliation from the government. Overall the Nazi's valued Aryan life too much to kill or hurt someone for refusing to work a certain job when there were plenty of people willing to do the dirty work.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_nazi-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:17Discussion:0540776a-9afa-46b9-af56-8941ee48244dPost:ccf2791a-a56f-469c-9bcc-382b61c55f41">Re: Nazi Thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Nazi Thoughts? : I agree with this. I may sound harsh but I would not want to let it go, no matter the age, no matter how long ago. <strong>Did people have a choice? Yes. There were many people risking their lives to help and if more people would have stood up and fought or simply refused to go along we don't know for sure what would have happened.</strong>
    Posted by blush64[/QUOTE]

    You may be right, but maybe not. People were brainwashed. Children were taught these ideas and didn't know any different.

    You can choose not to let it go if you want, but your reasoning, to me is a little too simple when this situation is much more complex than most of us could even imagine.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_nazi-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:17Discussion:0540776a-9afa-46b9-af56-8941ee48244dPost:3de3e47c-e10d-4ba0-8cdd-ae3d94390ae5">Re: Nazi Thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Also, has anyone here seen the movie The Reader with Kate Winslet? SO good. It also deals with crimes of the holocaust ending in the court room many years later.
    Posted by reddy123[/QUOTE]

    Ugh I hated that movie. HATED. Now, I think German guilt is a really interesting topic. I just hated that movie.

    Anyway, 2 pointsL 1) he was a Russian POW, not someone who joined the German army voluntarily.

    2) The nuremberg trials limited the prosecution to those who were in the upper eschelons of command - those who planned the final solution, those who ran the camps, etc. Otherwise you would have would up with 234,723 trials, right? I think it's more so now that most people who worked in the camps are dying off, so they're trying to make a point of this and prove the Holocaust was awful and that it is still relevent - look at this guy! He's still walking around after murdering thousands of Jews!

    So yeah, I don't really agree with it, just because it's inconsistent with prior convictions.
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  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_snarky-brides_nazi-thoughts?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:17Discussion:0540776a-9afa-46b9-af56-8941ee48244dPost:6eeed4d8-5d53-4629-bf15-6f3d51932e80">Re: Nazi Thoughts?</a>:
    [QUOTE]While I understand the difference between death and concentration camps and by being a "guard" at a death camp he most likely may have had a more active involvement in atrocities that still isn't "proof."  He could have been forced to work there and do things or who knows he could have been one of the only nice people who did small acts of kindness for the victims.  I'm not saying he did any of those things but the point is there is no evidence either way so I think it is unjust to sentence him based on things he supposedly did.  Also, <strong>I don't know if I feel right punishing people who may have committed acts against their will because they were genuinely concerned about what could happen to them and their family. </strong> If I saw firsthand the depravity that the German government and military was willing to go to with the death camps I don't think I'd have the balls to defy my orders and directives. <div>Posted by aprovencher21[/QUOTE]</div><div>
    </div><div>This is what I was trying to say, Aprove just said it better. I'm not saying I know anything about Demjanjuk specifically, I just think it's a slippery slope. Especially 60+ years later.</div><div>
    </div><div>The Reader? Anybody? A nazi officer is tried with their nazi peers, and the peers decide to tweak documentation to "prove" she was the commanding officer, so that their sentences will be reduced. 

    </div>
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  • Why did you hate that movie Mery? I don't think it's the best ever, but I thought it was really intriguing and made me see things from a different light.
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  • annakb8annakb8 member
    2500 Comments
    Oh, I didn't see that he was a Russian POW, I read that as he was taken as a POW by the Russian army.

    I still think people are sometimes really quick to say that Germans (and other people who fell under German rule at one time or another) were forced into following Nazi rule and can't be completely held accountable for their actions which I think is complete BS for the most part.
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