IMHO this was done merely for sake of being politically correct. Seventy-one years after the fact Germany has caught a small fish 94-year old, and sentenced him for 3-1/2 years in jail. For what? Accessory to murder sounds impressive but the man worked as a bookkeeper and was never physically involved in the mass murders. He was in his early 20’s. Prior to that, he worked as a bank clerk.
Judge Franz Kompisch acknowledged that Groening was born in a different time and grew up in a society where Jews were portrayed as a danger to the country. He was young and brainwashed already when he joined the SS “on his own volition when he had many other options” according to the Judge. This is a crime? I’ve never heard of EVERYONE who joined the SS back in the 1940’s be brought to justice for doing just that.
In his job at the death camp, for which he has been dubbed the “accountant of Auschwitz,” Judge Kompisch said Groening was part of the “machinery of death,” helping the camp function and helping the Nazi cause. Yes, but only technically. He wasn’t physically involved in the mass murders.
“Mr Groening is not a monster,” said Judge Franz Kompisch, adding that he had taken an easier path by avoiding fighting at the front. “You chose the safe desk job,” he told the accused.
Though he knew exactly what was going on at the camp, he did not have himself transferred away, which likely would have meant serving on the deadly Russian Front, Judge Kompisch said. “It is a question of courage. You decided on a job where the possibility of your own death was relatively minimal.”
So, it’s either – or, but a German judge is able to see it both ways. Groening has made a decision to serve in a camp instead of dying on the Russian Front but not in order to participate in mass murders. Anything wrong with this? I bet that desk jobs exist in both the U.S. as well as German military, respectively, a few times over and it’s perfectly legal. I haven’t heard of anyone to be prosecuted for THAT.
Nevertheless, the judge’s verdict is Accessory to Murder. Why wouldn’t the Germans go after a big fish? They likely have made a choice that’s easier and less risky while doing this seven decades after the fact. What made them wait so long? Reminiscent of what Groening did back in the 1940’s but Germany gets away with this. Speaking of double standards.
He will likely never serve any part of his sentence anyway. Considering his age and the time it takes for the appeals, his sentence will outlive him.
This is my humble opinion and before you jump to the conclusions, let me tell you this. My father was captured by Nazis and sent to a POW camp where he had spent the most of the duration of WWII and escaped at the end. Even though I was born several years after the end of the war, I am not completely impartial to what was going on back then. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t condone Oskar Groening’s actions. However he was never involved in the mass murders.
By the way, Jews weren’t the only ones in the concentration camps. According to the Holocaust Education site, there were also “gypsies, political dissident, homosexuals and other groups that were viewed as socially undesirable”.
Wikipedia has compiled a List of Most Wanted Nazi War Criminals who were never convicted. Click here.
Your mileage may vary. This is my mileage.
This morning my fasting blood sugar was 109.
Source: Huffington Post